We saw the BJ Thomas concert at Largo Cultural Center
We saw the BJ Thomas concert at Largo Cultural Center last Monday evening. It was outstanding. BJ Thomas still has the great voice, and his hits from the 60's and 70's still bring the audience to its feet.
One great thing about living on the Florida beaches west of St Petersburg is the quality of entertainment that you can see here on this quiet Gulf Coast.
Although the Largo Cultural Center was our destination for the BJ Thomas concert, Ruth Eckerd Hall, and the Tampa Center for Fine Arts are two other outstanding venues. (AS a matter of fact, we will be attending Bowser's Rock And Roll Holiday Party at Ruth Eckerd Hall on Friday. Lots of culture, this week!)
We had dinner at Marlin Darlin, about two miles west on West Bay Drive prior to the show. It was a little packed for a Monday night due to the concert, and we had to sit in a back booth...but the food was good and reasonable priced.
There are there several good restaurants within a few miles of the Largo Cultural Center (105 Central Park Drive Largo, FL 33771-2112 -- 727-587-6751), but we hadn't eaten at Marlin Darlin in over a year.
BJ Thomas Concert
BJ Thomas (Billy Joe Thomas - born August 7, 1942) was one of the superstars in the 1960's and 1970's. His music showed up in pop, country, and adult contemporary hit lists. He is perhaps best known for his Academy Award-winning song, "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head."
Although he didn't hit the high notes quite like he did 40 years ago, BJ Thomas still brings a crowd to its feet. He sang most of his hit songs: "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry", "Everybody's Out of Town", "The Eyes of a New York Woman", "Hooked on a Feeling", "Mama", "I Just Can't Help Believing", and "(Hey Won't You Play) AnotherSomebody Done Somebody Wrong Song"
He, also, sang a couple of his own gospel songs and covered a couple of songs from his friends in music that had passed away.
It was 90 minutes of great fun. I found two things real curious, though: First, BJ seems much more comfortable singing into a microphone, as opposed to interacting with the audience and giving tidbits about his career. It seemed as though he purposely did not talk as much as other performers do.
The second thing that seemed completely strange was that he finished the show with the fast-paced Otis Redding song I Can't Turn You Loose. It lasted about 10 minutes. Several people in the crowd called out for "Whatever Happened To Old Fashioned Love? before he started. He came back for an encore...and again people called out for the song, but he just added another 10 minutes of "I Can't Turn You Loose".
All in all, though, it was a great concert and good to see BJ Thomas still had the great voice and stage presence.
The Largo Cultural Center is a small venue...and there are really NO bad seats in the whole place. We have seen several concerts, there, over the years, and have sat in a variety of different sections, and we never felt too far from the action.