“What time is it?” crooned Chris Barron, lead singer of the Spin Doctors, as thousands of people packed onto the Southington town green and exploded into applause and cheers as the band opened their headlining performance during the 51st annual Apple Harvest Festival with the song, “What Time Is It?”
On Saturday, Oct. 12, the group took the main stage for the second week of Southington’s Apple Harvest festival. For the second straight year, thousands crowded the Southington town green for the free concert on the main stage.
Although the crowd was older and more subdued than last year, Spin Doctors drew even larger numbers than Bowling for Soup did in 2018.
“I think a lot of people just know the band for our hits “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” and “Two Princes,” and these guys, they’re three of the best musicians you’re ever going to hear,” Barron said before taking the stage. “We have this wonderful musical rapport together, and we’re up there playing a song everybody knows, but inside of it there’s this sort of level of flexibility and communication. The whole time we’re kind of fooling around just a little bit, it makes the music really lively.”
The rock band first formed in the late 1980s under the name of “Trucking Company,” and by 1989 the fabric of the group was woven together through Barron, bass player Mark White, guitarist Eric Schenkman, and drummer Aaron Comess.
While the group did play their hits “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” and “Two Princes” from the band’s inaugural hit album, “Pocket Full of Kryptonite,” the crowd didn’t lose a beat as the band peppered the concert with songs from their 2013 album, “If the River Was Whiskey,” along with other albums throughout their career.
It’s been 28 years since their top album peaked on the charts. Barron told the crowd that they’ve been together for 30 years, but the sound hasn’t been lost over the past three decades. Barron’s voice was as strong as it was in 1991, and the band’s energy never flagged.
Barron and Schenkman bounced around the stage, with the guitarist even singing their song “Off My Line,” as the singer delivered several high kicks and twirls, moves he had clearly perfected over the past 30 years. Barron could also be seen snapping photos with a few cell phones belonging to fans, and dancing throughout each song.
After nearly two hours, the band and the crowd weren’t quite ready to call it quits, and the rockers returned for one last song during an encore.
I give Spin Doctors 4.5 out of five stars.
Photos by JOHN GORALSKI