September 4, 2008

A Great Show From WAR


The atmosphere was ecstatic at Artpark in Lewiston, where iconic funk band WAR performed the final concert of the venue's "Tuesday in the Park" free concert series.

The opening act was a band called The Ifs, which offered well- done covers of British Invasion-era songs with a slightly harder edge. But the concert series reached its true climax when WAR entered the stage.

The group began their set with the classic "The Cisco Kid," with many fans assisting by singing along. Singer/keyboardist Lonnie Jordan, the only remaining original member of the group, helped create a powerful interaction between the band and the audience.

After "Kid," the band went through the greatest hits of its 39- year career. Highlights included "Spill the Wine," WAR's first major hit, to which Jordan provided slightly altered lyrics in which he stated, "were written before [former lead singer] Eric [Burdon] recorded them."

Another high point of the show was the 1971 classic "Slippin' Into Darkness," which showed at its most evident, while having gone through a major lineup change, the sound that made WAR popular with the public has stayed right with the group and has never been altered. Other songs such as "Why Can't We Be Friends?,""Low Rider" and "Baby Brother" were proof of why the band is so well-loved by fans.

At the end of the show, Jordan introduced the rest of the WAR roster, with brief jams to showcase their talents individually. The harmony of Fernando Harkless on saxophone and Mitch Kashmar on harmonica creates a unique sound. Marcos Reyes, Salvador Rodriquez and Francisco "Poncho" Tomasell helped bring the rhythm to the songs on percussion, drums and bass, respectively. Buffalo native Stuart Ziff contributed an impressive electric guitar to an already impressive lineup.

In the end, the show did not disappoint, and the band which coined the term "All Day Music" continue to make us feel good all day long.

Colin Reboy is a freshman at Tonawanda High School.

Originally published by NeXt Correspondent.

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