Australian BeeGees Tribute- Stayin' Alive September 16, 2006
Bee Gees Music Nostalgia Takes Over Cerritos
By Glen Creason
Most certainly, it was the remembered music of their beloved BeeGees and recollection of mega-hits past that drew a capacity crowd to the Cerritos Performing Arts Center for a tribute concert by the genuinely Australian group calling itself “Stayin’ Alive” on Saturday evening. The audience came to rock and received a fairly full serving of the songs they cherished from the brothers Gibb and their four decades of recordings. The most amazing component of the BeeGees mystique is the fact that they managed to reinvent themselves several times; from the Beatles clone of the 60’s to the frontrunners of the disco scene to a rather sophisticated and romantic harmony group in their later stages of the twentieth century. The central part of the sound always was the falsetto/vibrato of lead man Barry and the tight harmonies of twin brothers Maurice and Robin. Along the way the BeeGees racked up an astounding number of platinum hits, several dozen successful albums and one sound track, “Staying Alive” that will certainly be called classic for as long as music flows out of speakers.
The tribute saluted the music and the songs the clamoring audience begged for were sent forth in bunches. There was early stuff like “Holiday,” “I Started a Joke,” “New York Mining Disaster,” “To Love Somebody” and “One Minute Woman” that sent us back to our bell bottoms and crash pad memory banks for some groovy vibes. There was also the white suit, big-hair and platform shoes sounds of the great disco moments of “You Should Be Dancing’,” “Saturday Night Fever,” and the richly percolating thunder of “Stayin’ Alive” which most certainly was the highlight of the show.
Along the way, many more great tunes came back from the past including “Jive Talking,” “I’ve Just Gotta Get a Message to You,” “Words,” “Tragedy” and the “Grease” centerpiece “What Are We Doing Here.” There was also the key romantic component which was shown with slow, shows of open-shirted machismo including “Always Alone,” Emotion,” Lonely Days, Lonely Nights,” and “How Deep Is Your Love” which seemed a little pale in comparison to Barry’s wailing vocals. The best of the journey down memory lane on this night were a tasty “Massachusetts,” the energetic “Islands in the Stream,” the smooth harmonies of “One” plus most of the disco which held up very well. The problems came with the group “Stayin’ Alive” that demonstrated a sincere and powerful appreciation for the body of BeeGees work but not near as much of the talent of the originals. In the large halls some of the vocals failed to reach their target, the guitar was pretty wan and the energy lagged somewhat in the ballads. The gray cells stirred and the tunes rang true but the desire to get up and dance did not strike everyone. However, in the latter stages couples popped up around the hall, recalling their disco heydays and the crowd sunk their teeth into the songs and seemed to forgive any shortcomings from the earnest yet most certainly imitators on this night.