Off Broadway St. Louis, MO
June 10th, 2005
After a few lawsuits, the suicides of two core original members and the long-standing reputation of being a Beatles rip-off band, most acts would have probably crumbled underneath all of that weight and called it a day. Badfinger, however, is a musical entity that somehow overcame all of those obstacles and has withstood the test of time. Its only original member, lead vocalist Joey Molland, who has his own solo career as well, has kept the band going for three decades.
His five-member group recently made their first St. Louis appearance since the mid-90's. Returning after ten year absence on a Friday night, one would think that the attendance would have been fairly substantial; this was not the case at Off Broadway in St. Louis with about fifty or so people who apparently felt that this was a show worth spending $20. One of those people was a Tulsa, Oklahoma resident who has been devoutly following the band for many years, and rhythm guitarist Billy Davis said hello and thanked him for being there over the microphone.
Starting out their eighty minute show with one of their biggest hits, Paul McCartney's "Come And Get It", the band played a solid set, which was filled mainly with songs that never became recognizable hits, but were still strong, well-crafted songs nonetheless. The material was primarily the power-pop style that Badfinger is best known for, along with some slightly more straight-ahead rockers, as well as a few slower-paced ballads. One of the stand-out ballads of the set was the song "Without You", which was a Badfinger-penned hit made popular by the under-appreciated Harry Nilsson. "Day After Day" was a definite highlight, although it was played at a noticeably slower pace than the original version, and "No Matter What" sounded absolutely perfect, making it my personal favorite song of the entire show (the second-place holder was the pop gem "Baby Blue"). A small portion of the set's opening number "Come And Get It" was added to the last song's ending, giving the set a "completed circle" effect.
Seemingly unbothered by the small crowd size, Badfinger's overall performance was actually quite admirable. They played with what was probably the same (or at least similar) amount of enthusiasm that they would have had the room been packed. The mostly 40s and 50s age group audience was very respectful, and conversation throughout the show was kept to a bare minimum, which is an all-too-rare occurance at many St. Louis concerts.
Visit Joey Molland's site at www.joeymolland.com