The Amp was jumping last night. That’s the most people I’ve ever seen in one place at one time in Warren for any reason other than a football game. I ran into Marty Cohen, one of the River Rock at the Amp organizers, after the Michael Stanley show last night and he estimated the crowd at over 6000.
I’m no music critic but I thought the show was great and it was clear that the crowd did too. Most of the people around me were singing along to almost every song. Michael sounds the same to me as he did when I first heard him sing with “Silk” back in the late ’60s. In the semi-darkness from 30 yards away he still looked like that same young guy last night too. He also surrounds himself with terrific musicians; there were no weakness in the performance. The highlights for me were the mash-up of “Sweet Jane” with “Wichi Tai To” — somehow it works — and “The Hang” and “My Town” with which he closed the show. That last one must actually be about Cleveland, but to everyone singing along it was all about Warren; that’s probably how people in any one of a couple dozen other towns in the Midwest where Michael has remained so popular all these years feel.
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And don’t forget tomorrow night’s world premiere of “Abandoned” free and open to all at the YWCA at 7:00 p.m.; it’s the first film from documentarian Claire Gysegem. It is an unsentimental and yet emotional look at Warren’s neighborhoods, how they got the way they are today and what is being done to prepare them for the future.