Jesse Colin Young returned with a fresh new band including his son Tristan Young on bass and fellow Berklee College of Music graduates Virginia Garcia Alves and Sally Stempler (vocals), Donnie Hogue (drums), Aleif Hamdan (guitar), Jennhwan Wong (keys) and Jack Sheehan (sax). It was after hearing his son perform with this band that Young found the inspiration to return to the stage and take his fans on a journey through his 50 years of making music. The show opened with Young solo on acoustic guitar and included the classic “Song For Juli” and a song from his folk music origins and first album, Soul of a City Boy. The full band set opened with “Ridgetop” and featured a stunning solo by sax player Jack Sheehan. Two Marvin Gaye covers, "Mercy Mercy Me" and "What's Going On," were pivotal moments.
The band played with terrific energy, boosted by the enthusiastic crowd. Young was charming and clearly enjoying the moment; even at 76, his signature voice was near perfect. The show was enjoyable from the first note to the last, hearing the band perform classic Youngbloods songs, solo works and new material left me realizing how much I missed his laid-back sound. Judging from the response of the near capacity Aladdin Theater audience, the message from 1967 still rings true today… "Try to love one another right now."