20 June 2003

Rialto Theatre, Loveland, CO


I love being able to park just a few dozen feet from a venue when attending a concert. The Rialto Theatre offers this convenience. My second time here, my second time here seeing Poco.

The opening act, Rainville, offered a midwestern blues sound. The kind of band you see in a small town s#!tkicker between Denver and De Moines.

Poco continues to open with the title track from their 1978 Platinum album, Legend, "Call It Love", "Rose Of Cimarron", and "Days Gone By".

Their first single off of the most current release Running Horse, "If Your Heart Needs A Hand", as performed this evening, sounded much like the studio version. "Cajun Moon" continues to appear in A Major, unlike the A Minor studio version of 1982.

Bassist Jack Sundrud then got to showcase one of his Running Horse tracks, "Never Get Enough". "Good Feeling To Know" in E, and "Spellbound" followed.

Paul Cotton dug out the rare "Magnolia", complete with vivid images of a lost love, set in a rainstorm near Lake Pontchatrain, LA.

The acoustic set opened with Rusty Young telling a story about how Timmy Schmit became convinced of the phonetic desirability of changing his name to Timothy B. Schmit, and how, shortly after, "the Eagles called". Rusty also described when the Eagles were recently in Rusty's home town of Nashville, how Timothy B. telephoned Rusty and invited him to the concert. Rusty then expressed his shock at the $175 ticket prices.

On the acoustic setlist were Timothy B.'s "Keep On Tryin'", and the first song the band recorded, the title track to their debut Pickin' Up The Pieces album. Drummer George Grantham's mid-song vocals very much resembled his studio equivalent 35 years ago. Also performed with acoustic guitars were the Buffalo Springfield track, "Child's Claim To Fame", "Kind Woman", "Bad Weather", and Jack Sundrud's #1 hit for Ty Herndon, "It Must Be Love". When asked by an audience member, "Where's Richie [Furay]?", Rusty responded by shrugging his shoulders and saying, "I don't know, I sent him an email and never heard back from him."

Tonight's performance set suggests that the band has been placing significant effort into refining the respective arrangements of their songs. "Rough Edges" benefitted from intensive work by Rusty on his "Bear" dobro. "Crazy Love" featured a heavily synthesized effects on Rusty's acoustic-sounding electric.

Paul's Running Horse title track and the simply superb "Heart Of The Night" ended the set, before an encore of "Boomerang".

The band graciously greeted the patrons in the lobby after the show, signing autographs and exchanging stories.

Seems like I've always enjoyed seeing Poco live, and it seems like I always will.

[****1/2] - Steven T.

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