Orleans And Firefall Take Fans Through Time Machine

Concert Review
Saturday March 26, 2022
Riviera Theatre
North Tonawanda, NY
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto

The full house at the Riviera Saturday evening was attributed to staying power of two bands who reached their commercial peak in the 1970s. Orleans and Firefall provided a double bill of power which featured many hits from both catalogs. It is amazing that both bands are still touring and putting on a high caliber show as both did on Saturday.

Orleans opened the show although initially they were to play last but due to circumstances decided it was better to open the show than play after Firefall. Co-founder John Hall was to appear but was unable to make the trip so the band played as a four piece. Co-founder Lance Hoppen explained the situation to the packed crowd. Orleans on this night included Hoppen, his brother Lane Hoppen on keys, drummer Brady Spencer and guitarist Tom Lane.

The band played a brief 65-minute set that featured all the songs you would expect to hear at an Orleans show. In addition to the two top 10 smashes, the standouts included the opener “Let There Be Music” as well as “Time Passes On”. “Beautiful World”, the newest song in the set showed the band has not lost its touch when it comes to recording fine music.

Firefall closed the show and featured a fantastic lineup led by original members Jock Bartley and bassist Mark Andes. Rounding out the lineup were drummer Sandy Ficca, multi-instrumentalist Jim Waddell and guitarist/vocalist Steven Weinmeister.

Firefall landed six songs in the top-40 but none bigger than “You Are The Woman” which peaked at #9. Other songs that served as highlights were “Just Remember I Love You”, “Sweet and Sour” and “Way Back When”. The latter being the leadoff track from the band’s first album in years entitled Comet. Another highlight was “Nature’s Way” sung by Andes. The song is a Spirit cover from 1970. Andes of course was in Spirit as well as Jo Jo Gunne and Heart during his career.

These two bands made the perfect pair to team up as they were both in their prime in the 1970s, both play a similar style music and have known each other for years. Anyone who was able to catch the Sail Rock tour in 2013 will remember Orleans served as the house band which featured performances from Player, John Ford Coley, Christopher Cross and Firefall among others. It was such a fantastic tour that it would be marvelous to see a similar type in the near future.

Those looking for their chance to catch Orleans if you missed this one will get a chance as they will return to the Bears Den inside Seneca Niagara Casino in the fall.

Set List

Let There Be Music
Time Passes On
Dance With Me
Spring Fever
Mission of Mercy
Dancing in the Moonlight
Miss Grace
Beautiful World
No More Than You Can Handle
Love Takes Time
Still the One

Livin’ Ain’t Livin’
Just Remember I Love You
So Long
Sweet and Sour
Nature’s Way
Way Back When
Goodbye, I Love You
You Are the Woman
Strange Way

About Joseph Suto

Location: Buffalo, NY Photographer/Reviewer
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