WHEN — 7:30 p.m. Thursday
WHERE — Alma Performing Arts Center
COST — $25-$41
INFO — 632-2129
Oct. 3 — Catapult: Finalists on “America’s Got Talent” Season 8, Catapult features dancers who work behind a screen to create magical shadow silhouettes of shapes from the world around us, 7:30 p.m. $20-$35.
Oct. 24 — “The Wizard of Oz”: The national tour, 7:30 p.m. $15-$41.
Dec. 9 — Annie Moses Band: The band’s innovative sound has delighted audiences around the world – in record breaking numbers of airings on PBS and on stages as diverse as Carnegie Hall and the Grand Ole Opry, 8 p.m. $20-$35.
March 15 — “Driving Miss Daisy”: Starring Clarence Gilyard of “Walker, Texas Ranger” and “Matlock” and Sheree J. Wilson of “Walker, Texas Ranger” and “Dallas,” 7:30 p.m. $25-$44.
Bonus Shows — “How I Became a Pirate,” Oct. 9, $10-$15; “Emma: A Pop Musical,” Nov. 30-Dec. 3, $10-$15; Alma High School Dance, April 28-29, $10-$15; AHS Band, Dec. 10 & May 7 and AHS Choir, Dec. 11 & May 8, free.
INFO — 632-2129 or almapac.org
It doesn't matter to Marlon Hargis if it's a crowd of 20,000 in an arena or a crowd of 2,000 in a performing arts center. Looking out from the stage and hearing fans singing every word of "Kiss You All Over" -- or "I Don't Want to Be A Memory" or "Give Me One More Chance" -- is just as much fun as it ever was.
Exile kicks off the Alma Performing Arts Center season at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Teresa Schlabach, executive director of the arts center, says it’s the start of “something for everyone.”
"When we hit the first couple of chords -- especially of 'Kiss You All Over' -- and the crowd just goes crazy? That feeling never gets old," says Hargis, the keyboard player for Exile. "What better life could you have than to affect people that way?"
Born in Richmond, Ky., way back in 1963, "The Exiles" -- as the band was first named -- "cooked up rabble-rousing musical concoctions of rawknroll, R&B & LA-scenster pop," its website explains. The "seminal big break" for the group was earning the opening and backing band slot on the popular "Dick Clark Caravan of Stars" -- which was the "American Idol" of the day -- in 1964. In 1967, all five musicians were living in a one-bedroom, fourth-story walk-up in New York City, and in 1978, "Kiss You All Over" spent four weeks at the top of Billboard's pop chart.
But when the original five band members -- Hargis, J.P. Pennington, Steve Goetzan, Sonny Lemaire and Les Taylor -- reunited for a one-show fundraiser for a friend in 2008, it had been 20 years since they'd all been on stage together.
"We discovered when we were rehearsing that, surprisingly, this sounded really good, and we enjoyed being on stage together," Hargis says. "All the little petty stuff you argued over in the past didn't matter anymore: We're a lot older and mellowed out. We just don't sweat the small stuff. When we're on stage together, it's really worthwhile -- because we have that chemistry together."
Now, he says, the band plays to fans who were around at the beginning, to their kids and grandkids and to younger listeners who simply prefer classic rock and country.
"We're not playing for 20,000 anymore. It's 2,000 or 3,000 or 4,000 -- and it's just as much fun. Every time I get a little frustrated, I realize I'm the luckiest person in the world.
"Probably 90 percent of people hate going to work. We don't. We're thankful every day."
NAN What's Up on 09/15/2017
Print Headline: As Much Fun As Ever