Dennis Locorriere – ASB Theatre

Dennis Locorriere kicked off his Dr Hook Timeless World Tour at Auckland’s ASB Theatre treating long-time fans to just about every Dr Hook tune they could think of, along with a few choice tunes from his solo career.

If we’re being honest, Dennis Locorriere is not exactly your stereotypical rock star…he looks like an average guy, and his singing voice won’t exactly threaten the likes of Sam Smith or Ed Sheeran, or any of today’s pop stars.

But Dennis Locorriere understands his audience…especially those in New Zealand…who seem to hold the 1970s recordings by Dr Hook & The Medicine Show in a special place in their hearts.

In addition to cheering on worldwide hits like Sylvia’s Mother and Sharing The Night Together, Kiwi fans also swooned to relatively obscure tunes like Years From Now, Baby Makes Her Blues Jeans Talk and Better Luck Next Time.

Sure enough there was a woman in the audience holding up a sign that read, “I’ve loved you since I was three”. Two others held up a pair of jeans while Dennis sang Baby Makes Her Blues Jeans Talk, and one over-excited fan managed to make her way on stage and sang a bit of When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman, before being gently ushered off by Locorriere.

The show started just after 7:30 with Dennis serving as his own opening act, starting out with Walk Right In, the old Rooftop Singers tune that Dr Hook covered in 1977.

Locorriere was accompanied by a six-piece band…guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, female backing singer and a guitarist/keyboard player…that kept a low profile, concentrating on their playing (this was the first night of the tour) and leaving Dennis to interact with the crowd.

The sound mix was a little muddy, with Locorriere’s vocals getting lost from time to time, but no one seemed to mind as they were adding their own voices to the mix.

The first set lasted about 45 minutes and featured a good number of hits…Sharing The Night Together, Only Sixteen and The Millionaire…among them.

After a 30 minute intermission, Locorriere returned by himself to play solo versions of Freakin’ At The Freaker’s Ball and Shine, Son. This gave him the opportunity to speak at length about his early days in Union City, New Jersey, songwriter She Silverstein and writing a song for his son, before bringing the band back for surprisingly early versions of Sylvia’s Mother and The Cover Of The Rolling Stone.

But there were plenty of hits to follow and Locorriere proceeded to charm the crowd with his down home affability and easy-listening songs like Sexy Eyes and A Little Bit More.

A highlight was Silverstein’s The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan, a song probably better-known by Marianne Faithfull…but Dr Hook recorded it first.

The energy lever rose at the end with the gospel-rocker What A Way To Go and set closer You Make My Pants Want To Get Up And Dance…and yes, the ladies with the blue jeans made a return appearance.

For the encore, we got the sentimental Years From Now…sending the long-time fans off into nostalgic bliss.

Marty Duda

Click on any image to view a photo gallery by Veronica McLaughlin:

Dennis Locorriere set list:

Set 1:

  1. Walk Right In
  2. I Don’t Want To Be Alone Tonight
  3. Sharing The Night Together
  4. If I Had A Nickle
  5. More Like The Movies
  6. A Couple Of Years
  7. The Heat
  8. Only Sixteen
  9. The Millionaire
  10. Baby Makes Her Blue Jeans Talk

Set 2:

  1. Freakin’ At The Freaker’s Ball
  2. Shine, Son
  3. Sylvia’s Mother
  4. The Cover Of The Rolling Stone
  5. Better Love Next Time
  6. Sexy Eyes
  7. When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman
  8. Dance Of Daddy’s Feet
  9. The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan
  10. Queen Of The Silver Dollar
  11. If Not You
  12. A Little Bit More
  13. What A Way To Go
  14. You Make My Pants Want To Get Up And Dance
  15. Years From Now