By Victoria L. Dammer
The vibe in Morristown is always buzzing, but this weekend, the Mayo Performing Art Center (MPAC) increased the frenzy by presenting another spectacular shown in its Summer Concerts series line-up, Three Dog Night, featuring singer/songwriter Chris Trapper up first.
Trapper was at ease on stage, expressing his gratitude to be the opening act for Three Dog Night. He was also funny. He opened, “I’m going to play all my hits this evening. Good night.” He performed his most famous song, This Time, from the movie August Rush and a few others.
For some who don’t recall, Three Dog Night officially debuted in 1968 and was founded by singer Danny Hutton, Cory Wells, and Chuck Negron. The group had 21 consecutive Top 40 hits, including three #1 hits and 12 straight RIAA Certified Gold LPs, among other incredible accolades for their talent.
Wells sang the lead on Billboard No. 1 hit song Mama Told Me (Not to Come), written by Randy Newman and featured on the evening’s playlist of 17 songs. Wells went out on his own after the band broke up in 1976, then regrouped to help relaunch them in the 80s. Mama Told Me (Not to Come) brought one of the loudest applauses for the evening, with most of the audience dancing on their feet.
Negron was the lead singer on the songs One, Easy To Be Hard, Joy to the World, and Old Fashioned Love Song, all played during the concert. Paul Kingery, vocalist and guitarist, replaced Negron in 1985, and David Morgan, a vocalist, joined the group in 1985. Drummer Pat Bautz has been with Three Dog Night since 1993, Howard Laravea, keyboards, joined in 2017, and Hutton’s son Timothy on the bass and drums joined in 2021. Altogether, the corroboration of talented musicians made the evening unforgettable.
Laravea played a five-minute synthesizer intro to the song Eli’s Coming that was mind-boggling, reminiscent of Patrick Moraz (YES), with sound effects so intense the theater went wild when the group performed the song. The group treated us to a 6-part harmony entitled Prayer of the Children from their new album Road Ahead. If that song is anything of what we can expect from the new record, we can Celebrate the group’s dedication to entertain and produce excellent music long into the future.
The Mayo Performing Art Center, 100 South Street, Morristown NJ 07960. Tickets to events are available at The Official Ticketing Site of Mayo Performing Arts Center | Mayo Performing Arts Center (mayoarts.org)