Features

Southington Observer Features

Musical buddies Counting Crows, Rob Thomas draw different crowds

August 12, 2016
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By MIKE CHAIKEN EDITIONS EDITOR Counting Crows and Rob Thomas may be two peas in a pod—buddies on tour together who hit the alternative music scene of the 1990s at the same time—but their audiences definitely are of two different minds. At the Mohegan Sun Arena on Aug. 6, the differences between Counting Crows’ and…

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Fifth Harmony prove they’re ready for stardom

August 12, 2016
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By MIKE CHAIKEN EDITIONS EDITOR Most acts who find themselves riding to the top of the charts with just one or two albums under their belt find themselves in a bit of a bind when they headline their first concert tours. They may have a handful of hits. But do they have an evening’s worth…

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Rocker Ricky Nelson’s sons keep the flame burning

August 12, 2016
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By MIKE CHAIKEN EDITIONS EDITOR Rock and roll progeny often make a concerted effort to avoid sounding like their parents. Other times, however, the sons and daughters of rock legends capitulate to the inevitable and embrace their genetics. Twin brothers Matthew and Gunnar Nelson had tried the former approach during their pop metal days in…

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Tough women in a rough and tumble Chi-town

August 9, 2016
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By MIKE CHAIKEN EDITIONS EDITOR Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly are the women front and center in the story of a rough-and-tumble Windy City in the 1920s. “Chicago,” the musical from Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse with music from John Kander and lyrics from Ebb, tells the tale of how Roxie finds celebrity status as…

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The Go Go’s aren’t gone, gone just yet

August 9, 2016
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By MIKE CHAIKEN EDITIONS EDITOR They’re saying “farewell.” But they’re not saying goodbye forever. The Go Go’s are out on the road this summer, and they’re coming to Connecticut next week, on what is dubbed their 2016 Farewell Tour. But the band’s original and only drummer Gina Schock said the group is not, repeat, breaking…

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She’s got style, she’s got grace. Miss CT’s Outstanding Teen talks fashion

July 28, 2016
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by MIKE CHAIKEN EDITIONS EDITOR The Miss America’s Outstanding Teen pageant is primarily about scholarship. Private interview and on-stage interview count for a good portion of the final scores. But fashion also is key for contestants. They are judged on their evening gowns. They have to choose a private interview outfit that reflects a certain…

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Cheap Trick keeps exploring new horizons

July 22, 2016
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By MIKE CHAIKEN EDITIONS EDITOR Some bands who stick around for a couple of decades resort to retracing their steps rather than forging ahead with new ones. But Cheap Trick, despite a sizeable catalogue of hits and well-known tracks, continues to release new music. And the band, which comes to Connecticut on July 25, has…

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Ellis Hall believes in the gospel according to Ray Charles

July 22, 2016
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By MIKE CHAIKEN EDITIONS EDITOR One day when singer Ellis Hall sat down with the late great musician Ray Charles, Charles shared a little philosophy with Hall. “There’s only two kinds of music,” said Ray to Hall, “Good and bad.” That philosophy defined Charles’s career, which saw the singer mining everything from R&B to rock…

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Monster Jam… rolling with the changes

July 22, 2016
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By MIKE CHAIKEN EDITIONS EDITOR As driver Gary Porter explains it, they don’t make monster trucks like they used to. However, that’s not a bad thing, he said. Porter comes to Connecticut July 23 and 24 with his truck Carolina Crusher as Monster Jam sets up at Stafford Motor Speedway. Porter got into the sport…

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Edgar Winter wields a pen as well as he wields a keyboard

July 18, 2016
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By MIKE CHAIKEN EDITIONS EDITOR To the fans, Edgar Winter always has been about the music. Edgar Winter is “Frankenstein,” the heavy, heavy instrumental track that was a monster hit and still echoes on classic rock radio. Edgar Winter is “Free Ride,” the ebullient hit single that is played nearly as much as “Frankenstein.” He’s…

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