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Long Beach concert review - Sounds, April 1976 by Steve Rosen

The Long Beach Arena, usually a noisy and vibrant auditorium for rock music, was just that Friday night when Paris, Wishbone Ash and Bachman Turner Overdrive entertained 15,000 patrons.  It was primarily a guitarist event with the likes of Bob Welch (Paris), Andy Powell and Laurie Wisefield (Wishbone Ash) and Randy Bachman (BTO) present.

 

The opening set by Paris held promise for something new but as they would themselves towards the finish the music was shown for what it really is – thin instrumentation and arrangement held together by Welch’s interesting but at times irritating vocals.

 

The band’s first album was far more delightful than the performance which found ex-Jethro Tull bassist Glenn Cornick doubling on keyboards and bass and drummer Hunt Sales (son of Soupy and at one time with Ray Manzarek) attempting to sing.  This was the low point of the set as Sales and Welch traded out-of-tune screams.

 

Cornick was inventive as always on bass and Sales was adequate on drums.

 

Wishbone Ash turned in a highly respectable set (their last time in Long Beach found them teamed up with Kiss and their reception was mild) as the centre attraction.  The band has always centered around the fluid licks of Andy Powell, but Wisefield’s Les Paul was the real burner.  The material came from several albums and included ‘Time Was’,’Warrior’ and many songs from their newest record Locked In.

 

Bachman-Turner Overdrive was predictable in its smooth, non-offensive presentation made up largely of the group’s many hits.  Randy Bachman tends to be a somewhat sloppy player and his real talent lies in arranging.

 

The group was polished and professional but after the explosive set turned in by Wishbone seemed to pale in comparison.  The audience loved every second of the act and brought them back for encores.