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Dr. Feelgood Starcastle Journey At Ford Auditorium, March 10

Dr. Feelgood Starcastle Journey At Ford Auditorium, March 10 image
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WABX-FM presented this all-CBS package at Ford Auditorium March lOth and drew a largo, responsiye audience tor au ovening ofprogressive rock in three movemcnts. The tirst, featuring the stiaight-ahead blues-band rock of the British foursome called Dr. Feelgood. pioved the most interésting, wliile the seeond -spotlighting the Yes-styled midwestern band Starcastleand the tliird, showcasing the mini-supergioup Journey and its lïard-driviim, emotionaüy barren progressive sound -provided the standard type of boring ture heard al most big rock concerts these days. VVhile Journey pounded relentlessly wilh Neil Schon's intense, ego-tripping macho guitar leads and Greg Rollie's tlirobbing organ swells, and Starcastle tloated around in inner space tending to be in the cosmos, only Dr. Feelgood truly tripped the emotional lever with its clean, elemental British blues approach and lts repertoire of classic rock and roll (Huey Smith's "Don't Ya Just Know lt," the Robins'"Riot in Cell Block No. 9"), blues ("Boom Boom Boom Boom," "Rollin' & Tumblin' "), and personal ("I'm the Man," "She Doesn't Rock," "Watch It") material. Lead singer, Lee Brilleaux, also a fine harmonica player, shouts and wails with lana tic intensity whüe guitarist Wilko Johnson struts and swaggers around the stage in a carefully niannered takeoff on his early guitar idol, üetroit's own Wayne Kramer. The rhythm section is adequate to the demands placed on it by the front men, and the overall effect is to recréate the energy and vitality-and the musical commitment-of the early English blues-rock set, viz. John Mayall's Blues Breakers, the Animáis, the early Rod Stewart, without the sickening rich-bpy popstar bullshit which has smothered the rock scène for seven or eight years already. Virtuosos they're not, and thcy havo sonie developing to do before they can get much higher on the ladder of pop success (Journey, on the othei hand, should be over the top within si months or so)-but Dr. Feelgood is not cspecially interested in much more than ge Hing the chance to perform and record their own gritty music for people who dig it, and that's certainly a refreshing treat in this, our Bicentennial year. Good luck, Doctor.