The Hooters celebrate 35 years by packing The Keswick Theatre

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The Hooters | Photo by Chris Sikich | sikichphotography.com
The Hooters | Photo by Chris Sikich | sikichphotography.com

The Hooters are celebrating their 35th year of music-making in a grand fashion with a whirlwind tour. This past Friday and Saturday the Philadelphia band sold out The Keswick Theater both nights. The adoring crowd on Saturday and the pure joy of music-making emanating from the stage combined to make a powerful night of rock.

Breaking out of the gate with their trademark melodica (sometimes called a hooter) and a double-necked guitar among the mix, The Hooters revved up the crowd with “I’m Alive.” Eric Bazilian walked to the edge of the stage with the Siamese guitar in tow and peered out at a crowd of fans that has been with them for their career. Rob Hyman showed off his melodica skills as well as expert keyboard playing throughout. Throw in the drumming of original member David Uosikkinen, recent guitar additions of John Lilley and Tommy Williams and the bass of Fran Smith, Jr. and there is a glorious sea of rock wizardry to behold.

There were the favorites, most especially the classic “All You Zombies” and the encore addition not played the night before of Philadelphia-image-soaked “Beat Up Guitar,” that sounded fresh and energy-rich. There were the covers, some not connected to them at all like their wonderful take on “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” Of course they threw in their collaborative works of “One of Us” and “Time After Time” that are usually associated with Joan Osborne and Cyndi Lauper, respectively, but are given a quality Hooters spin.

Some of the best lighting ever seen at the Keswick shone a light on a band that showed such utter respect for the venue and fans in repeat thanks. And who could question fans’ appreciation of a band that knows how to throw the melodica into a song (or even three melodicas at once) as well as the saxophone, mandolin and accordion. Bazilian and Hyman kept saying they and the rest of the band will continue to play as long as the fans want it. Saturday’s concert points to many, many more years on stage for The Hooters.

Setlist
I’m Alive
Hanging on a Heartbeat
Amore
Day By Day
Silver Lining
Private Emotion
South Ferry Road
All You Zombies
The Boys of Summer (Don Henley cover)
Graveyard Waltz (slight return)
500 Miles (Hedy West cover)
Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds (The Beatles cover)
Where Do the Children Go
Karla With a K
Twenty-Five Hours a Day
Satellite
Johnny B
And We Danced

Encore:
Give the Music Back
Nervous Night
Blood From a Stone

Encore 2:
Birdman
Fightin’ on the Same Side
One of Us (Joan Osborne cover)
Time After Time (Cyndi Lauper cover)

Encore 3:
Washington’s Day
Beat Up Guitar

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