Sunday night, my wife, Kayline, and I had a great time in Bartow’s Mosaic Park listening the 70s-80s group the Little River Band. We decided to buy tickets when the concert was first announced because it’s not often that a nationally renowned group does a concert in your hometown and since it would not be a “Long Way There” from our house, it was a no-brainer to take advantage of the opportunity, even if the band is 30 years past their hey-day and tickets were $40 each. It was indeed a “Cool Change.”
We are grateful to the visionary planners, generous sponsors and hard-working event team that provided a such a wonderful concert for our community that created an “it’s-good-to-be-in Bartow” spirit and many other good vibes among the concertgoers.
A few hours before the concert, we were fortunate to have some friends pass on their VIP tickets to us which granted us the privilege of feasting on some of local catering whiz, Terry Lobb’s delicious hors d’oeuvres and having our picture taken with the band. It’s amazing what $83.50 will get you these days. Plus it helped support the Wounded Warrior Fund and worthy local charities, the Women’s Care center and the Hearth Project. It was a most enjoyable evening — we placed our seats right in front of the bandshell within 15 feet of the stage. Pam Renew did her usual great rendition of singing the National Anthem, and then the trio of Brady Draper, Wayne Lewis and David Burton served as the Opening Act for the Veteran’s Day Eve concert, by warming up the crowd with some nice harmonizing on God Bless America and God Bless the USA, which inevitably led to some an enthusiastic sing-along by the audience.
Our experience was enhanced by being able to share it with friends, Dennis and Andrea Croom, long-time LRB fans, who knew more of the words to the songs than we did and were most willing and able to use our original tickets.
Following the concert, despite the almost persuasive marketing by Paula White and the urging of my wife, I resisted the temptation to get a “Bartow Welcomes Little River Band” T-shirt (made of black wicking material and colorfully displaying the names of all of the event sponsors on the back) as my drawer is already full of similar shirts that I seldom wear. I did however buy a re-arranged CD containing old favorites which will allow me to do some “reminiscing” of the concert and of my late 20s.
Of monumental note and significance I am happy to inform our community and the world: (drum roll please ... ) LRB has now wrested the title of biggest nationally known oldies musicians to play recently in Bartow from Ferlin Husky, who has held that distinction since his appearance on the same stage on New Years’ Eve of the new millennium. It has been rumored that Ferlin’s notification of being dethroned was being delivered to him in his eternal home “On the Wings of a Dove.” Fortunately, we are blessed to continue to enjoy our hometown and its heavenly qualities.
Happy Trails and Happy Tunes ( and for some “Happy Anniversary”)