Personnel: Andrew Gold (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Brock Walsh (vocals, guitar, keyboards); George Marinelli (vocals, guitar); Stan Kipper (vocals, drums); Bryan Garofalo (vocals).
Liner Note Author: Brock Walsh.
Recording information: Roxy Theatre, West Hollywood (04/22/1978).
Photographer: Jeffrey Mayer.
Usually, soft rockers are seen as studio rats, the kind of singer/songwriter who can't cut it on-stage. That's why Omnivore's archival 2015 release, The Late Show: Live 1978, is so satisfying: it proves that Andrew Gold had serious chops. Recorded at the Roxy in Los Angeles on April 22 1978, just as he and his band were wrapping up a tour supporting his third album, All This & Heaven Too, the concert represents a homecoming for the SoCal native. Gold is energized and so is his band, sounding leaner and brawnier than they did on record while still retaining a gleaming pop sensibility. Timing explains why "Thank You for Being a Friend" arrives mid-show instead of the end -- it reached 25 on Billboard but turned into a standard many years later -- but the encore surprises with a hard-swinging version of Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven" and a candied interpretation of the Beatles' "Doctor Robert." These two covers illustrate Gold's sensibility: in the studio, he may have been a pop perfectionist, but he still loved the rhythm of rock & roll and the chime of guitars, two loves that flourish on this dynamic live album. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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