Monday, August 01, 2005

As most musicians will tell you, the magic of playing happens when the whole exceeds the sum of the parts. There are relatively few groups that achieve that goal. The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, The Who, Chicago come to mind in this respect, as the solo output of these groups’ respective players seldom matches the music of the group. Loggins and Messina, reunited after 29 years, achieves the goal handily, even effortlessly.

The duo, who were paired almost accidentally back in the early 1970s, only played together for 4 or 5 years, but their music remains entrenched as some of the most notable tuneage of the 1970s. While both Loggins and Messina, as solos, have created some good music, none of what they have done since their amicable parting in 1976 approaches the soul and staying power of the Loggins and Messina catalog.

I drove 200 miles to see them in Atlanta, at Chastain Park Pavilion. Not that I'm superstituos, but because I brough no rain gear other than a couple of small umbrellas, it rained for about 2/3 of the show. Regardless, I had waited 25 years to see them again, and I was not disappointed by their performance. Loggins was his usual animated self, while Messina laid back and sang/played, essentially flawlessly.

Their voices are as pure as they were 30 years ago, which is quite a contrast, compared to other icons, such as Elton John and Paul McCartney, whose voices have suffered changes with age. Harmonies were spot on; I failed to detect any glitches in the vocals.

It was the same with the band, populated with musicians new to the Loggins and Messina scene. There were a couple of songs I thought were played slightly too slow, but it wasn't tentative, it was measured. There were no self-indulgent solos like we heard back in the day. The song selection, while mostly centered on the songs they are “known” for, was fine. As a fan, I always want to hear more, but I was not disappointed by what they played.

Not counting the down time during the intermission, the group played for about 2 ½ hours through on and off [mostly on] rain, and the audience that persevered through the elements was left wanting more.

Ultimately, it was a fine show, demonstrating that this duo needs to be making new music together. Loggins’s tendency toward fluff is perfectly counter-balanced by Messina’s grittiness. Their vocal styles complement each other well. They are both approaching 60 years on; it would be a horrible shame to their musical legacy, as well as the fans that enjoy their music, if they finished this tour and simply went their own separate ways again. If not now, when?

8:05 PM
1. Watching the River Run
2. House At Pooh Corner
3. Travelin Blues
4. Sailin’ The Wind
5. Long Tail Cat6. Country Song/Holiday Hotel
7. Back to Georgia
8. Changes
9. Trilogy
-Lovin Me...
-To Make a Woman Feel Wanted
-Peace of Mind
10. Your Mama Don’t Dance
(End at 9:00 pm)
Around 9:20 they started showing clips of them from the 70s
The “General Store” part of the show
11. You Better Think Twice (A Poco Song)
12. Love Song
13. Keep Me In Mind
14. Kind Woman (A Buffalo Springfield Song)
15. Alive and Kickin
16. Growin’
17. Be Free
18. Same Old Wine
19. You Need A Man
20. Vahevala
21. Angry Eyes
22. Nobody But You
23. Danny’s Song
End about 10:55 pm

And then we drove 200 miles home again. Whew!