America sells out DC-area show

The group has just started their 2023 slate of shows

Legendary folk-rock group America took the stage shortly after 8 pm ET on Saturday (Jan 14th) for their first-ever appearance at Capital One Hall.

Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley delivered crisp vocal harmonies as they plowed through 21 songs over 90 minutes. Fan favorite “Tin Man” opened the show.

The band broke out of their calming mid tempo groove to jam on “Here.” They followed that immediately with “Ventura Highway,” a signature song that elicited a big reaction from the crowd.

Bassist Richard Campbell — whose pedigree includes official membership in Three Dog Night during the 90s — handled the very high notes. He soloed on “Daisy Jane.”

Throughout the night, the icons of American music displayed footage from their heyday as a band with long hair and tight pants making waves by straddling the line between rock and folk music. Pictured often was late former member Dan Peek, who left the group in 1977. He would pass in 2011 without ever formally reuniting with Beckley and Bunnell.

The band hit its stride in the 70s while working with fabled producer George Martin. He would produce successive albums for the group from 1974-1979, producing hits including “Sister Golden Hair” and “Hollywood,” both of which were on offer during the “Martin section. The band kicked it off with “Nowhere Man,” another Martin hit — for the Beatles.

America sold out this show, the second date for them in 2023. This, despite not charting in the Billboard Top 40 since 1983. That’s right. This year marks four decades exactly since America has a bonafide commercial hit. I mention this not to call them out, but in fact to do the exact opposite: not many bands can have 40-year staying power on their back catalogue alone. And — if Bunnell and Beckley’s top vocal form and the reaction of the crowd was any indication — the music will carry them for decades more.

Matt Bailey
Matt Bailey

Matt Bailey is podcast producer and writer located in the Northeast. Since 2013, Bailey has produced more than 160 episodes of his own online radio show, Talk For Two. In 2016 alone, he interviewed Kevin Bacon, Crystal Gayle, Bob Barker, and Gilbert Gottfried, among several other stars. As a Correspondent for The Music Universe, his focus is Broadway, country music and concert reviews.