Sunday, July 19, 2009

Music Notes--The Pictures at The Harbor

Austin’s party band The Pictures played The Harbor last Thursday night and pleased the large crowd with mostly dance tunes, though a couple of rock and pop songs augmented the set. Lots of people got up to dance, and it looked like most everyone was having a good time.
Though well done, the band did play three Michael Jackson tunes. That was overkill to me, but as I said, they did a fine job with them. Most of the dance songs came off well, except their version of the Bee Gees classic “Stayin’ Alive,” the band sounding as if they were not in sync. Even though at least four of the tunes were also played by last week’s group (Moving Colors), including Rick Springfield’s “Jesse’s Girl,” they showed why they have a full performing schedule.

Speaking of sync, one criticism I have of the performance is the use of prerecorded or synchronized music. It was most apparent in the second tune of the night, Earth, Wind and Fire’s “September,” a horn laden song where neither of the two keyboards were played. Something made those sounds, and it wasn’t any of the instruments on the stage. In some songs, I could tell that there was more percussion going out than was being played. For me, this was distracting. I don’t think most in attendance cared, however.
All these problems aside, The Pictures does know how to work the crowd. There was a lot of dancing in front of the stage. My own kids got pretty worn out. I was disappointed that near the end of the set, when they played a nice version of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” so many people started to go. But enough stayed to ask for an encore and the band did a rousing rendition of AC/DC’s “Shook Me All Night Long.”

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