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Friday, June 22, 2012


The Stiefel Theatre
Salina, KS
© Lydia Lowe 6/16/2012

FIREFALL . . .If you were a tween or teen in the 1970's you can't help but remember all the lyrics to all the words of all the songs that Firefall performed during that time.  Recently, Firefall was the opening act of a three band show at The Stiefel Theatre.

     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”, but sitting in the audience I can say that everyone in my section was singing along with every song. We were all dancing in our seats, too. 

     The band put everyone instantly at ease and it was almost like we were all in one giant livingroom just hanging our with the band.  I think this was partly because of front man Jock Bartley, who is one of the founding members of the group and a Kansas native.  Bartley 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.  He knows the area and when you can relate to the audience by knowing some of the geography of the area, such as: Kanopolis Reservoir and can name various towns in the area, it goes a long way.

     Bartley also related a story about how impressed he was with Eric Clapton's guitar playing.  He wrote a special guitar solo section in "Strange Way" to mimic an Eric Clapton rift.  The band recorded the song in one take and when they were done the sound tech asked Bartley to come into the recording booth.  Eric Clapton had happened by and sat in to listen while Bartley was playing.  He said it was a good thing that he hadn't know ahead of time, or he probably wouldn't have been able to play a note.

     No one in the audience was ready for the band's hour to end.  When it was announced that Firefall would be in the lobby signing anything you have, you could meet with the band and take pictures; it was like a feeding frenzy.  I went out to the lobby for a bit and it was chaotic.  Before I knew it, the lights were blinking for the next act taking the stage.  There just wasn't enough time.

     Needless to say, Firefall would be welcomed back anytime that they want to play.  It was a great first hour. 

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