The legendary R&B group, The Isley Brothers, have been in show business for more than 60 years. They formed as a trio of brothers in 1954. There have been different configurations of the band over the years, but two of the core, hit-making members have remained constant. AXS was able to catch their live show at Tucson’s AVA Amphitheater on June 10. This particular show had The Commodores opening the show. Here are some reasons to catch the current tour live.
Ronald Isley is the frontman for the band and he has one of the most unique voices in show business. His voice has often been imitated but has never been duplicated. The timber of his voice has withstood the test of time and could not have been better for the show. Ron may not be a fast mover on stage but he proved himself to be the best crooner performing today. He left the dance moves to the bevy of beautiful women in the show.
Ernie’s screaming guitar was absolutely jaw dropping. He is ten years younger than brother Ronald Isley. At one point in the show, he was playing guitar with his teeth much like his old friend Jimi Hendrix. A young Jimi Hendrix was in the Isley Brothers band when Ernie was nine years old. Hendrix actually lived with them one summer. Ernie learned a lot from Hendrix.
The set was filled with Isley hits covering their entire career. They opened with "Fight the Power," which charted at No. 4 in 1975, The Isley Brothers wasted no time diving into their smash 1973 song, (Who's) "That Lady" that sold two million copies. Both “Shout” and “Twist and Shout” were covered by the Beatles in the 1960s. The set list was a collection of their hit songs. For a complete set list, please click here.
The list of entertainers that they have influenced by the Isley Brothers includes Aretha Franklin, Teddy Pendergrass, T.I., Rod Stewart, The Gap Band, R Kelley and many more.
This was a show filled with glitz and glamour with some flamboyance. There are many gorgeous women dancing and singing background on stage and some were introduced as being members of the family. One of the highlights of the show was when Isley invited the women in the audience to join him on the stage to dance. They did not hesitate to show their moves.
It was apparent during the show that the music still feels new to Ron and he seems to ‘love’ his job. The show is good, clean fun.
There were dedications to their friends Whitney Houston and Prince. “Voyage to Atlantis” was dedicated to Prince. “Summer Breeze” was given the tasty Ernie Isley guitar that left one wanting much more.
Grab your Isley Brothers tickets here.