(Left to Right) Danny Hutton, David Morgan, and Paul Kingery of Three Dog Night. – Photo by Katta Hules
By Katta Hules
Last Saturday, Feb. 27, saw a joyous musical time warp at The Rose in Pasadena as Three Dog Night took the stage. “We’re going to try and bring you back to the ‘70s,” said one of the three lead vocalists, Danny Hutton.
Hutton went on to promise the set would consist of the band’s Top 40 hits, as many as they could squeeze in. The band had over 20 songs hit the Billboard Top 40 during their peak. Accordingly, they played everything from their cover of “Easy To Be Hard,” from the musical “Hair,” to “One,” with an encore of their explosive hit “Joy To The World.”
Three Dog Night might not be quite as youthful as they were some 40 odd years ago, nor has the lineup stayed the same, but their abilities and performances were undiminished. They obviously enjoyed every minute of it, the singers dancing, laughing, bantering with the audience, and making fun of their age. The enjoyment was infectious, making the audience sway and dance despite the lack of a dance floor.
Singer David Morgan, called Captain Morgan by Hutton, explained the blues to introduce “Sure As I’m Sitting Here,” making a point of saying, “there are good times and bad times.” He talked about problems of aging, describing waking up in the morning and “hobbling into the kitchen like a newborn giraffe” to drink his “coffee with sugar, cream, and Advil,” making the audience roar with laughter.
The set finished with the lively hit “Mama Told Me Not To Come.” The band came quickly back for an encore and played the only non-hit of the night, a beautiful, haunting a-cappella rendition of Kurt Bestor and Sam Cardon’s “Prayer Of The Children,” with keyboard accompaniment. Then the show became a glorious sing-a-long as they launched into “Joy To The World” and Three Dog Night ended on a high note.
Three Dog Night will be back in California on July 14 at the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa with the Pacific Symphony.