Favorite

Live 

Christopher Cross, Fox Tucson Theatre, Aug. 26

Christopher Cross, the captain of yacht rock, docked in Tucson for a nostalgia-filled performance, part of a tour to promote his newest album, Doctor Faith.

Cross, who was welcomed with warm applause, was joined by five extremely talented people, including Kiki Ebsen on vocals and keyboards, and David Mann, who took saxophone-playing to a whole new level.

The sweetness of Cross' high vocal range remains unchanged after a musical career that has spanned more than 30 years, and the performance touched on almost every album in his arsenal. He tastefully interspersed songs from his new album with megahits from earlier in his career (the very same megahits which, Cross himself pointed out, were most likely playing in the background while people in my age demographic were conceived). One highlight, a duet, was the 1998 song "I Know You Well." It was a beautiful play on traditional vocal roles, with Ebsen singing at the lower end of her range, while Cross reached for the top of his.

The material written from 1991 to the present took on more of a folk vibe, rather than his signature hook-laden jazzier style, which was so prevalent in the 1980s. His songwriting has shifted over the years from slightly metaphorical and broadly applicable to quite literally autobiographical. Cross explained the meaning and/or origin of each song; the tunes that stood out as being super-catchy were all collaborative efforts with songwriting talents such as Michael McDonald, Burt Bacharach and members of Steely Dan.

After being subdued for most of the evening while playing within the constraints of soft rock and folk, the backing musicians were finally freed from their cages for solos with three songs left in the set; there was a palpable energy shift. Baby boomers sprang to life, cheering and clapping to "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" and "Ride Like the Wind." Cross had one particularly ferocious guitar solo during "I Really Don't Know Anymore." I didn't know he had such fantastic guitar-geekery in him.

Overall, it was a treat to see music in a live setting that was so pervasive throughout my younger years. Nostalgia overload, indeed.

Tags:

More by Mel Mason

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Sonoran Soul: Carlos Arzate

    On Got Me Wrong, Carlos Arzate explores struggle with melody
    • Sep 3, 2015
  • Noise Annoys

    Baby Gas Mask, absurdist soul and prog, plus Chaka!
    • Oct 13, 2016

The Range

The Weekly List: 23 Things To Do In The Next 10 Days

Nine Questions: DJQ

More »

Latest in Live

  • Noise Annoys

    Baby Gas Mask, absurdist soul and prog, plus Chaka!
    • Oct 13, 2016
  • B-Sides: DJQ

    MUSIC AS POETRY
    • Jul 28, 2016
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Guitar Hero

    Tucson-raised Robby Lochner always managed to earn a living with his guitar. Then his discipline inspired new life in a suicidal nostalgia act.
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • Vintage Vinyl Tucson

    This week: The Spiders 'Don’t Blow Your Mind' b/w 'No Price Tag'
    • Nov 24, 2016
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2016 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation