Reviewer: Mark DeWolf-Ott
Venue: The Temple Theatre
The Guess Who at the historic Temple Theatre in Downtown Saginaw September 22, 2023
With the touring of classic bands like: America, Cheap Trick, ‘38 Special, and Ted Nugent, it was a good choice for the Field Institute of Ascension St. Mary’s to present The Guess Who, 70’s Canadian rock band for a fund-raising gala at the Temple Theatre, Friday, September 22.
The show was a mix of hits and new songs from the latest album. The playlist started with “The King” from Plein D’Amour, an album that dropped in June of 2023. That was followed by “Clap for the Wolfman” which got the audience fired up by clapping during the song. People were standing during “Undon” and “No Sugar Tonight”. The band sprinkled in a new song with Queen like vocals done old school, as Sharp called it, all members standing around one mic singing. The set ended by the group playing “American Woman”.
After a short break, the band returned to the stage with a three-song encore that included: “These Eyes” and “No Time”. It was a 95-minute show.
The bands best known album “American Woman” (with that being the title song) hit the pop charts in Canada and the US in 1970. Gary Peterson, 78, is the only original band member. Lead singer, Derek Sharp, joined Peterson in 2008 and has had that role for 15 yrs. He is engaging and has impressive guitar talent. He is also the main song writer on the group’s newest album.
The Guess Who’s hits are diverse. The song “These Eyes” is a ballad, “American Woman” is a heavy tune, and “Undun” has a jazz vibe, and all the songs display the groups unique sound.
Even though there is some animosity between early band members Gary Peterson, Randy Bachman, Jim Kale, and Burton Cummings, things seem amiable. Although Kale once claimed the current group’s line-up is more like a Guess Who tribute band with only one original member and Derek Sharp singing. The audience didn’t seem to mind the band’s structure. They just wanted to hear the hits and enjoy the show.
On a scale of one to five of my “How Do You Like Those Apples” rating, I would give it 4 and a half apples because of the unique talent of Derek Sharp and the entire band doing their best to put on a great show.
By the way, donations to the Field Institute help support clinical care, research, education, and injury prevention in the Great Lakes Bay Region.