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Good pop songs never die

Special to the DailyChristopher Cross played Saturday at the Vilar Center. Most in the audience had no idea exactly how many beloved pop songs the artist penned in the '80s.
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BEAVER CREEK ” Interesting concept ” the art, rather than the artist, as the star of a pop music concert.

Self-proclaimed “regular guy” Christopher Cross performed his art at the Vilar Center for the Arts Saturday evening for a very appreciative audience. In his self-effacing manner, Cross allowed his songs to be the stars of the show, and shine brightly they did.

Mixed in with lesser known material from his eight albums, his hits from the early ’80s were a reminder of just how good a good pop song can be. These songs have earned Grammies, Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards and accounted for four No. 1 singles. They have been major TV show themes, Olympic themes and movie themes.

Everyone in the crowd remembered some of the songs, but few realized how many recognizable tunes Cross is responsible for. He and his excellent band played and sang this highly produced material almost too perfectly. Quite a feat for a four-piece band.

The electric keyboards were programmed with all the sounds that were so exciting and new in the early ’80s. Bass and drums were solid in support and Cross ably handled all the guitar parts on his beautiful Tom Anderson electric guitars. Even the “out-of-nowhere” overdrive electric guitar solos ” so beloved by ’80s record producers ” fit in seamlessly when played by Cross.

In his jeans and baseball cap, Cross appeared to be a “regular guy,” as mentioned above. That is until he opened his mouth to sing. At the microphone, he became the pop star, even if reluctantly. His strong tenor vocals were just as recognizable as his music. As good as the instrumental work was, the vocals were spectacular. All of the vocal work, solo or with harmonies, and backgrounds sung by the band, was as mentioned before ” almost too perfect.

In reflection, this concert continues to impress, certainly adding up to more than the sum of its parts. Great pop songs were wonderfully played and sung in a beautiful, intimate concert hall. We will be hearing these songs for many years to come. If you have the opportunity, go and hear their creator make them shine just for you.

Vail, Colorado


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