It is a wonderful time to be a Monkees fan.
The 50th Anniversary of The Monkees has become a phenomenon. Their first album released in 20 years “Good Times” has skyrocketed to the top of the Amazon and Billboard charts. Here’s three men in their 70s recording songs written by some of today’s most influential songwriters. Rivers Cuomo of Weezer wrote She Makes Me Laugh. Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne wrote Our Own World. Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie wrote Me and Magdalena. Birth of An Accidental Hipster by Oasis’ Noel Gallagher is quite possibly the best song of 2016.
Let’s just say The Monkees are ON FIRE. I haven’t seen this much excitement for the band since the slow-motion screaming chicks during Circle Sky in Head. They’ve got a hit record and a huge tour and I couldn’t wait to get a piece of the action.
After you’ve seen a few Monkees shows (or in my case, about 100), you know the jokes. You know how Micky changes up the pacing and harmonies on a few of their classic hits and the tablecloth has officially become the 5th member of the band. I can’t say I ever get tired of it and I still bust a gut every time Micky does his “And now I’d like to introduce you to the BEST touring band in America… but unfortunately they missed their flights” bit. Our guy has always been a master of comedic timing.
I don’t want to ruin the show for those of you like me who avoided spoilers like the plague before I went so I’ll just say you are in for a major treat. There’s a thousand other Monkees fan sites that can give you the intimate set list details and even probably tell you what specific instruments everyone was playing but here at ILoveMickyDolenz.com, we’re just all about the gratuitous objectification of Micky Dolenz.
The songs, the banter, the stage set up and delightful video show were all fabulous. There’s a little old, a little new, and best of all, a WHOLE lot of love. Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork were both beaming the whole night. They took every opportunity to connect with us rabid fans in the “mosh pit”. And yes, there IS a Monkees mosh pit at the Casino Rama show. We dance, we sweat and we giggle like the wild fan girls we are every time Micky or Peter glances our way. As song after song on the set list begins, a chorus of voices squealing “oh, I LOVE this song” can be heard all around you. Of course there’s always those one or two fans that takes things too far (and no this time it wasn’t me) but what would The Monkees fandom be without a whole lot of zany (and creepy) madness?
After the concert my Monkee friend Jan and I got to spend some time soaking up the band and Micky’s presence at the bar. I learned that Casino Rama has the best fish and chips (go figure) and that everyone who is a part of this new album and tour is so happy, so grateful and so excited about everything going on and all the much-deserved success they’re having. It’s intoxicating to be around, as a long-time fan and someone who has loved The Monkees throughout ALL the years, all the ups and downs and comedies and tragedies. It really is like a big family or as our beloved Davy Jones once said, “The Monkees are like the mafia. You’re in for life. Nobody gets out.” The touching tribute Micky and Peter do for Davy every night still brings a tear to my eye. I’m sure he’d be so proud of our boys and would have loved every second of this 50th anniversary celebration.
Finally, all of our Monkees lunchboxes aren’t looking so dorky anymore, are they?
I hope you enjoy my pictures from the concert! Feel free to steal them, share them, save them, have a courier pigeon send them to your friends or just tape them all to your ceiling as I generally do. They’re not the best pictures of a concert I’ve ever taken but I was far too busy dancing and singing along. Sometimes you just have to focus on the FUN. 😉
Special thanks to Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork, Dave Alexander, Rich Dart, John Billings, Wayne Avers, Gemma Dolenz, Andrew Sandoval and everyone who is a part of this tour and new album. The happiness and love is contagious and Monkees fans across the world are thrilled to celebrate this milestone with all of you. Thank you.