Design By Humans
Published On: Wed, Jul 2nd, 2014

Eric Burdon Returns to the Roxy

eric_burdonEric Burdon and the Animals returned to Hollywood this week for the first time in 40 years for two shows at the Roxy as a warm up for their upcoming European tour where they will be playing a handful of festivals. The group started out in the early sixties in Newcastle, England, before moving down to London for a residency at the legendary 100 Club in 1964 where they made a quick impression with their punchy R&B style based on artists like Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Bo Diddley.

The powerful vocals of the pint sized Burdon and the playing of the musicians like Chas Chandler and Alan Price soon saw them on the charts with the radio favorite “House of the Rising Sun.” Eric performed that along with all his other numerous hits at The Roxy on Sunset Strip in Hollywood, an area he has been absent from for about
forty years.

However, with a powerful new veteran style Animals line up that included two drummers, the songs came alive with a few new jazzy riffs and a sense of freshness. Alan Price used to use a tiny Vox keyboards on stage to a maximum effect, but the new keyboardist who came right out of the “School of Jerry Lee Lewis keyboard skills” had a nice Hammond B3 to play with and really rounded out the overall sound.

Even though Eric is 73 years old, the women were still screaming for him throughout the show, and despite his movements being rather limited on stage and confined to some percussion work, his voice remains his biggest selling point.

A couple of women jumped on the stage to grab him much to the amusement of the band members but he carried on unaffected which I think was during his excellent rendition of “Spill the Wine.”

Aside from the classic hits, he also performed a couple of songs from his new album on Abkco called Til Your River Runs Dry that has been well received by fans and music critics. He also performed music from his psychedelic era when the band included Zoot Money and Andy Summers, including the brilliant and underplayed ‘Monterey,” and “Sky Pilot.”

The show lasted 1 ¾ hours with two encores, the final song being a really old Animals chestnut, the John Lee Hooker classic blues anthem “Boom Boom.” The Ojai resident shows no sign of slowing down, and music is all the better for it.

About the Author

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Michael Hepworth is a food, spirits and travel writer who contributes
to magazines, newspapers and magazines in Los Angeles, Dubai,
London and Mumbai.

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Eric Burdon Returns to the Roxy