Who says time machines don’t exist?
Last weekend, I was transported back in time twice.
The place was Shipshewana Event Center in Shipshewana, Indiana. On Friday, I watched Air Supply. The next night, it was KC and The Sunshine Band.
Here’s an overview of the two shows.
Air Supply has been a favorite band of mine for many years. The band’s “Greatest Hits” album was the first cassette I had. My mom and dad had bought it for me, along with my first boom box, for Christmas. I loved the music so much. To this day, it remains some of my most favorite songs. To see them live was a dream come true.
My friend Jen attended the show with me. Air Supply is a longtime favorite of hers, too.
Air Supply’s show opened with the familiar opening synthesizer of “Sweet Dreams.” Then, Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock appeared along with their bandmates. I was a kid again.
“Even The Nights Are Better” came next. Russell Hitchcock took command of the song. The song was a hit in 1982, but sounded better than ever.
The hits continued with “Every Woman In The World,” “Here I Am,” “Goodbye,” “Two Less Lonely People In The World” and “Now And Forever.” Memories came flowing back. These were some of the best songs pop songs of the early ’80s.
Air Supply has toured the globe numerous times. The group still writes and records new material. We were lucky to hear a few including “I Adore You” and the moving “Son Of The Father.”
Both Russell and Hitchcock made their way about the Shipshewana crowd for “The One That You Love.” Hitchcock gave hugs and took selfies with many show-goers. I even got to shake his hand.
For me, the best part of the night came with the back-to-back performances of “Lost In Love” and “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All.” The music, the sound, the whole experience was fantastic and something I’ll never forget.
The encore included “Without You,” “Shake I,” and the band’s No. 1 “All Out Of Love.” Hearing the crowd sing those lyrics right back to the band was beautiful.
KC and The Sunshine Band
I had such a good time going back in time with Air Supply, I had to the next night to the Shipshewana Event Center for KC and The Sunshine Band.
The fun began before the show started, as patrons filed into the venue to the sound of disco hits. It was cool to see people of all ages and demographics get their groove on.
My buddy Paul and I were getting caught up in the music and with people-watching. Some were dressed in full disco attire.
The band opened with ”(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty.” The crowd was immediately on its feet. Right away, I was impressed. The brass section was phenomenal.
KC and The Sunshine Band have been together for 45 years. The Miami-based, disco-funk band started the disco dance music craze.
The band performed a slew of hits, including “Boogie Shoes,” “I’m Your Boogie Man,” “Please Don’t Go,” “Do You Wanna Go Party” and “Get Down Tonight.” I had forgotten “Boogie Shoes” was from the film “Saturday Night Fever.” It was like witnessing a piece of pop culture history.
KC is a showman. He’s a nice guy, too. If I had to some him up in one word, it would be “happy.” He told of his beginnings in the business and of how he became a songwriter. He said that the 1970s were an uncertain time and the world had a lot going on. He wanted to make music that made people happy.
I had no idea of the number of songs he had written for others, including the George McCrae hit “Rock Your Baby.” It was pretty cool to hear it live and by the guy who wrote it.
“Keep It Comin’ Love” was a fan favorite. KC and his backup singers encouraged audience members to sing along.
His love for the music of the ’60s was well-represented, including Smokey Robinson and The Miracles’ classic “You Really Got A Hold On Me” and Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me.”
I loved hearing “Give It Up.” It’s just a great song for crowd participation on the “na na na na na na na’s.”
As the show came to a close, KC said, “Is that the way you like it?,” and the audience went wild. The classic “That’s The Way I Like It” was the night’s biggest moment, with fans on their feet and dancing in the aisles. It was such a fun time.
David T. Farr can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Farr Side: Air Supply, KC and The Sunshine Band illuminate event center
Who says time machines don’t exist?