SWEET & DAVID JOHANSEN:
Putting On the Glam at the bergenPAC
A SoundPress.net Feature Article by Rich and Laura Lynch

Sweet and David Johansen performed at the bergenPAC in Englewood, New Jersey on July 10, 2013. Both have origins in glam rock and together they have influenced many other artists.

Sweet and David Johansen - In Concert
David Johansen was charismatic and charming during his opening set.

Sweet also known as The Sweet are a British rock band formed in 1968. In the 1970's, they rose to prominence as a glitter rock band and had their first hit "Funny Funny" in 1971. During that period they progressed from bubble gum pop to a more hard rock sound influenced by The Who. Their last Top 10 hit was "Love Is Like Oxygen". Since the mid-1980s, two of Sweet's key members have been leading their own separate versions of the group thus maintaining the band's legacy in the UK and US.

David Johansen who also started his career in the late 60's is an actor, composer and singer. In addition to his solo work David is known for his alter ego Buster Poindexter and his role in the glam rock band The New York Dolls.

At the bergenPAC, David Johansen was welcomed with shouts as he took his seat on the stage. He spoke-sang "Funky For Chic" snapping his fingers to his own cool grooves. Johansen's set was humorous and musical. David jested that "Boom, Boom" was an old song from the Bible. On the hymn he sang and played the harmonica accompanied by his guitarist Brian Koonin who provided leads and rhythm.

David mentioned getting back together with The New York Dolls and performed the reflective "I Ain't Got Nothing" with the gentle guitar and vocals underlying the sad sentiments of the piece. Johansen continued to talk about the Dolls and the pleasure of recording with his old band at Todd Rundgren's house in Hawaii .

Sweet and David Johansen - In Concert
David Johansen and guitarist Brian Koonin were thoroughly entertaining in Englewood.

Johansen joked that Hawaii is like Jersey because it's one big garden before playing the melodic and melancholy "Making Rain". David's set also touched on the rootsy music of The Harry Smiths and they performed the insightful "Ain't Got No Death". David closed with his animated Animal's medley.

Sweet started with an aggressive "Action" setting a hard rock rather than glam tone - although some members in the group were sporting eye shadow. Keeping up with the rowdy mood Sweet performed "Teenage Rampage" followed by the classic "Love Is Like Oxygen". "Set Me Free" was fast and furious.

"The 6-teens" started the storytelling with an acoustic guitar. As the tales of the teens unfolded the pace picked up and we were reminded that "life goes on" and "it ain't easy." "Done Me Wrong All Right" had a bluesy attitude with the harmonica adding accents.

Sweet and David Johansen - In Concert
Original Sweet member Steve Priest has put together a nice tribute to his influential band.

The Sweet show featured original member Steve Priest on bass and vocals and included the fan favorites -"Fox on the Run" and "AC/DC" which closed the set. Sweet came out blazing for the encore "Ballroom Blitz" that flowed into a few funky grooves of "We Got The Funk" before blasting back into "Ballroom Blitz".

During the concert, lead singer Chas West mentioned that this was his first live show with Sweet. This could have accounted for why the band was a little loose on this night but tightness is just a matter of time as the core members have been working together for several years now. Sweet presented a career spanning set and one can see how their songs have influenced others and still have impact today.

The bergenPAC continues to hosts a wide range of concerts such as Sweet and David Johansen. The venue is centrally located in downtown Englewood and is near restaurants and shops. Upcoming concerts at the theater include Happy Together, Great White, Wynonna, Todd Rundgren, George Thorogood, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Cheap Trick, The Water Boys and much more.

Sweet and David Johansen - In Concert
The Sweet made a rare East Coast appearance at the bergenPAC in 2013.

Related Links: For more information on SWEET & DAVID JOHANSEN and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Sweet | David Johansen | bergenPAC

(Originally Published on July 16, 2013)

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