Music by Turner

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Music by Turner: Little River Band, Atlanta Rhythm Section to bring on classic rock hits

BRIANGAILEYPHOTOGRAPHY.COM/SPECIAL
Little River Band is known for hits including Lonesome Loser and Cool Change. It plays March 30 at Lady Antebellum Pavilion along with Atlanta Rhythm Section.
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It’s gonna be a battle of the bands … and the acronyms as well.

  BRIANGAILEYPHOTOGRAPHY.COM/SPECIAL
BRIANGAILEYPHOTOGRAPHY.COM/SPECIAL

The Atlanta Rhythm Section and the Little River Band will duke it out rock-style at 7:30 p.m. March 30 at Lady Antebellum Pavilion in Evans.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 on the lawn (bring seating), VIP $40 and VIP Gold $60 from www.etix.com.

The two groups have a stunning 20 top-40 hits between them, many of which are still aired today on classic rock formats.

Both bands have toured the world and have enjoyed numerous million-selling albums, but that’s where the similarities end. After all, it’s 10,000 miles from Atlanta to Australia!

LRB was founded down under in 1975 in Melbourne and is best remembered for such unforgettable tunes as Lady, Cool Change, Lonesome Loser and the exquisite, romantic ballad Reminiscing. Any song that references Cole Porter just has to be special … and Reminiscing certainly is!

The Little River Band has always been known for its superb, tight-knit harmonies that always made the songs jump right out of the speakers. That’s still a signature of the band today and yes, members’ vocal chops are still very much intact.

THE BOYS FROM DORAVILLE DEPT.: The roots of the Atlanta Rhythm Section began in the late ’60s as the core band served as the backing group for Roy Orbison and Dennis Yost and the Classics IV. After a couple of poor-selling albums in the early ’70s, the group hired lead singer Ronnie Hammond and the hits came fast and furious.

Doraville started the party for the band in 1974. I’ll never forget seeing ARS play at Bell Auditorium and the much-missed Stonehenge (later New York, New York) nightclub. At the latter venue, the frenzied audience kept bringing the band back for so many encores that it had to play Doraville again!

Other hits from ARS include So Into You, Imaginary Lover, I’m Not Gonna Let it Bother Me Tonight and Champagne Jam. The fact that many ARS songs are written in minor keys have made the material stand out among other fare from their contemporaries.

In 1979, the band revisited a song it had written and performed previously with the aforementioned Dennis Yost and the Classics IV. That number, Spooky, still sounds as fresh and rocking as it did 34 years ago.

WHO’S IN THE BAND THESE DAYS? DEPT.: The question I get asked most frequently whenever classic rock acts come to town is how many original members are in the band.

LRB has none, while ARS has three. But in these cases it really does not matter.

The Little River Band has had almost 40 members in its fold over the years. Wayne Nelson (ironically from the U.S. and not Australia) fronts the group these days. His lead vocals can be heard on the group’s 1981 smash The Night Owls, and now he handles the leads very competently on the band’s earlier hits.

The Atlanta Rhythm Section’s three originals are keyboardist Dean Daughtry, bassist Paul Goddard and singer Rodney Justo.

Justo was in the band before the hit-making years but emulates the vocal style of the late Ronnie Hammond very well. Hammond passed away almost two years ago of a heart attack at age 60.

Daughtry has been the only constant member of ARS since its inception. Goddard rejoined the band a couple of years ago after almost a 30-year “leave of absence.” Guitarists J.R Cobb and Barry Bailey are retired from ARS, but current axemen Steve Stone and David Anderson do fine jobs of recreating their fine lead guitar work.

LRB’s five members who recorded most of the hits are either retired or, in original vocalist-composer Glenn Shorrock’s case, content just to tour in his native Australia. Other former LRB members Graham Goble and Beeb Birtles undoubtedly have a steady income stream from writing some of the hits you’ll hear in Augusta at the concert.

SHOULD I GO? DEPT.: As with many other groups, both LRB and ARS were “faceless” types of bands in the U.S., and even casual fans would be hard-pressed to name any of their members. However, both continue to tour and go over well with audiences all over the country. It ought to be quite a Large Time and a fine evening for classic rock from the two bands at the Lady Antebellum Pavilion on March 30.

LIVE MUSIC

WHO: Little River Band and Atlanta Rhythm Section

WHEN: Gates 6 p.m., show 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 30

WHERE: Lady Antebellum Pavilion, 7016 Evans Town Center Blvd.

TICKETS: Lawn seats, bring your own chair $25; VIP, rows 5-12 $40; VIP Gold, padded seats rows 1-4 $60; www.etix.com

MORE: evanstownecenterpark.com/?p=481

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