On Friday, March 16th, 1960s band The Zombies played at City Winery in Atlanta. The two original members, singer Colin Blunstone and keyboardist extraordinaire Rod Argent, lead their tight (yet jam-ready) band in a wonderfully planned set list. Songs were old and new, and Blunstone and Argent told wonderful stories about the songs all the while.
By the third song, Argent was standing, instead of sitting, in front of his two keyboards. Blunstone told the story of how the song “I Love You” was originally released as a b-side, then as a single. During the chorus, he belted out the emphatic lyrics, “And I don’t know what to say,” and Argent came in loud with an organ mini-solo on the last verse. It really started the show rolling.
Later, Argent told a story about how he and Blunstone met by accident in 1999, began playing together again, planned just six gigs, and toured ever since. They went into a new unreleased song, “Sanctuary”, that retained the same smooth sound of their ‘60s music. Argent’s digital piano was bright and punctual while the drummer came close and played percussion alongside him.
Argent said they would be playing songs from Still Got That Hunger (QRO review), the band’s 2015 release, which reached the top 100. “Moving On” showcased Blunstone’s bold vibrato and reaching motions that were similar to modern metal bands, and included a smooth guitar solo, solid bass lines, and solid harmonies. “Edge of the Rainbow” began with a standard piano blues intro. Blunstone’s singing was strong, and soon blues guitar joined in, as well as warm, stacked harmonies that showed a direct relationship between The Zombies and Queen. “Chasing the Past” had varied tempos, stacked CSN (Crosby, Stills, Nash) type harmonies, and a guitar solo.
Argent announced one of the first songs he wrote, “She’s Not There”, which featured some amazing jamming: first a bass solo and bass/drum battle, then an organ solo.
Introducing the band’s 50-year old album Odyssey & Oracle, now regarded as their masterpiece, Blunstone stated that other than the single “Time of the Season”, it became popular twelve years later (1980). Songs played from that album included “Care of Cell 44”, “This Will Be Our Year”, “I Want Her, She Wants Me”, and “Time of the Season”. The crowd loved this group of songs, based on the loud applause.
The last two songs were by the band named Argent: “Hold Yourself Up” and “God Gave Rock and Roll to You” — the one that KISS covered. Blunstone emphasized that the original version was the best, of course. The Zombies left to a standing ovation for both songs.