FARRENHEIT Raises The Heat At Blue Ocean
FARRENHEIT Live - Blue Ocean Music Hall, August 23, 2013
SALISBURY, MA. – The fraternity of long time FARRENHEIT fans know exactly how lucky they are for being able to still come out once every year-or-two and enjoy this amazing rock trio so close to home is beyond a treat – especially when you consider that today’s masses don’t even really know who they are. Of course, this is okay with us selfish fans because we can keep them all to ourselves! But I digress…
Photos by Joe Milliken 1. Charlie Farren 2. David Hull 3. John "Muzz" Muzzy 4. Barry Goudreau of Boston
To this reviewer, FARRENHEIT is a band that for whatever cosmic reasons, never got the recognition they truly deserved. A band on the brink of stardom in 1987 with their debut album FARRENHEIT FIRST and the radio hits “Fool In Love” and “Lost In Loveland,” Charlie Farren (guitar, vocals), David Hull (bass, vocals) and John “Muzz” Muzzy on drums, I feel, would have rocked the world for years to come were it not for a genre called grunge.
Having not seen FARRENHEIT in a few years, the Blue Ocean Music Hall was the perfect backdrop for the show: an ocean-front, intimate setting (front-table #11, stage right) but still enough elbow room to be comfortable, and a great sound and lighting system that produced a big-stage feel in said intimate setting. Sound engineer Jeff Morley of Pro Sound Service and lighting engineer Greg Classen of C. F. Entertainment and Experience Hendrix, also had a lot to do with the pristine production values.
An added bonus to this night was a pre-FARRENHEIT solo-acoustic set in which Farren and Hull would each perform songs from their recent solo CDs titled Tuesday and Soul In Motion, respectively, as well as Charlie chiming in with a couple acoustic FARRENHEIT numbers including “Goofy Boy” and “Impossible World.” Charlie is infectious as a solo-acoustic artist, also performing fan-favorites “Nobody’s Somebody,” “Deja Blue,” “You Are The Only One” and “Hold Me Down And Love Me” from the new release.
Not to mention, (and one of my favorite moments of the night) Charlie pulling out a 12-string guitar for a rollicking version of The Joe Perry Project’s “South Station Blues.” Farren was a part of Perry’s first solo band in 1981 and including this song surprised me because it was a track that Perry had originally sung on the album, not Charlie. Of course, Charlie added his own flair, strumming this unique 12-string that he “bought for $150 bucks” or something of the like.
David Hull, who recently toured as Aerosmith’s bass player when original member Tom Hamilton needed to briefly step back because of health issues, also performed three tracks from his highly underrated solo release including the title track, “Soul In Motion,” the bluesy “Strange Devices” and “Pay Some Attention.” In addition to bass, David is also a very talented guitar player, singer/songwriter and was an original member of The Joe Perry Project in 1980.
Great acoustic numbers were performed by both, but then it was time to rock – as drummer John “Muzz” Muzzy (also of Beatlejuice) joined the boys onstage for an almost two hour set of FARRENHEIT favorites, plus a few Joe Perry Project classics and other Farren gems mixed in. After the set-opening “America Rocks,” (from Charlie and David’s pre-FARRENHEIT band The Enemy) “Push” and the melodic “Signal In The Noise,” the crowd was all lubed up for FARRENHEIT FIRST favorites “Bad Habit,” “Staying Together” and “Stand Out.”
After ripping through “Walk On Water,” driven by the funky low-end of David Hull, the crowd roared on as the band then delved into their biggest hit, (at mid-set, no less) “Fool In Love,” which cracked the Top 40 and MTV back in the day.(1987) Next up was “Sister Of Mercy,” the soulful “Who’s Going Carry You Home” and another fan favorite, “Wildness,” before Mr. Hull tore through another rumbling bass solo that truly had the audience in his groove.
The crowd rumbling would continue through the aftermath as special guest-guitarist and long time friend Barry Goudreau of Boston fame appeared onstage for a great version of “Talk Dirty,” which also included some slinky-fun audience participation. Next up was a rockin’ cover of Mose Allison’s (though, I remember the Yardbirds version) “I’m Not Talking,” what a great version!
Then, before you know it, the band takes it to the next level with another classic rocker from FARRENHEIT’s debut release, “Lost In Loveland,” before finally tearing into three Joe Perry Project classics: “Listen To The Rock,” “East Coast West Coast” and “I’ve Got The Rock-And-Rolls Again,” all written by Farren and the latter, co-written with Perry. This of course, brought the house down, before Farren, Hull and Muzzy ended the night with two more FARRENHEIT numbers, “Alley Oop” and the show-closing “Raise The Roof”…. which it certainly did just that!
Along with the immense talent, what also makes this band great is the connection Charlie, David and Muzz have with their fans, as all three regularly make themselves available before and after the show for autographs and photos. Yes, they are up-close and personal with the audience and that is a true sign of musicians that still love what they do and appreciate that their true-blue fans continue to support them.
Yes, as long as they keep announcing these cool one-off shows, the fans will keep coming back. Now all we need from Charlie, David and Muzz is a new FARRENHEIT comeback album... stay tuned ‘cause ya never know!