The Clarks @ Stage AE
Saturday July 12th brought to Pittsburgh’s Stage AE what has become a summertime standard – a huge concert by The Clarks. This year it was especially huge because it was also the CD release party for the band’s newest album ‘Feathers and Bones’. The weather was amazing, as were the sounds coming from the speakers. Opening the show was a sensational act, Jimmer Podrasky. Some of us old enough to remember his band, The Rave-Ups from the 80’s were excited to hear that Jimmer was making a return to the stage. Those who are too young to remember the band found a new favorite to listen to. He picked up right where he left off 23 years ago and played an amazing set full of some crowd favorites as well as material from his recently released album ‘The Would Be Plans’.
After a short break in the action, the stage was set for The Clarks to give the crowd what they showed up for – an awesome set full of both traditional Clarks songs as well as a handful of new material from ‘Feathers and Bones’. This was sure to be a special night along with some special guests, as evidenced by the appearance of the band’s stage manager Jeremy Olson on guitar during the opening song ‘Take Care of You’. After opening with six killer songs including ‘Snowman’ and ‘Saturday’, the guys broke into their rendition of the classic ‘What a Wonderful World’. Next up was another special guest, guitarist Noah Minarik, son of drummer Dave Minarik. Noah looked right at home on stage with the band as they broke into their fan favorite ‘ShimmyLow’. Also on stage for this song was lead singer Scott Blasey’s daughter Ava, who assisted quite nicely on lead vocals. Guitarist Rob James was on top of his game, soaring through his awesome leads in one song after another. And bassist Greg Joseph combined with Minarik to anchor the thunderous rhythm section. Keyboardist/guitarist Skip Sanders along with pedal steel extraordinaire Gary Jacobs provided additional body and texture to the already fantastic sound that was filling the amphitheater. As the show progressed, the crowd’s singing was louder and louder as the band played three straight from their 2000 Razor and Tie release, Let it Go.
What came next was simply amazing. Opener, Jimmer Podrasky joined the band on stage to perform two Rave-Ups classics, ‘Class Tramp’ and a song that a lot of people used to think was written by The Clarks – ‘These Wishes’ which appears on the band’s 1996 release Someday Maybe. Both Jimmer and The Clarks appeared to be having so much fun jamming together during these two songs.
The band motored through seven more songs including ‘Penny on the Floor’ and ‘Cigarette’ as well as the finale, ‘Better Off Without You’. So yet another successful summer shindig at Stage AE has come and gone. But you can catch The Clarks live in the Tri-State area throughout the rest of the summer. And don’t forget to check out the new album on iTunes.
Check out more photos below
See ya soon….