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Eric Burdon at Santa Monica Pier's Twilight Concerts 7/20/17. Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq. (@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Eric Burdon at Santa Monica Pier’s Twilight Concerts 7/20/17. Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq. (@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com.

Santa Monica, CA- On July 20, 2017, one of the greatest vocalists in the history of rock and roll took to the Santa Monica Pier Twilight Concerts stage: Eric Burdon. At seventy-six years of age, expectations for Mr. Burdon’s performance may have been tempered, but this living legend who fronted the bands War and The Animals in addition to his own solo career proved to the masses that popular modern saying, “Age ain’t nothin’ but a number”.

Backed by a modern day version of “The Animals”- which included a very capable horn section consisting of a saxophonist and trombonist- Eric performed a set that was as rocking and full of life as any modern day rock outfit. This white haired man- all seventy-six years of him- not only embodied cool with his casual demeanor and dark shades, but he sang his massive hits like he was back in the 60s. And when I say “massive hits”, I mean that literally.

“Spill the Wine”, “House of the Rising Sun”, “Mama Told Me Not To Come”, “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”, “When I Was Young” … he sang them all, and he sang the with an otherworldly level of mischievous energy that invigorated the crowd which leaned a little older than other Twilight Concerts I’ve attended. That energy carried through the entire set and seemed to have rubbed off on members of the audience. As I was moving around the stage area to capture some shots from different angles, I meandered towards the backstage area and noticed that a grey haired couple were joining me stride for stride. As I walked past the security guard that separated the masses from the credentialed, I waved my wrist in front of him to show him my proper credentials. The couple walking with me doubled their step and tried to casually walk into the backstage area, only to be held back by the security guard.

“Where are your wristbands?” asked the guard.

“We’re supposed to meet [I forgot the name] back here. He told us to wait for him here,” the grey haired gent shouted over the music as his partner feigned innocence as she started dancing to song that was then currently being performed.

Needless to say, they didn’t get much further, and they were ushered back to where they came from. They still smiled the same mischievous smiles that Eric had on his face on stage, probably content that they simply gave it a go. At that moment, I realized what kind of effect an artist like Eric Burdon, and his funky, psychedelic rock and roll had on his fans. The music, and Eric’s voice, sounded as good as ever, and was a jolt of youthful adrenaline, which served as the catalyst to get them to relive their past in the present. Sure, it was a humorous episode to watch unfold, but it spoke volumes on the power of music and the kind of impact a world class rock and roller like Eric Burdon can have on a crowd.

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