Hey, Hey It’s The Monkees!

The Monkees were in town to celebrate their fiftieth anniversary with original members Peter Tork and Mickey Dolenz keeping the legacy going for a legion of new fans (and the old fans) keeping the music alive. I think it is easy to be sceptical about these types of tours but taking it as it and celebration a great period of music ticks plenty of boxes for any music fans. Heck, I just witnessed two of the original members take fans down memory lane for a good two hours playing hit single after hit single.

It was a tame crowd, very small which is surprising given that this may well be the last time we’ll see them play in Australia let alone Adelaide. Michael Nesmith was a notable absence after pulling the pin from touring with The Monkees back in September and Davey Jones who passed away in 2012 spirit was very much in the room aided by the video footage played on the screen was an important part of the show. No doubt the footage would have stirred up many great memories of this much loved band and synching the vocals of Davey Jones was an absolute masterstroke and a fitting way to treasure the memory of the band mate.

Did they give the fans what they wanted to hear? Absolutely! I think it was a shame people had to sit down and be civilised and bop away in their seats. Also, it could have been easy for Tork and Dolenz to look out to the crowd and not see a lot of people out there and just go through the motions but they played with plenty of zest, good humour and creating a vibe that brought a smile to plenty of faces in the crowd. Where do you start to describe a show that boasts thirty one songs loaded with hits?

Mickey was the lead on many of the biggest singles and some that drew the biggest reactions included the likes of Last Train To Clarksville, Pleasant Valley Sunday and I’m Believer which he said “that we were doing this long before Shrek”. Randy Scouse Git was one of those memorable moments and coincidentally was written after partying with The Beatles with Tork saying “what a party that was”. Dolenz even brought out his Timpani and worn what looked like an old table cloth for this song (which was worn in the original film clip).

The Monkees haven’t rested on their laurels relying on the back catalogue. The relatively new album Good Times is a ripper and Me & Magdelena which was penned by Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, You Bring The Summer written by XTC’s Andy Partridge and first single She Makes Me Laugh written by Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo were brilliant and fits in well with the rest of the show.

Other highlights for me included (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher, Let’s Dance On, (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone and D.W. Washburn. Daydream Believer was truly brilliant and supported by technology with the recorded vocals of Davey Jones reigning supreme proving to be the pinnacle of the show. For some it was a joyous sing-a-long and for some it was a moment to grab a tissue and wipe away a tear.

Pleasant Valley Sunday and I’m A Believer brought proceedings to an end and got fans up out of their chairs and dancing in the aisles making the most of it. This was a really well put together show featuring all of the hits by The Monkees and the visual footage combining together to give the fans a great insight to what has been dubbed as initially one of the world’s most manufactured pop groups that became a real band.

By Rob Lyon

Set List

Set One

  1. Listen To The Band
  2. Last Train To Clarkesville
  3. Saturday’s Child
  4. Your Aunty Grizelda
  5. She
  6. A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You
  7. She Makes Me Laugh
  8. The Girl I Knew Somewhere
  9. Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)
  10. You Bring the Summer
  11. Good Clean Fun
  12. Shades Of Grey
  13. Me & Magdalena
  14. Papa Gene’s Blues
  15. Randy Scouse Git
  16. For Pete’s Sake
  17. Oh My My
  18. (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher
  19. Let’s Dance On

Set Two

  1. Mary, Mary
  2. Circle Sky
  3. Porpoise Song (Theme From “Head”)
  4. Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again?
  5. (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone
  6. Words
  7. Goin’ Down
  8. D.W. Washburn
  9. What Am I Doing Hangin’ ‘Round?
  10. Daydream Believer

Encore

  1. Pleasant Valley Sunday
  2. I’m A Believer