Tag: California Dreamin

OH WHAT A WEEKEND for The Midtown Men

Catherine • August 21, 2012 • Comments (0)

The Midtown Men officially kicked off their 2012-2013 concert tour at the Paramount Theatre in legendary Asbury Park, NJ on Saturday night, August 18. And from the reaction of first-timer Matt Philbin, who won tickets from The Midtown Club, the show was a huge success: “The Paramount Theatre was packed and people were dancing in the aisles. If there’s a concert coming to your town, don’t miss out!”

Greetings from Asbury Park

Saturday night’s show was the climax of a few very exciting days for The Men, beginning on Thursday morning with a hugely successful appearance on Good Morning America.  Their Facebook page was ablaze with comments from across the country by people who were blown away by their performance. It was such fun to read the reactions of “new” fans experiencing The Men (and their entire band) for the first time.

(The Midtown Men performing California Dreamin’ -which was not their featured song- on GMA)

But the fun didn’t stop there. On Friday morning, Christian, Daniel, Michael and Bobby visited the set of Good Day New York (view clip below), where, although the medley they performed was the same as GMA, the vibe was quite different. As expected, The Men were clad – very sharply – in amazing HUGO BOSS suits, which did not go unnoticed by the anchors!  And without the distraction of a live audience, you were able to focus more on these four handsome men and their amazing harmonies. Another home-run performance.

How could it possibly get any better than two stellar performances? I don’t know how they do it, but their third appearance in two days was, to me, the best of all. On Friday afternoon, NY Live welcomed The Midtown Men into the studio for a terrific interview. It was fun to hear all four men chatting comfortably with the three hosts, and Bobby Spencer was his crazy, funny self and kept the ladies highly entertained. Add to this yet another fabulous suit and an amazing a capella rendition of “Dawn”, and you have an unforgettable Midtown Men experience.

Category: Media

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The Midtown Men in Sioux City: “…bright, fresh and highly talented”

Catherine • May 20, 2012 • Comments (1)

“Midtown Men rock the country, too.”

“Fresh” is an adjective I’ve used to describe The Midtown Men’s sound many times.  It seems that Bruce Miller of the Sioux City Journal agrees.  Another glowing review for our Midtown Men! 

Article by Bruce Miller, Sioux City Journal

All those years on Broadway have paid off for The Midtown Men.

Michael Longoria leads the Midtown Men (Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard and J. Robert Spencer) at WinnaVega Saturday night

When storms caused the sound to go out at their WinneVegas concert Saturday night, the four carried on and “California Dreamin’” sounded better than ever. Their unique harmonies and “show must go on” mindset served them well until power was restored and they could continue their high-energy, all-moving, all-singing, all-retro performance.

Stars of the Broadway musical “Jersey Boys,” Michael Longoria, Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard and J. Robert Spencer were able to recreate the magic that has been packing theaters for more than a handful of years.

The show, though, wasn’t a ghost of “Jersey Boys.” It was the sequel fans have been looking for.

During the 90-minute-plus set, the four told about their lives on Broadway, detailed other shows they had been in and explained how this new incarnation emerged from noodling around backstage.

Eager to try their harmonies on other ’60s groups, they quickly found themselves singing Beatles, Mamas and Papas, Drifters and Motown songs. The result? A retro sound that spans much more than one band, one voice.

Saturday’s mix offered plenty of Four Seasons rivals. Hoff — who won a Tony for his work in “Jersey Boys” — led the Turtles’ “So Happy Together.” Reichard rocked the Beatles “Can’t Buy Me Love.” And Spencer gave new life to The Foundations’ “Build Me Up Buttercup.”

The surprise, though, was Longoria who sang Frankie Valli better than Frankie Valli. In song after song he was able to offer flourishes Valli never could. In the Broadway show, the four were held to a specific performance level. On their own, they’re able to kick it new style.

And that’s what makes Midtown Men more than just a cover band. This is a reimagining that should shine a new spotlight on old music.

The four danced throughout most of the songs, told cute stories and got their money’s worth from a seven-man band.

While it’s clear they got their start channeling The Four Seasons, it’s likely they’ll have a long life reviving others. They’re bright, fresh and highly talented.

Even better, they’ve got the kind of actor’s mentality that enables them to recreate themselves in song after song after song.

Saturday’s performance was ample proof.

Category: Media, The MEN, The MUSIC

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The Midtown Men…A Well Crafted Evening of Nostalgia

Catherine • October 27, 2011 • Comments (0)

By Punch Shaw
Special to DFW.com
Posted 11:24pm on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011

(excerpt)

FORT WORTH – Broadway has been proudly wearing its rock ‘n’ roll shoes for several years now, with efforts ranging from a slew of jukebox musicals to Green Day’s ambitious American Idiot.

The Midtown Men, a quartet that emerged from one of those greatest-hits shows, Jersey Boys, came to Bass Hall on Wednesday night to deliver an extremely slick evening of early ’60s rock nostalgia.

With their dark suits, skinny red ties, tight harmonies and highly choreographed dance steps, the group looked a bit like a Kennedy-era version of N’Sync as they smoothly glided through a 90-minute set of early rock immortals from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons (the band celebrated in Jersey Boys) and a long list of other greats from roughly 1960 through 1966.

The group — Michael Longoria, J. Robert Spencer, Daniel Reichard and Christian Hoff — was at its best with midtempo pop numbers that feature strong harmonies, such as California Dreamin’ and all the tunes in a long Beach Boys medley that started with I Get Around and ended with Sloop John B.  And of course the Four Seasons songs that the group sang on Broadway for years also went over well.  But surprisingly, the best of that bunch was Candy Girl, which they did not perform in Jersey Boys.

Longoria, who had played Valli in the musical, was impressive while imitating a voice that cannot really be imitated.  And in addition to doing more than justice to his Four Seasons numbers and those that do not require falsetto, he also did a brief (but hilarious) impersonation of the actor Joe Pesci.  But Longoria was not the whole show.  All four singers, who were backed by a seven-piece band, took leads at various times and passed their auditions…

…Overall, the show, played before a crowd of about 1,300, had plenty of energy and glowed with a love of its material.  It was a well-crafted evening of nostalgia…

Category: Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard, J. Robert Spencer, Media, Michael Longoria, The MEN, The MUSIC

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Random Q & A – J. Robert Spencer, Part I

Catherine • June 3, 2011 • Comments (1)

Q: Out of the whole set of songs that you do for The Midtown Men, what are your favorites to perform?…..

A: Bobby:    It really is hard to say because I love every song we sing in the show.  But I think individually, for me, I love being able to sing ‘California Dreamin’…not just because I get to sing the lead line, but I love that song because all four of us get to sing one of the most beautiful songs of the 60’s, so well crafted and sculpted by the Mamas and the Papas, and that we get to put our brand on that  … that’s exciting to me.  To hear Michael and Christian and Daniel sing those wonderful parts underneath what I get to sing – it’s really an amazing arrangement and I get a thrill out of that song every night. 


I have to say that I love the Motown, but I really enjoy the top of the show, the opener that we have, because I think the thing that we really wanted to focus on was not only paying homage to the 60’s music, but paying homage to the very style of the groups of the sixties.  Like taking the moves that they would do and making it our own, yet being as nostalgic as we could to keep that time warp kind of factor and edge in our show.  And I just love those old groups … when Smokey Robinson would be singing the lead, and then the Miracles would be behind him doing their shinding behind him.  And when we get the opportunity to do that throughout the piece, three guys behind a lead – there’ just something about that I just have so much fun with.

**information taken from one of the many interviews the MEN did prior to the April 9 Queens College concert

Category: J. Robert Spencer, Q & A, The MUSIC

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