Ten Years After — 50 Years Later Featured

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It’s no secret that Ten Years After exploded on the music scene international after their explosive performance at Woodstock 50 years ago. This year there has been a flurry of concerts with some of the artists who played performing on the same program marking the anniversary of the legendary concert. Ten Years After has done a few of them, but on August 21, 2019 they were the only attraction at the Sellersville Theater.

Their performance that night showed the crowd that gave them a standing ovation that they are not just another old band trying to cash in on the Woodstock anniversary. While there are those who will claim that Ten Years After will never be the same since the departure of the late Alvin Lee, they should at least listen to the new lineup before passing judgment.

This unit is not the same as when Alvin Lee and Leo Lyons (bass) were in the band. That is a given. They don’t pretend otherwise and give full credit to their past members. But the new Ten Years After is a very solid group that is very talented and exciting to watch. The new lead singer, Marcus Bonfanti, is an excellent guitarist and lead singer. His song writing skills are shown in the new album that is to be released in September of 2019 here in the United States. STING OF THE TALE has already merited great reviews and sales in Europe where the band has toured extensively over the past few years and has a big following.

Some of the strongest songs that Ten Years After has ever done are on this new record. It is a little different from past recording efforts, but it does stand out on its own as an outstanding LP. “Land of the Vandals”, which the band launched the concert with, is a perfect example. The lyrics are very much based in todays headlines where gangs and violence in the big cities is epidemic.

The first part of the concert was a mix of the new and the old. The second was a re-creation of their set at Woodstock. Both delighted the fans.

In the middle of the first of the two-hour long sets, they did an acoustic portion. Ric got up from behind the drum kit and joined the other members on the floor. They did a song that brought back great memories for me. Perhaps a sizable part of the audience may have been unfamiliar with the song “Portable People”, I was. Why? The song was the very first Ten Years After record that was ever played on US radio. I was fortunate enough to have been the disc jockey to have played it.

While I have always been a huge fan of Leo Lyons’s lightning fast bass playing, it soon became very evident that veteran Colin Hodgkinson was more than a suitable replacement. In my conversations with him backstage the soft spoken Colin told me about a very impressive list of groups that he played for over the years. In addition, he did a lot of studio work. His solo efforts brought the crowd to their feet.

It was also great to see Chick Churchill behind the keyboards. The last time Ten Years After was in Sellersville the band was keeping an eye on the phone. They were waiting for a word on the missing member. Chick was undergoing heart surgery, and everyone was praying that it went well. Fortunately, it was successful. While he hasn’t yet fully recovered, his steadiness made the band a lot more complete. In many ways, Chick has always been the unsung hero of the group. His quiet manner with bits of humor injected at the right time, has been his trademark over the years.

Be sure to check out the two podcasts that I did on this site. They both include an interview with Ric Lee, one of the world’s best drummers and leader of Ten Years After.


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Ric Lee on drums and Chick Churchill on keyboards, Ten Years After Show, Sellersville Theatre, August 21, 2019

 

 

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From left to right Colin Hodgkinson on bass guitar, Marcus Bonfanti lead singer & guitarist, Ric Lee on drums and Chick Churchill on keyboards, Ten Years After Show, Sellersville Theatre, August 21, 2019

 

 

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From left to right Colin Hodgkinson on bass guitar, Marcus Bonfanti lead singer & guitarist, Ric Lee on drums and Chick Churchill on keyboards, Ten Years After Show, Sellersville Theatre, August 21, 2019

 

 

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From left to right Colin Hodgkinson on bass guitar, Marcus Bonfanti lead singer & guitarist, Ric Lee on drums and Chick Churchill on keyboards, Ten Years After Show, Sellersville Theatre, August 21, 2019

 

 

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Bassist Colin Hodgkinson, Ten Years After Show, Sellersville Theatre, August 21, 2019

 

 

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Chick Churchill on keyboards, Ten Years After Show, Sellersville Theatre, August 21, 2019

 

 

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Lead singer and guitarist Marcus Bonfanti and Ric Lee on Drums, Ten Years After Show, Sellersville Theatre, August 21, 2019

 

 

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Lead singer and guitarist Marcus Bonfanti and keyboardist Chick Churchill

 

 

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From left to right Colin Hodgkinson - bass guitar, Marcus Bonfanti - lead singer & guitarist, Chick Churchill - keyboards and Ric Lee - drums, Ten Years After Show, Sellersville Theatre, August 21, 2019

 

 

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From left to right Colin Hodgkinson - bass guitar, Marcus Bonfanti - lead singer & guitarist, Chick Churchill - keyboards and Ric Lee - drums, Ten Years After Show, Sellersville Theatre, August 21, 2019

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