There have been quite a few 50th Anniversary tours since the music industry reopened  but

America is really special. You know you are going to get the massive hits that span generations and genres coupled with the expert musicianship with a telepathic precision that only a band playing one hundred shows a year for 50 years can achieve. The Laurel Canyon influences of founding members Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell make the band relevant in many subgenres of rock from folk to pop. The group has made its bones on iconic breezy ballads like “Sister Golden Hair “and Ventura Highway.”  There is beauty in the spareness of their arrangements and their instantly recognizable intros took

the crowd about 30 seconds to identify the double shot of “Tin Man” and “You Can Do Magic.” Both Beckley and Bunnell proved themselves able guitarists on these slow and mid-tempo numbers, of which there were many,. But this show had a twist in the form of ace sideman Steve Feteke. When he played lead, you could drop the genre qualifiers. His presence made it a flat-out rock show. Feteke has collaborated with artists from Jackson Browne to Avril Lavigne. He injected everything from nineties angst to the speedy runs of Eddie Van Halen into America’s generally mellow catalog, He torched “Survival” and “The Border” in succession in front of a video screen that cataloged images of historical moments over the last 50 years. Beckley told the audience about the time the band opened with an acoustic set for Pink Floyd, saying “The crowd went mild.”  “t’s unnerving when you know Pink Floyd is following you playing “Atom Heart Mother” in its entirety with a full orchestra. On this night, with the addition of Fekete to the 20-song set felt like an unexpected yet thoroughly satisfying show that sonically felt like equal parts traditional America and Atom Heart Mother.” In the latter portion of the set, they led the crowd through the George Martin years, shouting “This is our favorite cover song” before launching into “Eleanor Rigby.” The Beatles producer worked on seven America albums in a row. Fittingly there was a seven-song mini set with a cut from each of those albums.



They closed the main set with “Sister Golden Hair “before Beckley teased the encore as “Muskrat Love.” Of course, no one took the bait and just over 1,000 people rose from their seats for the career maker “A Horse with No Name.”

During “You “You Can Do Magic” the video screen showed a virtual game of blackjack where each winning hand came up aces. It was befitting symbol of the evening.