Out and About: The Orchestra feat. Members of ELO at Plaza Live! Orlando

The Orchestra feat. Members of ELO at Plaza Live! Orlando

It is just human nature that we are a nostalgic group of beings, it is easy for us to be carried back to memories of our childhood through TV shows, books and music.

We can sit on the couch for hours mesmerized by a “M*A*S*H” marathon on television, and how many of us get sucked in when The Godfather is on? I, for one, could listen to music from the 70’s and 80’s on an endless loop, never again tuning into hip hop or whatever they call music nowadays.

The Orchestra feat. Members of ELO at Plaza Live! Orlando

We still flock to music venues to relive our youth as bands from our early years continue to tour. We are brought back to our teenage years when we were screaming hippies, singing along to every word and dancing in the aisles. And while I never saw the band ELO in their heyday, what I witnessed here in Orlando certainly brought me back to the days of “Evil Woman” blasting at my local neighborhood swim club back in the day.

While ELO is now defunct, there are still original members of the band touring around, just like the old days, bringing hits such as “Strange Magic” and “Don’t Bring Me Down” to the stage. (OK, who just sang “Brrrrrrruce” after reading that last song title? Interesting liner note: the actual lyric is a made up word- Groos, but many people have sung it as Bruce since the song’s release.)

The Orchestra feat. Members of ELO at Plaza Live! Orlando

The Orchestra was formed in 2000, after a legal battle over the name ELO. There was a brief moment in time when a spinoff of the original band referred to themselves as ELO Part II, but they soon changed their name to The Orchestra and have been continuing to release new music and tour ever since. However, their latest tour seems to be a testament to the past as they sang all of their old classics. And yes, there were plenty of ladies dancing in the aisles. Plenty of men singing along, too.

In my opinion, the band was crisp and sharp, like no time had passed from one decade to the next. The Orchestra featured original ELO member Mik Kaminski on the violin and Louis Clark on the orchestral keyboards. They are joined by ELO Part II members Eric Troyer on keyboards, Parthenon Huxley on guitar, Gordon Townsend on drums, and Glen Burtnik on bass. Also rounding out the group was Louis Clark, Jr. on electric cello and guitar. Other than a few gray hairs, the band was lively (that’s a good thing at any age), and full of energy. It was an excellent performance. And from the enthusiasm of the crowd, I wasn’t the only one that thought so.

Rico Monaco Band at Plaza Live! Orlando

Opening for The Orchestra was the Rico Monaco Band, who hail from right here in Orlando. They played a few original songs, including their latest hit “Bam I See Red” (which is in rotation on WMMO 98.9 fyi) and ended their set with an amazing montage of classic hits. They started with Santana’s “Oye Como Va” and transitioned into songs by Kansas, YES and Blue Oyster Cult among others, before ending back in the Santana song. Their Spanish influence was a great throwback to the days of Santana and heavy guitar based music.

So, then the concert ended and I was brought back to the modern day and age. Upon getting into my car I was reminded of the likes of Justin Beiber and boy bands. How I long for the days of that classic music with great lyrics and honest beats. Wow, I am getting old. When did that happen?

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