Procol Harum

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the Pale

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Procol Harum at Longwood Gardens, PA, USA

Notes by Evan Wagshul Wednesday 16 June 2010


Evan Wagshul (pictured right with Gary Brooker) sends the following brief notes to BtP:

Uncovered outdoor venue in the beautiful Longwood Gardens. Stage area barely covered. Thunderstorms had been predicted for the day and evening and there was a very light, somewhat brief rain that began around 6:30 pm. No rain during the Renaissance or Procol performances, however! Halfway into  the 130 mile (2.5 hour) car-ride home, I encountered rain the rest of the way very heavy most of that time ('The heavens opened wide'). While onstage, Gary remarked that the Gardens were almost as large as George Harrison's.

*

During the show, GB also noted Switzerland's victory over Spain [football] at which time Josh played the trumpet fanfare from Conquistador.

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Due to some luck Unsteady Freddie and I wound up seated in the front row, dead centre. I gave Josh two fingers up while he played on the Motif during Broken Barricades (second  song of the show). He took his left hand off the Motif and returned one thumb up to me!

Freddie was ecstatic that Gary wore "the shirt" again. Gary responded to Freddie's "Where'd ya get the shirt?" by showing the shirt to the audience and proclaiming proudly, "It still fits."

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Again, like the other shows [of this tour], Gary was in the finest voice I've heard in many years. Procol's playing was exceptional, up to the highest standards. The set-list contained several nice surprises: when I made a comment on this to Matt Pegg after the show, he made some faces. Apparently he did not welcome the surprises!

As usual the band were very gracious to the fans when meeting some of us during the reception after the show. Spencer Zahn [Grand Hotel artist] and his family were among the contingent and I learned that his daughter's face (she was there too) appears on the cover image of a mid-90s' three-song EP. I'm sure Jens can furnish a scan of that cover.

*

Geoff Dunn really gets it! He is playing Procol, not just keeping time. Best Procol drums in twenty years, without a doubt.

I can't help but fear that this could be the last time I hear Procol live. I hope not!
 


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