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29 Mar 2015

Live: The Monkees at Fantasy Springs, March 27

Written by 
Micky Dolenz (left, in hat) and Peter Tork (right) perform with their backup band at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. Micky Dolenz (left, in hat) and Peter Tork (right) perform with their backup band at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. Kevin Fitzgerald

Despite the absence of Davy Jones and Michael Nesmith, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork managed to put on an outstanding two-hour performance as The Monkees at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on Friday night, March 27.

Some of the fans in attendance were in their teens during The Monkees’ rise to fame in the ’60s—but The Monkees have a multigenerational audience, and a good percentage of the crowd consisted of younger folks.

Davy Jones died in 2012, and Michael Nesmith decided not to take part in the current Monkees tour, so Dolenz and Tork were left to carry the show. Before The Monkees took the stage, the video wall in the background played an intro that included footage of the television show, as well as modern-culture references to the group, including clips of the group’s music playing on television shows such as Breaking Bad and Mad Men. Also included: Tork’s cameo on one show during which a fan told him he had a Monkees lunchbox. Tork’s reply: “We never made any money on those things.”

Tork and Dolenz took the stage, and they wasted no time diving into the classics, opening with “Last Train to Clarksville,” “Your Auntie Grizelda” and “She.” Micky Dolenz’s vocals on “She” were almost opera-quality—his vocal range is still intact. The song of the night was “Mary, Mary”; Dolenz and Tork couldn’t have performed it better, and the backing band handled its duties nicely.

Other highlights included Tork’s cover of Tadg Galleran’s “Even White Boys Get the Blues,” and Micky Dolenz’s performance of “Randy Scouse Git,” which he said was about his experiences in the United Kingdom. He joked, “I was told I had a good time.”

The two told a story about how The Monkees were offered “Sugar, Sugar,” which went on to be performed by The Archies; they said they rejected the song in protest for more creative control—and the two then proceeded to perform a slow version of the song. They also performed their mid-1980s hit, “That Was Then, This Is Now,” while showing clips of various periods through their history.

Michael Nesmith was referenced in between numbers at one point, mentioned as their “sometimes partner.” They also paid tribute to the late Davy Jones at the end of the show with “Daydream Believer,” performing as a video played showing Jones dancing by himself with a psychedelic background.  

Before ending their excellent two-hour show with “I’m a Believer,” Micky Dolenz told the audience to go home and tell the “small children” that he sang the tune long before Shrek did.

Scroll down to see more images from the show, from photographer Kevin Fitzgerald.

Setlist

  • Last Train to Clarksville
  • Your Auntie Grizelda
  • She
  • Mary, Mary
  • The Girl I Knew Somewhere
  • I’ll Be Back Upon My Feet
  • For Pete’s Sake
  • Randy Scouse Git
  • Tear the Top Right off My Head
  • Take a Giant Step
  • Sometime in the Morning
  • Papa Gene’s Blues
  • I’ll Spend My Life With You
  • Cuddly Toy
  • DW Washburn
  • No Time
  • Words
  • Low Down
  • Can You Dig It
  • Sugar, Sugar
  • Even White Boys Get the Blues
  • Do I Have to Do This All Over Again
  • That Was Then, This Is Now
  • Daydream Believer
  • Listen to the Band
  • I’m Not Your Stepping Stone
  • Pleasant Valley Sunday
  • I’m a Believer

Image Gallery

{gallery}https://www.flickr.com/photos/cvindependent/sets/72157651204799760/{/gallery}

2 comments

  • Comment Link Alba Sunday, 29 March 2015 04:30 posted by Alba

    Wish i was there. They never came to Puerto Rico. :(

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  • Comment Link Mary Saturday, 28 March 2015 22:50 posted by Mary

    I grew up waiting for the next Monkees record to come out..Watched every episode that was on tv..Loved Michael Nesmith to death.. Why wouldn't he want to be part of this?? I was 9 years old and my mother went shopping and I told her can you get me the new Monkees record that's out... its white and they all are are in a circle kicking their legs in?? And my mom came home with that album!!! I still have the album ..Love to see you still on tv!! Brings back a lot of memories!!!!

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