The Legacy Tour 2022
Keswick Theatre, Glenside, PA
Guest concert review by Bob Turri
The crowd was mostly made up of boomers, but there was a fair amount of young people there, maybe accompanying their boomer parents who turned them onto Renaissance. The Renaissance Orchestra played behind a clear-walled partition and the band consisting of two keyboard players, acoustic guitar, electric bass, and drums came on first together, the band played in front of the orchestra who were on an elevated platform.
Annie Haslam strolled out at some point to a thunderous welcome in a flowing floral dress and immediately broke into the first song, but it sounded like there was something wrong with the microphone as her voice crackled. After the song ended, she motioned to the soundman off stage to fix the sound and he or she did. The audience immediately started shouting out song titles which were met by an emphatic no from Annie Haslam multiple times. I began to wonder if she planned to play any Renaissance songs. Her voice still majestic after all these years was quite capable of hitting all the notes, but sometimes the force was lacking. There were a few glitches, band starts and stops, and she was reading some of the lyrics from printed pages, not that surprising considering her septuagenarian status.
Was the band unrehearsed, tired, I’m not sure. Annie provided lengthy intros to most of the songs, giving a background for songs I did not recognize from her solo career or collaborations with other artists. She did sing a song from the “Intergalactic Touring Band” that true prog fans would have in their collections on Passport Records. Anthony Phillips from early Genesis fame played guitar on the cut from the album she sang.
After an opening set the band took an intermission which seemed longer than 20 minutes and Annie came out in a new outfit, made by a dress designer friend, and proceeded to play more solo and collaborative works and in my estimation not enough Renaissance material. Most of the Renaissance songs played were from the “Turn of the Cards” album.
Towards the end of the second set the band members and orchestra were introduced. Annie quickly pointed out that this was done in the wrong order and introduced the last song, “I Think of You,” as the encore. Strange. The band and orchestra took a bow together and the lights came on.
One comment about the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA. It’s great that there is a local suburban Philadelphia based theatre that hosts prog acts and many other genres of music and even comedy acts. The seats have never been upgraded for as long as I’ve been attending concerts, which could be close to 40 years. Yes, they would encounter a loss of revenue if they had to shut down completely for a few months, but they would be doing the community who has supported them all these years a huge service by doing so, especially the audience members who have bad backs.