Concert Review: Fantastic Cat @ The Falcon, 11/25/2022

Oh, they know what they are doin!*

MARLBORO – The Fantastic Cats circled back to The Falcon last night, dressed in the velvet sparked by their CBS Saturday Morning,  August 13, 2022 appearance.  After a year’s absence from The Falcon, they delivered a 90 minute energetic and entertaining show to a packed house with tunes culled predominantly from their album, The Very Best of Fantastic Cat.

Fantastic Cat (photo by Marie Miller)

Lest anyone say they can stay home and listen to a CD or stream the album, let me say you are missing out on The Falcon’s ambiance, setting, food and wait staff, and an always welcome band intro by the boss, Lee Falco. Most of all, you will miss out on the live songs and surprises like that added by the Fantastic Cats quad of carefully curated “best songs,‘ that were written and rendered by each individual:  “Virginia” (from Mike Montali’s day job, Hollis Brown), “If It Don’t Work Out” ( Anthony D’Amato), “Stay Awhile” (Brian Dunne), and  “Drive Like Pirates” (Don Dilego).  They outdid themselves by giving a folk twist to a cover of The Bee Gee’s almost forgotten “To Love Somebody.” They treated us to an encore of Wings’ “Band on the Run.”  In the setlist was a song I did not recognize as a cover of another artist’s, and could not attribute to one of the Fantastic Cats’ solo works.  It turns out, they gave the audience/fans/Fantastic Kittens (my nickname for the more rabid fans who sang and danced) an early end-of-year present in the form of a new song, “Good Night My Darling.”  Can’t get that in your easy chair.

Fantastic Cat (photo by Marie Miller)

Adding sparks to the evening were song transitions mediated by instrument and lead vocal exchanges, sometimes within songs; addition of percussion and 12 string acoustic guitar, harmonica, and mandolin; snappy jokes and jibes among the members; dancing, jumping, and posing that may or may not have been serious.  Assisting them on keys was Mike Hesslein, who added judicious energy and emotion both from his music and his expressions.  

* “The Gig” has Dunne lamenting that he doesn’t know what he’s doing anymore.  Maybe not, but keep doing it.  We Fantastic Kittens want some more.

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