It’s a packed house at Englewood, NJ’s BergenPAC this June 18, 2019 evening for the tenth anniversary edition of the Happy Together concert tour.
As we wait for the show to begin, we chat with several concertgoers, all here to enjoy a live performance by six of the top pop artists of the 1960s and ’70s including The Cowsills, The Classics IV, The Buckinghams, The Union Gap’s Gary Puckett, Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night, and The Turtles.
Says Donna from Middlesex, “I’ve done three years of Happy Together tours, and this is the third time I’m seeing this year’s show. It’s nostalgic, and I really like it because the show moves so quickly and the performers get all of their hits in.”
Amy from Jersey City agrees adding, “This is my fifth show of this tour. After I saw it in Morristown, NJ, I liked it so much I went online at 1am to buy tickets for the Westbury, NY show. It’s just so rejuvenating?—?the audience is into it, there are good vibes everywhere, and it makes you feel like you’re 16 again. Plus, it’s hard to pick a favorite artist, because they’re are all so good.”
Exclaims Shelly from Greenwich CT, “These shows are like potato chips?—?you can’t have just one. This is my first of three shows this tour, but last year, I saw the show eight times.”
. . .
Up first are The Cowsills?—?siblings Susan, Paul, and Bob Cowsill?—?who open tonight’s show with a buoyant rendition of their catchy ’67 hit, “The Rain, The Park, and Other Things” (aka “The Flower Girl”), as images of flowers dance onscreen behind them.
Following large applause, the group dedicates their next song to “everyone in the balcony”?—?their 1967 Top 40 hit, “We Can Fly.” The audience claps along to the song’s snappy melody and the siblings’ tight vocal harmonies.
Brother Paul states, “You’re going to see lots of people on the screen in this song, including our brother, John, who plays drums for The Beach Boys.” Here, The Cowsills perform a bouncy version of their 1967 Top Ten Billboardsmash, “Indian Lake.”
As members of the family band that provided the inspiration for TV’s The Partridge Family, the siblings go on to perform a TV theme they recorded back in 1969?—?the theme song from Love, American Style.
As images of tresses of various colors, lengths, and styles of hair flash on the screen, the group ends their nostalgic set with a high-energy rendition of their 1969 hit, “Hair.”
Following a dynamic performance which brings the audience to its feet, The Cowsills bow to the crowd and then bow to the talented backup band behind them.
. . .
At the conclusion, Volman thanks the audience and invites them to join him next year “for Happy Together 2020.” Then, the individual artists?—?one at a time?—?return to the stage so they can each do a snippet of one of their biggest hits, after which everyone joins in on a full cast reprise of “Happy Together.”
As audience members make their way out of the BergenPAC auditorium, we chat with several in the crowd who share their opinions about tonight’s performance with us.
Says Laraine from New Windsor, “The show tonight was great?—?it was a lot of fun!” Explaining, “I came with a group of people?—?we’ve come to the shows before?—?and we all had to see it again this year,” Laraine notes, “I especially loved Chuck Negron because I love Three Dog Night, but I loved everything about tonight’s show.”
Comments Keith from Ramsey, “This show was wonderful?—?so much fun. I’ve always wanted to see The Cowsills, and they were terrific. Also, The Turtles ended with such great energy,” before acknowledging, “To see all these legends singing together on one stage is really special.”
Next, we chat with Katie from Hasbrook Heights who is here with her mom, Ann.
Explains Katie, “This show is just the perfect Mother’s Day gift. I know the music because of my mom, so every year, I get tickets for us,” before confessing, “And I love Ron Dante?—?I even got an Archies’ record for Christmas this year.”
Katie’s mom, Ann, remarks, “This is the first time I saw The Buckinghams, and ‘Kind of a Drag’ was especially great,” before noting, “but I guess you could call me an ‘everybody fan’?—?they are all some of my favorite artists.”
Karin from Hillsdale calls this year’s edition of the Happy Together Tour “Fabulous.” Explaining, “I listen to this music all the time,” Karen reveals, “I sang along with every song?—?I knew all the words,” before acknowledging, “Gary Puckett was my favorite?—?I didn’t realize how tall he was?—?and I love a man in uniform!”
Rebecca from Elmwood Park explains, “It was my husband who opened my eyes to this kind of music and I really love it,” before revealing, “I even gave The Turtles’ Mark Volman a kiss right after the show?—?but just don’t tell my husband!”
Lastly, we chat with Annette from Garfield who comments, “The 2019 Happy Together Tour was wonderful; it brought me back to my happy hippie days.”
Continuing, “I’ve seen many of the editions of the tour before?—?I enjoy them so much; they make me smile for days afterwards,” Annette contends, “The songs just stay in your head and make you happy,” before she concludes, “It truly is one happy together tour!”