An award-winning tribute band that covers Neil Young’s music from the late 60’s to the present will play the Greenwich Odeum before a live audience Saturday, November 14th. Sidelined lately due to Coronavirus, Forever Young is looking forward to returning to the stage for a socially distanced show, with the audience limited to about a quarter of the Odeum’s capacity.
I spoke to band member and Neil Young devotee, John Fusek, about the show. He explained how the band was preparing for the gig.
“It has been tough for us as a band…we didn’t rehearse or even see each other in person for months but the band had weekly zoom calls that lasted for hours. They were fun and kept us close. There was some music played together over the internet which was kind of cool.”
Fuzek continued, “When the weather got warmer we decided to get together to rehearse. We set up outside on our drummer’s patio and stayed a safe distance from each other. We have had a couple of Covid scares but fortunately they were false alarms. We are truly concerned for one another’s safety – our violinist, Amy Bedard, even made masks for all of us!”
Covid has certainly put a dent in the band’s ability to expand its playlist. While Neil Young has a catalog of over 500 recorded songs, I wondered how the band goes about choosing what to play.
“We usually try to learn new material for every performance,” noted Fuzek, “but doing so lately has been challenging. We like to keep sets fresh and surprise fans with some deep cuts. Over the years we have learned over 100 of Young’s songs. We would love to play just about everything he writes, but we know that is impossible. We have to play the hits and fan favorites but we do toss in the gems that can often be overlooked by casual listeners.”
“Generally each member will suggest a song they want to play, so we learn it. We have performed a few of Neil’s albums in their entirety and in track order. There are no egos in the band. Dan Lilley is the closest thing we have to a “frontman.” He is the true “Neil-ophile” and is hysterical with his banter.”
As mentioned, the pandemic has taken its toll. Fuzek explains,
“We have taken the Covid-19 threat VERY seriously. It has hurt us all as most of our gigs were canceled, both as solo artists and as a band, that has been the toughest part. We performed one live stream last month and that was a blast but nothing can compete with performing in front of a live audience. We decided to play a live show at the Odeum because we know that the Odeum takes this all very seriously as well. We know that we will be safe along with our fans.”
With an eye to safety, Fuzek assures a Covid-safe experience.
“The Odeum holds 400 people but they are only selling 100 tickets to ensure social distancing guidelines. Masks will need to be worn. We will also have a hard 8PM start and we will be on time so you can all beat the Governor’s 10:30PM Covid curfew. We want everyone to be safe but we also want to play music for our fans…we all NEED music now to keep our sanity.”
We agree. A few tickets remain for the Saturday night show. Click here for details.
To view the band’s recent live stream from the Narrows Center for the Arts, click here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwY_AUQRAgc