Sister Hazel has been around since 1993 and is still going strong. Having interviewed their drummer, Mark Trojanowski (Click here for interview), I learned more about the depth behind the band and saw it come to life tonight. Experiencing this at Fairfield Theatre Company, in Fairfield, CT, was an extra bonus as the intimacy of the venue helped the audience feel closer to the music.
The talented group played old songs, new songs, and a few covers. Their tribute to Eddie Money, who passed away today (9/13), “Two Tickets to Paradise” was heartfelt and spot on. They also broke up one of their songs with a line from Quiet Riot’s “Come on Feel the Noise,” and then from Toni Basil’s “Hey Mickey.” The audience followed the prompt shouting “Wild, wild, wild,” and “Hey Mickey! Hey Mickey!” respectively.
While I looked forward to hearing my favorite Sister Hazel song, “All For You,” it blended in with all their great music. The audience danced and sang along to all of the songs including “Champagne High” and “Kiss Me Without Whiskey.” Bringing the music to life were the robust vocals of Ken Block (guitar, vocals) and Andrew Copeland (guitar, vocals) along with the solid musicians behind them: Jett Beres (bass), Ryan Newell (lead guitar), Trojanowski (drums) and Dave LaGrande (keys/sax). LeGrande left the keyboards for the last song, finishing the night wailing on the saxophone. Sister Hazel’s joking banter, audience inclusion and playfulness on stage came together for a fun night.
I would also like to mention the opening act, Tom Mackell. I enjoyed his easy way, singing beautifully to heartfelt songs. I look forward to hearing more of him.
Review and photographs by Fredda Gordon.