Saturday, April 11, 2009

Procol Harum & Steeleye Span 1973

While the ticket says Ohio Theater, this show was actually at Mershon Auditorium which is now part of the Wexner Center nowadays on High Street on the OSU campus.
I went with my sister in her weird little red Fiat that nobody in Springfield knew how to work on. We ate Archway date-filled oatmeal cookies on the way.
Procol Harum had a reputation for not showing up (this concert's change of venue was troubling) and they had previously cancelled on me as an opening act for Ten Years After in Dayton. This tour introduced Mick Grabham on lead guitar as they promoted their album, Grand Hotel. I remember the concert was excellent. B.J. Wilson live is an amazing experience, but what really stood out was the performance of Steeleye Span, who I had never heard of. If I had, I still would have been surprised as they had just gone electric with their album, Parcel of Rogues. They were a traditional Brit folk music band with the recent addition of screaming guitars, amplified violins and a thumping bass (but still no drums - well, jazz drums). Maddy Prior's voice just soared. Violinist Peter Knight entertained with stories, acrobatics and sizzling fiddle palying. They were friendly and chatty with the audience, telling bawdy jokes and generally making a modest sized auditorium feel like a neighborhood pub.