The Monkees | 06.05.14

Monkees LogoYou could almost feel Davy Jones’ presence right there in the Fox Theatre, singing right along with us.

 

monkees 1966

The Fox Theatre, St. Louis

With the sudden death of Davy Jones of a heart attack in February 2012, fans wondered what would become of The Monkees. From their first reunion in the 1980s, Monkee Michael Nesmith refused to reunite with the band, but the loss of Nesmith did not stop the band from reforming, recording, and touring.

Thursday night’s show at The Fox Theatre proved that, even without Jones, they are still The Monkees. Opening with one of their biggest hits. “Last Train to Clarksville,” the band, while much older, were in great form. One doesn’t realize the impact The Monkees had on their generation, and many after, until one attends a Monkees show. While waiting in line, I met a lady who held in her hand an issue of 16 Magazine from 1969, with the band gracing the front cover. She was hoping for autographs—I hope she got them.

But, do not get the impression that this is a tour celebrating the life of Davy Jones. While he is part of the production via film footage, there is no mourning here. His music is played, and that is the biggest honor he can receive. The band, consisting of Peter Tork, Mickey Dolenz, and Michael Nesmith, along with a tight group of backup musicians, tore through the best of their musical catalog, hits like “Mary, Mary,” “Sweet Young Thing,” and much more. The Monkees are surprisingly musically diverse…and quite talented. Having started out as a made-for -television band, many of whom had never played an instrument, they switched from guitar to bass to keyboards to percussion. They played almost every instrument you can put on stage with a rock band. Not too shabby for a few young guys with no musical background.

The crowd at this show was of all ages—but the older set sure do love their Monkees with a passion. As I waited at the merchandise booth, I saw people spending hundreds of dollars on Monkees swag. Many of the buyers were wearing their Monkees tour shirts from last year!

As the band led us through the melodic, upbeat groove of “I’m a Believer,” the entire audience was on its feet and singing away, myself included. This is a band whose fans have a deep affection for them. It’s going on 50 years for The Monkees, and from the smiles on their faces, they are still loving every minute of it. As for the overall performance of the Monkees, they were timeless and tons of fun. Having the audience sing “Daydream Believer” was a truly magical moment; you could almost feel Jones’ presence right there in the Fox Theatre, singing right along with us.

As they said goodnight and the theater lights came up, I walked out feeling happily nostalgic. Yes, indeed folks, it still true; they can still say it: “Hey hey, we’re The Monkees!” | Marc Farr

About Marc Farr 244 Articles
Marc Farr is the Live Music & Assignments Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. He's so invaluable to us, we've nicknamed him Mr. Music. Reach out if you have coverage ideas! "I know it's only rock and roll...but I like it!"
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