06/17/2013

K.C. and the Sunshine Band perform live on June 15, 2013 in Bel Air, Maryland at the APG Federal Credit Union Arena

BEL AIR, M.D. – The crowd pouring into the newly constructed arena inside the Baltimore bedroom community of Bel Air were ready to “shake, shake, shake” and then some.

KC and the Sunshine band had pulled into town, bringing with them not one, but two disco balls, along with their treasure trove of R&B and dance classics. It was enough to spur some fans to grab their tie-dyed shirts, and others their favorite outlandish wig.

Themes from the golden age of dance music were bountiful. Selections from Chic, Sister Sledge, and Alicia Bridges could be heard over the sound system before The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” took over as the introduction song for a seemingly endless introduction of the expansive Sunshine Band.

A full horn section, the usual rhythm instruments, and four dancers were on stage by the time Harry Wayne “K.C.” Casey emerged on stage and tapped the keys of his gold-bedazzled keyboard to signal the unmistakable and delightfully aggressive “Shake Shake Shake (Shake Your Booty).

K.C. may be aged to 62, but his remarkably high energy level was evident from the first song. He was quick to emerge from behind the keyboard to strut across the stage during the chorus, only returning to the keys when it was required.

The one-two punch of the opening song followed by “Boogie Shoes” was all the crowd needed to fill up the dance floor at the opposite end of the arena. It was only during the show’s first half when the tempo slowed, for the ballad “Please Don’t Go” – a song which is hardly danceable, but a mandatory inclusion because of its hit status.

These days, K.C. isn’t afraid to show his lighter side, knocking out several one-liners as he spoke to the crowd between songs.

After completing what looked like an exhausting dance routine: “So much time has gone by, I don’t even know if that’s the way I like it anymore!”

“Sorry, Pitbull couldn’t be here tonight,” he confessed to a twenty-something fan in the front row.

To give an idea of how much time has in fact passed since the dawn of disco, “Boogie Shoes” was recently inducted into the Library of Congress.

But time was mostly irrelevant as K.C. guided the Sunshine Band through 100 minutes of dance classics, winding back the proverbial clock with ease as the show built to a sizzling finale with “Get Down Tonight”.

It’s hard to imagine a world without the songs they made eternal. Deprived of Harry Wayne Casey, disco would hardly be as memorable 40 years later than it is now. The K.C. coined phrases “Shake Your Booty”, “Boogie Shoes”, or “That’s the Way (I Like It)” will forever conjure up the era in a way few other lyrics can.

And it’s still not over. Two new albums can be expected soon from K.C., one of originals and one of 1960s classics. The party goes on indeed.

Source : http://liverockjournal.com/?p=9449