Concert Review: Tommy James and the Shondells


  • Tommy James and the Shondells
  • The Kaufman Center
  • Kansas City, Missouri 


I’ve said in the past that the “oldies” groups often put on the best shows.  Tommy James was no exception.


An AM radio staple in the 1960s, James and his group, the Shondells, gave the world such amazing songs as “Hanky Panky,” “Crimson and Clover,” “Crystal Blue Persuasion” and many more.


Looking much younger then his 75 years, James and his band played an amazing set of familiar hits and newer material.  As the music played, the audience sang along loudly.  The power of James’ music is that it is well known by many generations.  Not only was James and his music huge when I was a youngster, but three of his songs gained a new legion of fans in the 1980s.  Joan Jett hit #7 in 1982 with her version of “Crimson and Clover” while Tiffany and Billy Idol had back to back #1 hits with “I Think We’re Alone Now” and “Mony Mony,” respectively.  Don’t quote me but I believe this was the first time that back to back #1 songs were performed by different artists but written by the same songwriter (Ritchie Cordell wrote “I Think We’re Alone Now” and co-wrote “Mony Mony”).


James was in fine voice and his band was tight as any recent group of musicians I’ve seen.  Not only did they play the hits, they also put new spins on some old classics.  Talking about an upcoming film about his life, James played a sweet acoustic version of “I Think We’re Alone Now” and a spot on rendition of a cover version of “Hanky Panky” done by the Raindrops.  The music took me back to my youth, which is always a nice place to visit!


SET LIST:   Draggin’ the Line, Crystal Blue Persuasion,Say I Am, I Think We’re Alone Now (Acoustic), Tighter, Tighter, Crimson & Clover, Hanky Panky (The Raindrops cover), I Think We’re Alone Now, Do Something to Me, Mony Mony, Sweet Cherry Wine.   ENCORE:  Mirage/Mony Mony.


For tickets and information about Tommy James on Tour please click HERE.

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