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The Cowsills perform matinee at the Big E
September 22, 2016

The Cowsills packed them in at the Court of Honor stage at the Big E on Thursday afternoon, pulling in a large crowd for the 3 p.m. performance.

It was the second day on the stage for the family band (they play an 8 p.m. show tonight and two more tomorrow), but not the first time at the fair. As an ode to the Big E's 100th Anniversary the Rhode Island-based hit-makers were asked to make a return appearance having first played the Coliseum in 1969.

It was a true standing-room-only occasion as every seat in and around the tent was taken and fans lined the outskirts of the venue to catch a glimpse.

The group, led by siblings Sue, Paul, and Bob, delivered a 12-song, 50-minute set that touched on the hits and soared on some choice covers from the 60s and 70s.

They opened with "The Rain, The Park, & Other Things," an ode to the psychedelic pop of the era in which it was released and followed it up with "You Were On My Mind," a song that We Five had a hit with in 1965.

"We are supposed to play all hits, but we only had five," said Bob Cowsill. "So we have to add someone else's hits."

The siblings, backed by a four-piece band, were in fine voice. The harmonies were impeccable and time may have taken some hair and bone density (Paul talked about his recent double-knee replacement) but it has left the vocal chords intact.

The band was brilliant on Simon and Garfunkel's "The Boxer" and just as flawless with Crosby, Stills, and Nash's "Helplessly Hoping." Susan Cowsill chipped in with solid tribute to The Ronettes with "Be My Little Baby."

Of course, The Cowsills have a legacy of their own that vied for time in the spotlight. The group kicked out "Indian Lake," a cut from The Partridge Family show (their group was the model for the TV production) with "I Think I Love You," and one of their original contributions to television, the theme to "Love, American Style."

The group closed with its biggest hit "Hair."

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