FIREFALL, PURE PRAIRIE LEAGUE AND POCOThe Stiefel Theatre, Salina, KS. played host to not one but three well-known and well-loved country/rock bands from the 70’s on Saturday night which included Firefall, Pure Prairie League, and Poco. Each band played an hour and then the stage was re-set for the next band. After each band played they headed to the lobby for a meet and greet, pictures and autograph session. Merchandise was available for sale and quite a few of the fans brought their vinyl record covers for the bands to sign.
Firefall started the show with “Livin’ Ain’t Livin’” and after that the hits just kept coming. “Just Remember I Love You” got a huge crowd reaction, as did “Cinderella and “Strange Way”. The crowd was encouraged to sing along with the band on “You Are The Woman”. Jock Bartley, the front man for the group and one of the founding members, is a Kansas native who was born in Hutchinson and moved to Salina with his family as a child, eventually making his way to Boulder, Colorado as a teenager. He had an instant connection with the audience due to his Kansas roots.
Pure Prairie League took to the stage next. The band sang “Let Me Love You Tonight”, “Amie”, “Jazzman” and “Two Lane Highway”. Also, one I’d never heard before, but liked instantly, “I’ll Change Your Flat Tire, Merle”. The audience sang along on “Falling In and Out of Love”. PPL introduced their new drummer, Scott Thompson, and he sang lead on a couple songs.
Poco took the stage last and they did not disappoint. The set started with a new song “All Fired Up” which will be on their new CD coming out in late July, early August. Then they broke into all their hits, from “Heart of the Night” and their only number one hit, “Crazy Love.” A second song from their new album “Father’s Day” included additional background vocals by Steve Weinmeister from Firefall. Michael Webb, who played just about every instrument imaginable, sang a song from his solo CD, “Drinkin’ “Bout You” which was absolutely hilarious. Then it was time for another song from the new CD, “Hard Country”, and if crowd reaction makes a hit, this one has number one written all over it. It brought everyone to their feet.
I had a chance to interview Poco for KJAG Radio before the show and found out that Rusty Young, the lead singer and only original founding member, told me that Poco actually spawed several other country/rock bands. Founding members Randy Meisner, left to found The Eagles, Jim Messina left to found Loggins and Messina, and Richie Furay, left to found Buffalo Springfield. Young said he thought Poco was the only band that has accomplished this feat.
What a great night. For a brief three hour period on a Saturday night, the 70’s ruled again.