Las Vegas, Cannery Casino 10/09/10

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Las Vegas, Cannery Casino 10/09/10

Postby Tom » Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:29 pm

Hey prairiedogs,

Here's yet another outstanding review for PPL taken from the vegasnews online site. This one concerns PPL's recent show at the Cannery Casino in Las Vegas Oct. 9th. Once again, the guys left left a very big impression. It's certainly been quite a year for the band, everywhere they go, they leave 'em looking for more !

Have a good one,
Tom Sheridan

by Richard Mollina

The Legends night was certainly enjoyable. While the concept of three bands is a nice approach for fans who are still interested in an overlooked genre, the resulting time constraints limited the three bands, Firefall, Poco and Pure Prairie League to shorter sets, and in the case of Pure Prairie League, I certainly would have preferred a longer one, given their outstanding performance.

Heading into the evening I expected some memorable tunes to be played by all three groups, although not performed at the level of the 70′s. After all, many of the main ingredients from those years no longer perform with their respective groups and, for the most part, these affairs tend to be nothing more than an exercise in nostalgia, familiar songs performed by musicians who may or may not due a song justice, but get it across well enough to please their supporters or those who simply wish to hear live music. To that extent, the Prairie easily exceeded my expectations. They apparently are the exception to the nostagia rule, as their performance at The Cannery Casino proved to be far more than some unfamilair faces tweaking our memories.

Pure Prairie League still plays country rock the way it should be played, and boasts a lineup filled with musicians who are as good or better than anyone who ever played it. Those musicians, for the most part, also happen to be the ones who created it.

This band stood out with impeccable harmonies and musicianship. Amie, Two Lane Highway, Let Me Love You Tonight, Misery Train were among the many songs done so superbly. Furthermore, in Craig Fuller, John David Call and Mike Reilly ,PPL has two original members and another who joined shortly after PPL started. That alone was a rarity and a delightful one at that. To see and hear these guys play at a level that possibly exceeds what was done so many years ago is both stunning and mesmerizing.

The band does a superb job of mixing it up, some beautiful country type ballads supplementing their hard edged country rock tunes. Early into their set it was obvious these guys were far more than a run of the mill blast from the past. Fuller is still brilliant, the largest and easily the most accomplished performer of the evening. His voice and work on the acoustic guitar set him apart decades ago. Nothing has changed in that respect. Fuller’s performance of songs from PPL’s first two releases are still played with an enthusiasm and perfection that belies the years, nothing short of outstanding. John David Call, PPL’s original pedal steeler, put on a masterful performance on the pedal steel guitar, his licks on that complex instrument giving PPL a unique and vibrant sound. He’s still lightning quick with a clarity and imaginative approach that thrilled the crowd throughout the set, especially with his innovative interplay with lead guitarist Donnie Lee Clark. Call is a driving, energetic force, still one of ,if not the best, steelers I’ve heard. He was very much a highlight of the night.

Mike Reilly still brings out the best in everyone, especially on the perennial classic Flat Tire Merle, one of the most memorable songs of a sometimes drawn out evening. His strong vocals and bass work combined with his charisma in some sense defines the band. Donnie Lee Clark has the unenviable task of handling the chores assumed by Vince Gill in the late 70′s and 80′s. He is more than up to the task, his lead guitar and vocals are a reason this band has received such a positive response the past few years. Clark and Call provide an excitement, a cohesion, which elevates PPL to a place that makes you wonder where the past several decades went.Rick Schell brings it all together, his percussion work fits PPL√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s dynamic approach much like the days of longtime PPL drummer Billy Hinds. The exception is Schell√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s vocals. His harmony provides the band with a richness and range that is tough to do in a studio with several takes, much less live. He also provides some solid lead vocals, giving the band yet even more versatility.

A very impressive night for the Prairie.
"I have seen the future of country music and it's name is Pure Prairie League."
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