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The Association in concert

Topics/tags: Reviews, music

The other day, I went with Michelle and some friends to see The Association. I will admit that it would not have been a concert that I would have decided to attend on my own, while there are a few songs by the Association that I enjoy, such as Along Comes Mary and Windy, they aren’t songs that are particularly meaningful to me. I also tend to prefer bands that continued to create new music over the decades or at least whose individual members continued to create new music.

Nonetheless, it was a fun concert, and I’m glad I went. While are only two original members left, most of the other members have been there a long time, so they cohere well as a band. They can’t quite hit all of the harmonies of years gone by, but they come close. And they clearly have fun with what they do; they tell stories, laugh at each other, and interact with the audience [1].

They claimed that they have three of the 100 most played songs of the previous century, including Never My Love (which beat out Yesterday for the second slot), Cherish at the number 22 slot, and Windy at number 61. That’s almost as many songs as the Beatles have in that list [2].

But what does a band do when they have about half a dozen hits that people remember and not much history beyond, say, the early 1970’s? They played a funny song (a version of the Eagles’ Desperado that they renamed Avacado), a song I hadn’t known that had clear Iowa ties (Dubuque Blues), and, well, a whole bunch of cover versions, including an attempt a bunch of the songs from the soundtrack of The Big Chill [3]. They did a great version of Wouldn’t It Be Nice with most of the harmonies intact. And they did a surprisingly good version of The Weight [4].

Here are some highlights of the show, at least from my perspective.

  • Michelle telling the person next to her that Cherish is almost as much of a creepy stalker song as Happy Together [5]. It still makes me laugh.
  • Their cover of The Weight. I still don’t know what it means, but I love that song.
  • The middle-aged woman in front of us bopping along to songs.
  • And, believe it or not, but it was fun to hear Along Comes Mary live.

The folks who were with me were sad that the band never played Requiem For The Masses. Maybe next time.

[1] Okay, maybe they only pretend to have fun with what they do. If that’s the case, they fake it well enough that it’s okay with me. I’ve been to too many shows in which the band seems to be just going through the motions.

[2] Yesterday at number 3, Something at number 17, Michelle at number 42, and Let It Be at number 89. Lennon’s Image is at number 96.

[3] There appear to be a wide variety of soundtracks to The Big Chill. Most include The Exciters’ Tell Him and Procol Harum’s A Whiter Shade of Pale, and The Rascals’ Good Lovin, none of which The Association Covered.

[4] Whenever I hear The Weight, I feel like I can close my eyes and see the scene from The Last Waltz when they sing it. I still love the movie, but Reading Levon Helm’s description of the making of The Last Waltz made me see it in a new light.

[5] How else would you interpret the line You don’t know how many times I’ve wished I could mold you into someone who could cherish me as much as I cherish you?

Version 1.0 of 2018-10-02