Warchild and Manticore – Strand Theatre – Photos, Review

Written by on November 14, 2023

A review of Warchild and Manticore at The Strand Theatre, Hudson Falls, NY 11.11.23. By Stephanie J Bartik (NY Rockstar Photographer)

The Progressive rock spectacle brought to life by Warchild and Manticore was a testament to the enduring influence of the genre and the timeless appeal of bands like Jethro Tull and Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. As the echoes of the ’70s reverberated through the Strand Theater, in Hudson Falls, NY, it became clear that these tribute bands were not merely replicating the music but channeling the spirit and essence of the iconic progressive rock era.

Warchild, the Jethro Tull tribute band, led the audience on a nostalgic journey through the first decade of Tull’s unique musicianship and creativity. The lineup, featuring Flip Britton on vocals, flute, sax, and acoustic guitar; Jeremy Cohen on drums; Bobb Freund on bass, glockenspiel, and vocals; Mike Grin on keyboards and accordion; Erick Milcetic on lead guitar, flute, and vocals; and Renee Spizz on keyboards, glockenspiel, marimba, percussion, and vocals, showcased a remarkable synergy that paid homage to the legendary band.

Flip Britton, with his versatile mastery of six different instruments, embodied the energy of Ian Anderson from the ’70s. His non-stop performance throughout the set captured the essence of Jethro Tull’s live performances. The band’s enthusiasm was palpable, creating a contagious energy that resonated with the audience. Warchild did not just play the music; they lived it, and the genuine enjoyment they derived from the performance was reflected in the enthusiastic response from the crowd.

On the other side of the spectrum, Manticore, the Emerson Lake and Palmer tribute band, presented a musical tapestry woven with the talents of Rob Shepard on keyboards (Keith Emerson), John Cristando on percussion (Carl Palmer), and Ron Ponella on vocals, bass, and guitar (Greg Lake). Each member’s individual prowess was evident, but it was their collective synergy that truly captured the magic of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.

The absence of a clear ‘star’ in the show was a deliberate choice, allowing each member to shine. This approach, combined with their celebration of the 50th anniversary of the “Brain Salad Surgery” album and the complete performance of Karn Evil 9 parts 1, 2, and 3, highlighted Manticore’s commitment to delivering an authentic and immersive experience. The 40-minute rendition of Karn Evil 9 was a true homage to the grandiose and intricate compositions that defined the progressive rock era, giving the audience a glimpse into the show that never ends.

In conclusion, the performances by Warchild and Manticore were not just tributes; they were living, breathing celebrations of the progressive rock genre. These bands did not just replicate the music; they transported the audience back in time, allowing them to relive the magic of Jethro Tull and Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. It was a progressive rock spectacular that not only satisfied the cravings of dedicated fans but also introduced a new generation to the timeless brilliance of this influential musical era.


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