Gary Celebre reports
Gary Celebre writes to BtP (May 2003) about Three incredible shows of extraordinary music.
My wife Lorraine and I attended the 7 May show at the Theatre of the Living Arts in Philadelphia, the 9 May late show at the Bottom Line, NYC and the IMAC Theatre, Huntington NY on Saturday 10 May. We also brought our daughter Jenice along to see Procol for her first time at this show. She was on the edge of her seat the entire time. When asked how she liked seeing Procol Harum she replied, "They are the best band I have ever seen". I myself could only say the Philly show was so exciting, the first Lorraine and I have seen Procol since they last toured the States (1995). The Bottom Line show was so special because we were able to bring our friends Richie and his wife Carol to see Procol for their first time also. They too have become die-hard Procol fans. And the IMAC because Jenice was able to experience the fine arrangements and powerful energy that Procol have to offer.
I first saw Procol Harum many years ago with Robin Trower still in the line up. I was amazed at the polished dynamic sound they generated, like an orchestra very meticulously arranged . I saw them many times after till their last concert at the Academy of Music in NYC in 1977.
The three shows I attended in 2003 are just as amazing to see as the first time I saw them, their songs still meticulously arranged. Geoff's guitar work is simply wonderful and very tasteful. Matt Pegg is an extraordinary bassist. I give Mark much credit for his excellent percussion work. He is doing a fantastic job. Gary's voice and piano are stronger than ever and the arrangements are brilliant. Matthew Fisher makes playing his B3 look so so easy (but looks are deceiving, aren't they). Weisselklenzenacht is a true masterpiece!!
All in all the music at all three shows, simply put, was 'Heaven on Earth'. Grand Hotel was the best I've heard. A Salty Dog was just incredible. The new material also sounded fresh and vibrant. I listen to The Well's on Fire constantly. I can go on and on song by song. So to put it in just a few of words, everything they did sounded phenomenal!
Lorraine, Jenice and myself were able to meet the band members at these shows and take photos and also chat a bit with them. Lorraine is known to Geoff and Maf as the Mad Woman! They all were very generous with their time, the nicest people you can meet. I would like to thank them for that and the wonderful music they have given us.
PROCOL HARUM definitely 'Without A Doubt' should (and will) be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for their outstanding musical contributions. It is in all our interest to help get them there. Hope to see you all later this year!! Thank you Procol Harum for three evenings of Great Music and Fine memories
Gary, Lorraine and Jenice too
PS. I would also like to thank Beyond the Pale: without this great website I might not have been able to share these thoughts and memories. BtP needs our support so they can continue doing the excellent job they are doing! Thank you all at BtP!
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