The title of this post really doesn't do the band justice, but I think for many it is a blast from the past. I would be remiss if I didn't say very early on that "The Sweet" came, saw and beat the living crap out of the Mississippi Moon Bar.
I wax poetic when I talk of the Mississippi Moon Bar because its a great venue, and they get great acts to play there, and tonight was no exception. What I saw was a band that has undergone change, stayed with its roots, and has the energy to perform to a level that dare I say, 99% of other bands from the era still cannot. The Sweet came out with a fire, they played every song that we all know and love and they wowed us with songs that we may not recognize as much.
During the show Joe Retta, lead singer of the band kept his energy and literally kept the fans primed and ready for the next tune, he was masterful. As an example, Retta asked the crowd if they remembered "Wig-Wam Bam", which was #4 in the UK when it was released and honestly I don't think many either knew the song or remembered it, but it made no difference, Retta's energy guided us into one hell of a song. I, for instance, came home and looked the song up on YouTube and as I write this, I'm indeed listening to it.
How can a band not have energy when the crowd knows your greatest hits? From original Sweet member Steve Priest and his bass playing, to Stevie Stewart on keyboard, Richie Onori on drums and Stuart Smith on guitar, the band played well, quite frankly, Sweet. I love being surprised and this show did just that, and in all honesty that band can flat out jam. During the show I commented that this must have been what it was like seeing a band of this caliber in the '70's, the flourishes on guitar, keyboards, drums and bass were masterful.
Following the show, I met Joe and Richie (Retta and Onori respectively) and I mentioned to them how much their music reflected itself into other genres, and actually into music lore. While talking to them I made mention to the fact that at one point during the show, they began playing a riff and it felt, sounded and smelled like early heavy metal, and along those lines I really felt that history. The truth be told, they have a little DNA in the family history of heavy metal as it exists today.
How can a band not weave itself into that fabric? With hit after hit, The Sweet made an indelible mark in music history, period. The argument can be made, and easily defended with hits like "Fox on the Run", "Teenage Rampage", "Little Willy", "Wig-Wam Bam", and of course "Ballroom Blitz", The Sweet helped shape music. Certainly in an era that forced disco upon us like a drunken sailor in a strip bar, bands liked The Sweet helped us escape that nightmare.
The Sweet was founded in 1968, and what a great year it was I was born, and ladies and gentlemen of the jury go see this band! On the 18th of June (the day after the show I attended), The Sweet will be in Sioux City, IA and if I could make it, I would. Mark this one off of the bucket list, The Sweet was AMAZING (you thought I was going to say "sweet" now didn't you).