It’s not every day I attend a concert that suits my entire family but The Righteous Brothers are a one-size-fits-all kind of musicscape that everyone loves (or realizes they love when they hear “the song from Top Gun!”). When your mom hooks the family up with a night out with the Righteous Brothers at the Stadium Theatre in Woonsocket, you happily comply.
Today, the Righteous Brothers are Bill Medley and Bucky Heard, who began filling in for the late Bobby Hatfield in 2016. The new partnership is right on target. The duo has great chemistry and their comic banter was very 60s, very perfect. Medley continues to have that wise-beyond-his-years baritone (and just recently has his age caught up to his voice) and Heard, well, his timbre and range are impeccable. Bobby Hatfield is impossible to replace; however, Heard is doing a fine job of keeping his voice alive. The revised Righteous Brothers sounded great together.
The crowd was one you’d expect, their age range between Heard and Medley respectively. Medley pointed out the youngest attendee who was 10 years old and seated in the front row. Not bad, kid! During each song, the audience was pin-drop quiet and very very still (even during “Little Latin Lupe Lu”! How can you listen to that song without dancing even a little?! Well, they did. But much to the possible annoyance of the people in front of us, my sister and I did not).
That being said, as soon as the duo wrapped up hit after hit the audience issued standing ovations and raucous applause. Medley joked that 50 years ago their music was lauded as R&B but today it’s considered “elevator music.” Not even!
Highlights and Notes:
-Heard’s rendition of Roy Orbison’s “Crying” – those pipes! Orbison is not an easy cover.
-Medley singing (I’ve Had) the Time of My Life” with daughter, McKenna Medley. Per my brother, my notes read: “Moving, tugs at the heartstrings–so touching!” It was. McKenna frequently performs with her father and it was great seeing them on stage together.
-Hearing Grammy Hall of Fame inductee and the greatest ballad of all time, “Unchained Melody” live and in color. This was such a touching tribute to Bobby Hatfield from Bill, who teased they weren’t going to play it.
“You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin”
Movies like ‘Top Gun’, ‘Ghost’ and ‘Dirty Dancing’ gave the Righteous Brothers new life in the 80s and early 90s but the specialness of their songs transcends sentimentality and soundtrack. Their music is tried and true and meaningful to so many, so to hear the Righteous Brothers perform with such reverence and warmth is an experience me and many others felt graced to have.