Motown met Minden on Saturday night, when the Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards laid down a soul-soothing stream of classic hits.
On a toasty high-desert night, fans couldn’t help but to imagine a “Rainy Night in Georgia” or to sing along with “I Wish It Would Rain.” Fronted by Edwards, who guided the Temptations through their psychedelic, funk and disco eras, the five singers harmonized and took turns at lead, backed by a 10-piece orchestra. The band sparkled as it revived the golden days of Motown.
“Y’all see me take a break now and then,” Edwards noted about half way through the 90-minute show. “Wait till you become 73 years old.” The Temptations won Grammy Awards for “Cloud Nine” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” under his wing and Edwards was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 as a member of the group. He joined up in 1968, replacing lead singer David Ruffin.
Decked out in flashy white, sequined suits, singers David Sea, Mike Patillo, Chris Arnold and Paul Williams Jr. (son of an original Temptations member) joined Edwards in a well choregraphed dance display onstage as they spilled out familar tunes while twisting and turning and pantomiming with their hands.
The Temptations Review brought back recent memories of another band that played at TJ’s Corral this summer, the Oak Ridge Boys. Different genres, trading R&B and soul for the earlier country, but both employing barbershop-quartet type qualities with a forceful bartitone presence at times, and both tracing their roots back to gospel. Each engaged its crowd with a catalogue of well-loved songs.
A five-piece horn section, directed by Raymond Harris of New York City, featured a trombone, saxophone, two trumpets and a baritone sax. It shined on several songs, including “Get Ready” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” a Temptations signature piece that has been often imitated but never duplicated.
“Let’s give the horns some love,” Edwards said as singers, and many in the crowd, rolled their hands.
David Sea, an Alabama native, sang a soulful “I Wish It Would Rain” toward the end of the show. Penned by forlorn Motown writer Roger Penzabene, it’s a melancholy song about a lost love. “Sunshine, blue skies please go away. The girl has found another and gone away… This may sound strange, but I wish it would rain.” Sea got concertgoers up on their feet, fully into it, and tried to have them repeat the high notes: “That’s not bad, but don’t quit your day job,” he coached.
For an encore, the band brought back “sunshine on a cloudy day,” and delivered its best known hit, “My Girl,” which segued into “Just My Imagination.” Singers took turns greeting the audience and shaking hands at stage front as the concert came to an upbeat close. Some, though, in the sun soaked valley still were left wishing it would rain.
- Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards
TJ’s Corral, Carson Valley Inn
Minden, Nevada. July 30, 2016
- Standing on the Top
- Cloud Nine
- Can’t Get Next To You
- Ball of Confusion
- Rainy Night in Georgia
- My Baby
- You’re My Everything
- Get Ready
- Ain’t Too Proud To Beg
- Lady Soul
- Papa Was a Rolling Stone
- A Song For You
- Beauty’s Only Skin Deep
- The Way You Do the Things You DoI Wish It Would Rain
- My Girl / Just My Imagination