[Live Review] BLOOD SWEAT & TEARS
Courtesy - ReverbStreetPress.com
Wests Leagues Club, Lambton
Sunday September 6, 2015 :
As the nine piece band took the stage on Sunday night at Wests you could not help but think, what did a former runner up in American Idol and a classic rock jazz combination possibly have in common? To witness Bo Bice on stage with Blood Sweat & Tears, the answer is very simple – power, presence combined with a genuine respect and love for the music equals magic.
Although now lead singer Bice was born in 1975, some eight years, multiple awards and albums after Blood Sweat & Tears was formed, you can’t help but think they were destined to collide with each other. Maybe his mum installed quality music and he absorbed it via osmosis, it’s anyone’s guess. Taking the stage in jeans, armed with a microphone and stand symbolising the rock background he is so proudly from, Bice is a true superstar, power in the voice and gigantic in stage presence. Whilst you would think he would have an ego to match, he is humble and likeable, pausing to tell various audience members he “loved them” throughout the night.
The band kicked off the night in style, launching into ‘Lucretia Mac Evil’ complete with a four piece brass section and showing the nearly full house what kind of night it was going to be. Horns, saxophones and even a flute solo followed through the next ninety minutes together with multiple stories.
Blood Sweat & Tears has been a musician’s launching platform of the past 43 years with almost 150 members claiming time with the band on their musician’s resume. The band is incredibly tight, skilled and enjoyable from every angle. You rarely get to see brass in a band let alone four of them on stage at once. Throughout the transition through songs, brass figured heavily which is no surprise if you know their catalogue of albums. In total the nine musicians work in harmony to take the audience back before social media ruled the world.
There were big expectations for Bice which he honestly handled without raising a sweat. During the night he cruised through some of the band’s best-known hits, including ‘Hi-De-Ho’, the Carole King classic which went over well. The introduction of ‘Spinning Wheel’, arguably the band’s biggest hit and ironically Bice’s segway into the band who first heard him sing the song on American Idol was well received. The band finished the night with the 1969 hit, ‘You’ve Made Me So Very Happy’, sung in a way to please the hardest critic.
Overall the band lead by Bice seemed to ooze a comfort well ahead of their years. For me the highlight was Bice and brass who handled the immense pressure of singing some of modern music’s most iconic songs. It has been nineteen years since the band last toured, and hopefully they will not leave it that long again. Thoroughly enjoyed.
Lucretia MacEvil, Almost Sorry, Hi De Ho, I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know, Go Down Gamblin’, Mercy, God Bless the Child, And When I Die, Spinning Wheel
You’ve Made Me So Very Happy
Reviewer and Photographer: David Jackson
Bo Bice w/Blood Sweat & Tears to Perform with Kentucky Orchestra
Courtesy - The Daily News
By ALYSSA HARVEY
When the band Blood, Sweat & Tears entered Bo Bice’s life, it was perfect timing.
“It was like the Reese’s effect – peanut butter and chocolate. It just works,” Bice said in a phone interview Monday. “I get humbled each day that I get to perform with such great musicians.”
Bice, who came in second place to Carrie Underwood in the fourth season of “American Idol,” is now the lead singer of the Grammy Award-winning band.
“A year-and-a-half ago, I was tapped as a front man. Next year will be two years,” he said. “One of the reasons I decided to join is that they were putting out their first album in four decades.”
BS&T, known for such hits as “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” “Spinning Wheel,” “And When I Die,” “Hi-De-Ho” and “Lucretia MacEvil,” will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday with Orchestra Kentucky at the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center on College Street. Ticket prices range from $17 to $67 and may be obtained by phone at 270-846-2426 or online at orchestrakentucky.com or theskypac.com.
“I play the trumpet. When I learned the trumpet, I always liked to listen to bands that featured brass players,” said Jeff Reed, orchestra music director and conductor. “It was very inspiring. They’ve had a lot of hit songs. It was a natural group to have.”
People know the songs, Reed said.
“It’s one of those top bands from the ’60s and ’70s,” he said. “They should come to hear them.”
BS&T started in 1967 in New York City. Nearly 200 band members have come and gone throughout the years.
“My childhood has been wrapped up in these songs. I sang one of their songs on ‘American Idol’ in season four,” he said. “Ten years later, I’m in the band and we’re on a world tour traveling to Australia, Mexico and everywhere else.”
Since “American Idol,” Bice has been writing, producing and running his own record label. He worked for a decade before his success on the television show. He had three albums before and three albums since. He decided to take a hiatus from his solo career and does not want it to overshadow BS&T.
“It’s not Bo, Sweat and Tears. I want to make sure when folks experience songs, they have a little piece of their childhood. We have a crowd who spans from an older crowd to 12-, 13-year-olds that go to concerts with their grandparents,” he said. “I think it has a lot to do with the catalogue of music. They’ve got loads of fans. It’s really cool they continue to grow their fan base and their catalogue of music.”
Patrons won’t see a tribute band, Bice said.
“This is the real thing,” he said. “The real stars every night are the people who come out and enjoy this music.”
Bice had no qualms about taking the position of lead singer.
“I’ve never been a nervous person. I come prepared. When I was tapped to become singer of this band, I did my research,” he said. “Even up to the time we step on stage, you don’t want to be the weakest link. They keep you on your toes. There’s not a lot of room for nerves. You need to bring your best game, and you need to bring it every day.”
Bice brought some of his own flavor to the band with the Allman Brothers Band song “Midnight Rider,” among other tunes.
“I brought a few of my favorites in and they made the cut. Sometimes it’s the crew backstage that says, ‘You gonna play ‘Midnight Rider’ tonight?’” he said. “That makes you feel good. What I wanted was to be part of something. That’s something I haven’t been in a decade.”
Bo Bice a winner with BS & T
Courtesy - NWITimes.com
By - Eloise Marie Valadez
Though a great number of performers have come through the ranks of "American Idol," not too many have garnered significant attention.
Bo Bice, who ranked second place on Fox TV's "American Idol" in 2005, is one of the stars of the competitive vocal show who continues to be in the spotlight.
Bice is currently performing as the lead singer for Blood, Sweat and Tears (BS & T). The jazz, rock and blues-inspired group recently performed at Majestic Star Casino in Gary.
During the 90-minute show, Bice proved a powerful frontman. In addition, the band 's brass section was a standout as their performance was clear, strong and never muddled.
Highlighted songs on the playlist included a scorching version of "Lucretia McEvil," the gospel-tinged "Hi-De Ho," the hit "Spinning Wheel" and "You Made Me So Very Happy." The group also performed a rendition of "God Bless The Child," which had a bit of a Latin tinge.
Bice has called the Blood, Sweat and Tears repertoire "timeless" and he definitely gave the tunes the respect they deserve in concert.
Through the years, BS & T has changed personnel extensively. Back in the 1960s, singer David Clayton Thomas was at the vocal forefront of the band. These days, with Bice as frontman, the group seems to be going in a good direction.
During a recent interview, Bice said BS & T is planning a large scale tour this summer and he's looking forward to joining them.
Happy New Year from Bo Bice