By Victoria L. Dammer
Michael and Kevin Bacon, also known as The Bacon Brothers, served up some sizzling music at the Mayo Performing Art Center (MPAC) last week to a full house of enthusiastic followers.
They set the stage with bongos, drums, guitars, keyboards and a plethora of other musical instruments, and the group launched into the hit song Let Me Happen to You, from the 2022 album Erato. This song was the perfect opening tune, with its upbeat kind of salsa rhythm, making the crowd want to get on their feet and start dancing. It’s a song about being able to love someone, and you couldn’t argue the words were meaningful from the audience’s applause. This was just the start of an impressive evening of music and talent.
Kevin’s voice was fun to listen to, and he’s quite the dancer, into the beat from the start, showcasing his previous dance studies from earlier years growing up in Philadelphia. He’s got great agility, and his legs move like sinewy rubber bands. Michael strummed the guitar through most of the performance, but entertained the crowd with the mandolin, electric harp, and cello skills. The two brothers have named their genre Forosoco, a mix of folk, rock, soul, and country and you can’t deny it has a very unique style.
Other hits from Erato included Dark Chocolate Eyes, and the album title song Erato, with Michael playing the electric harp as his brother sang.
Kevin was quick to say, “We love playing in New Jersey,” and the crowd hooted and hollered back.
Several songs from the 2018 release of The Bacon Brothers album were favorites in the crowd, including Tom Petty T-shirt, a sad song about a damaged lover. Just the line “I don’t think there’s tools in my toolbox to fix this shattered work of art” is heart-wrenching for those who love.
The tune Old Bronco, just released in 2023, engaged the fans and Kevin projected his mic over the crowd as they took part in singing along with him. Another new 2023 song, Ballad of the Brothers, allowed Kevin to explain their favorite place to perform was at Gruene Hall, Texas’s oldest dance hall, where Willie Nelson would swing on a rope through a window and land on the stage. That brought about a loud round of clapping.
Beneath Perfection, from the 2018 album The Bacon Brothers, was accompanied by Michael on the cello, and that instrument has such a wide and powerful range it enhanced the beauty of the song even more.
The accordion made a frequent debut in several songs, and the Ukuleles went out of control also, but the audience went crazy screaming wild when The Bacon Brothers presented the final song, Footloose, complete with Kevin’s amazing dance steps and the band’s exceptional talent ending a concert few will ever forget.
The Bacon Brothers, with Michael Bacon on vocals, guitar, and cello; Kevin Bacon on vocals, guitar, and percussion; Paul Guzzone on bass guitar; Joe Mennonna on keyboards and accordion; Frank Vilardi on drums; Ira Siegel on lead guitar and mandolin. On tour through November.
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)