4 July 1988
Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre, Englewood, CO
Nothing beats America on July the 4th. We arrived at Fiddler's a couple hours beforehand to see some opening acts, which included Flash Cadillac.
My friend and I got seats towards the back of the reserved section. Since the sun had been out and ever-present on this hot Colorado afternoon in July, the audience cheered when the sun started to hide behind an afternoon cloud coming off of the Rockies.
America is now minus one of its three original members, Dan Peek, who chose to leave right towards then end of the height of the group's success. America is however still powered by the band's two principal, original songwriters, Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley.
The duo, with a full-time backing band, walked on to open with Bunnell's "Riverside" from 1971. Bunnell's "Ventura Highway" and "Tin Man" followed, as did Beckley's "Daisy Jane", and their 1982 hit, "You Can Do Magic".
The band's current bass player took the vocal duties for Peek's "Lonely People". Bunnell performed a new bluesy number, while Beckley debuted the acoustic, "Call Of The Wild", both showing continuing strength as songwriters, as well as great potential for a new album.
Predictably, the set ended with their 1975 #1 single, "Sister Golden Hair", and an encore of their 1972 hit, "Horse With No Name", with Dewey sounding just a much like Neil Young as he did when that single hit #1.
The evening ended with a spectacular fireworks display above the green behind the Amphitheatre. Several small brush fires burned into the evening, keeping the show going on into the night, as audience members found their respective ways to their respective cars.
Can you believe it, the cost for this show was only $4!!!
[****] - Steven T.
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