LIVE: Chad & Jeremy @ The Egg, 10/12/14
Review by Greg Haymes
“One of us lives in London, and one of us lives in Idaho,” announced the dapper Jeremy Clyde – decked out in a smart, tailored black suit and a white dress shirt – before the ’60s folk-pop duo Chad & Jeremy played their opening song at The Egg’s half-filled Swyer Theatre last Sunday evening.
“Jeremy’s the consummate professional,” added Chad Stuart, comfy in his well-worn denim jeans and over-shirt atop a black t-shirt. “I, on the other hand… not so much.”
And so began the odd couple pairing for the night. Once on the easy-listening end of the ’60s British Invasion, Chad & Jeremy have each taken considerably different musical paths since those glory days. But now 50 years later, they still come together for those lucrative reunion tours.
It’s just that they didn’t quite actually play all that well together at The Egg, the second date of their four-date east coast autumn tour.
Things began to get shaky early. On their fourth song of the night, “September in the Rain,” Stuart pulled up short after only a couple of measures. He tried again, but pulled the plug with another false start. Finally, he got things rolling on the third try, but then he completely mangled the guitar solo.
It wasn’t an auspicious beginning to what turned out to be a not-very-auspicious concert. Nostalgia only gets you so far…
There was another false start on “You Are She,” and Stuart stopped cold in the middle of “The Dog House Blues” when he couldn’t remember the lyrics to the second verse.
The show wasn’t a disaster by any means, and the forgiving crowd of baby-boomers who filled half of the seats in the Swyer Theatre seemed to be having a pretty good time enjoying their musical flashback.
They dutifully played the hits – “A Summer Song,” “Distant Shores,” “Yesterday’s Gone” and “Willow Weep for Me,” the latter two with Stuart on the grand piano (and faring considerably better than he did on guitar). Some of the high harmonies were missing, but the performances were credible enough.
And the duo dipped into their late-’60s “psychedelic” era, too, with a segment from “The Progress Suite,” as well as the lovely, a cappella “All the Harvests” and the woefully dated “The Emancipation of Mr. X.” Let’s just blame Timothy Leary and the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper for that one…
And after all these years, you’d think that someone would have told them that their gentle, adult-contemporary folk-pop style just wasn’t made for the blues. But apparently not, as they essayed several blues tunes during their two 50-minute sets – including Jimmy Reed’s “Insurance” – none of which rose above the local open mic night level.
Their best performances of the evening were a wistful rendition of Jonathan King’s “Everyone’s Gone to the Moon,” Clyde’s solo turn on “Made for Each Other” (a wry but sweet ditty about Barbie & Ken) and most surprisingly, a slowed-down instrumental rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.”
But then there was their first set closer, “Avocado,” a cringe-inducing parody of the Eagles’ “Desperado.” And the less said about that one, the better…
CHAD & JEREMY SET LIST
Everyone’s Gone to the Moon
No Other Baby
September in the Rain
Insurance (Jimmy Reed)
The Water Is Wide (traditional)
Before and After
Made for Each Other (Jeremy solo)
For a While There (Jeremy solo)
Dragon Wanted (Jeremy solo)
Willow Weep for Me
Avacado (parody of the Eagles’ “Desperado”)
????? (Chad solo)
The Doghouse Blues
The Progress Suite (just one movement)
All the Harvests
The Emancipation of Mr. X
You Are She
Purple Haze (instrumental) (Jimi Hendrix)
A Summer Song
I’ll Be Back (The Beatles)