The Marshall Tucker Band
Orlando Jai Alai
April 13, 2012, 8:00PM.
Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars
On April 13, 2012, Southern Rock pioneers, “The Marshall Tucker Band” performed at the Orlando Jai Alai Center. The current incarnation of the “The Marshall Tucker Band” includes founding member Doug Gray, who performs as singer, lead tambourine, and emcee. Grey was fantastic as he worked the crowd with funny stories and jokes from the road that were tasteful but still elicited a loud and boisterous response from the several hundred fans in attendance. Though I can only compare the band’s performances to past albums and YouTube clips, as far as I’m concerned, Gray and company performed as well and probably better than they did 30 years ago. The vocals were sharp, the guitar solos soared, and of course the iconic flute was dead on.
The whole act performed as one experienced and cohesive unit in front of a diverse and enthusiastic crowd. Multiple generations of fans, including young children, yuppies, and retirees, all dressed in the requisite rebel flag t-shirts, cowboy boots, and basic black sang along as the band played for about 90 minutes and covered all of their hits including “Fire on the Mountain”, “Heard it in a Love Song”, and fan favorite “Can’t You See”.
As far as the venue is concerned, the Orlando Jai Alai Center has ample parking, comfortable seats, and several areas to purchase adult beverages. Interestingly enough, the Jai Alai Center, does not close down its gambling business during concerts, so you can bet on the ponies in between songs if you want to. The band performed on the wooden jai alai court and something about the structure enhanced the loud and rich acoustics. Unfortunately, tonight there were some technical difficulties with speaker feedback but all in all it’s a great place to see a show.
In short, “The Marshall Tucker Band” was and still is a great act. They are a must see for anybody who likes good music and I would definitely see them again.
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I recently saw the show in Wendover Nevada at the Peppermill Concert Hall.
You write a good review, but I saw them 30 years ago. It wasn't better than "back when". I thouroughly enjoyed the show but thought that some of the new stylizing took away from some of the old favorites. These are kind of sing along songs that we all know the timing and melody on. I imagine that Doug Gray has to do something to keep himself enthused after all these years. But "Bob Away My Blues" was almost unrecognizable.
Our venue was a casino so over 21 only. That made it really nice for me. I wish there were more of those.
Because of my close friendship with Dave Pastore Pastore Music)-RIP- I was there in the beginning when MTB was formed. Anyone who knows MTB from back then will remember Dave as he was not only a roadie for the Allman Brothers but he owned Pastore Music in Union City, NJ. Back in those days when a band needed gear they would get it from a music store and they would bill the company, like Marshall for amps etc. Many bands would always make a stop at Manny’s in NYC but many stopped at Pastore Music as he was real close friends with many bands, most from the South. Just check some of the credits on albums from back then.
Dennis Electronics was across the street so if a band needed something fixed we would either meet the band or crew at the store in the middle of the night or go and meet them on the turnpike and pick up gear to get fixed. Most times we would drive the next day to bring either the fixed gear or a replacement for the show that night. Sometimes it would be a 10 hour drive but it was worth it. Upstairs from the Music store Ronaldo is a master guitar maker and repairer. He made guitars for many people including the Allman Brothers, Peter Frampton and he also made the guitar for Blue Oyster Cult. The spelling is wrong but do a search and check out the list of people he made gear for. So did Dennis Electronics who made many special effects for band mates who wanted a certain sound. If you went into his store he had press photos that went all around the store. He sold the place in the late 80's but has since reopened as Central Jersey Music repair and is one if not the best repair person on the east coast. Pastores even supplied Kiss with their picks. I remember back in 75-76 we had to drive to Philly to bring picks for the show that night. We got there 10 minutes before the show started. Never got paid but always got all access road crew passes and plenty of 'perks'. Once we drove to Philly to see BOC, they played at Dave’s wedding along with Dickie Betts who drove up from Asbury Park to Holmdel to be at the reception, he was playing at Convention hall that night-which we went to, but back to the BOC Philly show. There were three girls who told the guard that the road crew said if they drove up from Baltimore they could get backstage but when the crew chief came out to speak to the guard he told the guard not to say who he was and not to let them in. The road crew must have had a good time the night before but sorry no back stages for them. When the crew chief turned to walk away he saw my brother and myself and said 'what are you guys doing out here?' He gave me his crew chief pass and had me wait by the side of the stage while he went with my brother to get 2 passes. Several rent-a-cops stopped me and tried to take my pass but I just told them to go away and some of the crew that knew me from pastore music saw me and told the rent-a-cops that I was in charge. The band that was opening for BOC was from the Philly area and this was their first big show. Unknown to me but they became big. You may have heard of them. Hall and Oats. At the Kiss show after it ended there were people looking on the floor trying to find guitar picks and this one kid, about 12 kept finding them but older kids kept taking them. Even though I could have made a lot of cash that night, I had a bag each of picks from each member, I went over and asked his mom what he was doing. When she told me I said 'Call him over her'. When he came over I gave him 5 of each and he was happy as a pig in $hit. It was the Kiss tour that they had the seats roped off even with the stage line. They were empty and no one was allowed to sit in the seats. When Paul saw us sitting there he motioned to a crew member and pointed at us and waved like he was saying MOVE you can't sit there. We both stood up so he could see our shirts. They both said Pastore music but on the back of my brothers’ shirt it said..'No head No back stage'. I turned around and mine said 'NO Snow No Show'. Paul just laughed and let us stay where we were. It was blocked off because it was the tour that had the wall of Marshall Amps. Or should I say the giant billboard of Marshall Amps with just lights that lit up but only the bottom two cabinets and two heads were working. The rest was just fake but looked real from the front. After the show I told Gene he should take the wall and put it on an angle so you could not tell they were fake and they could probably sell about 2,000 more seats a night. I got lots of free shirts for that suggestion and also some great perks. It was funny how I first met them at the store. I got a call to stop by to see why they wore the make-up. AS one guy at the store said...they are some ugly looking dudes.(I wasn't a model but I was easier to look at)I think it was about a month later that they opened for the New York Dolls. They were supposed to tour with them for a few months but once they played and the NYD read the reviews they were soon told they were no longer needed. That is how it worked back then. If you opened for a band and got better reviews you were soon cut from many shows. It happened with Henry Gross in 1978 when he played Louisville, KY and opened for Richie Blackmore. It was a live show and I got to announce the band. When it came time my brother spoke thru the monitors and said Jon announce the band we are live on the radio. I said But Ernie there are no lights on me. He said come on and announces the band. I said no you told me I was getting lit up tonight. BAM 2 super troopers came on and I was blinded. Henry and the rest of the band were laughing as I said...'Good evening Louisville are you ready for some more rock and roll?' The place roared. I then said ..'Well sit back Light up and give a warm welcome to Lifesong recording artist the Henry Gross band. Henry took a few seconds to stop laughing and played a good 50 minute set. When they were done and I went out to move the gear the crowd was chanting..Henry Henry Henry.. I went to the mike and it was still on. I asked if they wanted more and they yelled louder. HENRY CAME OUT AND PLAYED 2 MORE SONGS. AFTER THAT THE BAND LEFT THE STAGE BUT THE CROWD WANTED MORE. THE MIKE WAS STILL ON SO I ASKED AGAIN IF THEY WANTED MORE..THE YELLING SAID IT ALL, THEY DID. SO HENRY CAME BACK OUT AND DID TWO MORE.VERY RARE. BUT WHEN THEY WERE DONE AND BACK IN THE DRESSING ROOM THE CROWD WAS STILL YELLING HENERY. I found a working mike and said what you want more?' They yelled Henry Henry. I said they were down stairs and if they wanted more they had to shake the building. They started to stomp and yell so I went to the dressing room. Henry asked me if something was wrong, like a riot but I said there will be if you do not come out and play some more. They came out and played 2 more songs and said that was it, Richie Blackmore was waiting to get on and it was a live radio show.
The next day I got called to Henrys hotel room and he just threw the local paper at me. It said 2 things. One was bold letters saying "Henry gross blows Richie Blackmore away'. The other part he showed me said the FCC was thinking of making it mandatory to have a delay on live shows because they received several hundred calls about my announcement saying..Sit back 'Light' up and give a warm welcome to the Henry Gross band (it was the 70's). Seems many of the kids went home and said the place smelt great when Henry started his set. To this day I am told that I started the need for a delay on live shows. Not sure how true that was...Thanx for reading...
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