Tommy James and The Shondells graced the stage at Batavia Downs this past Friday night for their first performance since February 28, 2020. Tommy James has an amazing history and that was all on display for the hearty crowd who there to here some classic songs from years past.
Opening the song was one of Tommy James first hits in “Draggin’ the Line.” This entire set flowed form the opening tune as the entire show was retrospect of Tommy James and The Shondells career. Some people forget but songs like “I Think We’re Alone Now” and “Crimson and Clover’ were first penned and recorded by James. They were later recorded by Tiffany and Joan Jett which became massive songs for those particular artists. James also incorporated a snipped of the Johnny Cash’s “Walk the Line” and two different versions of “I Think We’re Alone Now” (acoustic and electric) into the set. I loved the song selection but felt only one version of “I Think We’re Alone Now'” was enough. It took a few songs for the band to work out some kinks but for the most part, it was like watching a well oiled machine. It should be noted that James voice still has held up after all of these years. Songs like “Crystal Blue Persuasion” and the chart topping “Mony Mony” were proof of that and were highlights in the set for me.
Why James isn’t in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a travesty! With over 300 artists covering his songs and the amount of people he and the Shondells have influenced is simply incredible. The show was further proof that James and the Shondells have a lot left in the tank and it really showed this past Friday night.
Draggin’ the Line (Tommy James song)
Crystal Blue Persuasion
Say I Am
Getting Together/It’s Only Love
I Walk the Line (Johnny Cash snippet)
I Think We’re Alone Now (acoustic)
Ball of Fire
Tighter. Tighter (Tommy James song)
Crimson and Clover
Hanky, Panky (The Raindrops cover)
I Think We’re Alone Now (electric)
Do Something to Me
Mony Mony/I Feel so Good
Sweet Cherry Wine
Mony, Mony (reprise)
We would like to thank Ryan Hasenauer from Batavia Downs for the credentials to review the show.