America’s music still resonates
"Almost here" and "almost now" are the operative terms for America's long-awaited return to Honolulu. The duo -- Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell -- plays Blaisdell Arena on Tuesday, and the big day can't come fast enough for fans here.
In concert: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
Place: Blaisdell Arena
Tickets: $45, at Blaisdell box office and Ticketmaster outlets
Call: (877)750-4400 or visit ticketmaster.com
The concert comes near the end of a busy year for Beckley and Bunnell. It opened with the release of a double-CD album, "Here & Now," their first full-length studio album for a major label since 1984. Peaking at No. 52 on Billboard's pop chart, it's the highest charting America album since "View from the Ground" reached No. 41 in 1982.
Produced by Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne) and James Iha (ex-Smashing Pumpkins), "Here & Now" uses the talents of a younger generation of musician-producers while reviving a tradition from the duo's heyday in the 1970s.
A bit of trivia: America released seven consecutive albums with titles starting with the letter "H" from 1972 to 1977.
New studio music and hip young producers notwithstanding, it's the hits from the '70s that are likely to draw most local America fans on Tuesday. Hawaii embraced America's soft-rock sound and smooth harmonies throughout the '70s, identifying with the romantic sentiments of "I Need You" and "Sister Golden Hair," and puzzling through the enigmatic lyric imagery of "Tin Man" and "A Horse with No Name."
Their impeccable credentials as an "oldies" act aside, Beckley and Bunnell, like many music veterans, have never stopped working or touring. On the charts or not, they've been playing the music and paying their dues. And, as they proved with their last concert here in January 2004, they are still very much an arena act.
"Basically, Gerry and I have stayed very much the same," Bunnell told the Star-Bulletin in 2004. "We still have those standards in songwriting that we were hoping to establish."