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Location: California

Monday, May 31, 2010

got band?

by Donn Coon

Margarita Villa was the virtual center of holiday activity this Sunday at the Harbor in Ventura. All showplaces and eateries were packed throughout the day with what seemed like the county's entire population. What one quickly discovered, however, were the high hopes of visitors to be at or near the place our own Champagne Sunday was to appear.

The wise trend, of course, was played out by the group's more seasoned fans -- ARRIVE EARLY for the show slated to begin at 2:00 p.m. Those seated by 1:30 were the lucky ones to hear and watch the band's 3-hours-plus performance that rocked the Villa as never before. An even larger crowd mingled along the walkways leading to the venue, ears craned to hear as much as they could.

Ventura's pride-and-joy band did not let down. Nor did they let up, delivering their music as we've never heard it before. Most of our favorites were presented with a refreshingly new, modified sound. Champagne Sunday has always respected their audience; no matter how familiar fans may be with many of the their songs, the band tirelessly works to avoid anything that could be labeled 'old hat'.

Newcomer to the band, bassist Tony Shibumi, had his work cut out for him. With him on stage were the seasoned musicians who long have been growing with their music. In front of him were the mob of fans, eager to decide for themselves just how well he would fit with both the songs and the band. A joy to watch, Tony certainly more than fit in. Throughout the afternoon, his work was praised with thunderous approval from the fans.

The show contained a single sour note, though one that, of itself, defines some of the growth Champagne Sunday enjoys. That moment was when lead singer Jessi Reems-Terrell had to explain, "We apologize that there are some of our songs that we cannot do for you today. You see, we're always writing new stuff, and we want to share some new songs with you now. It's just impossible for us to include everything that you may want us to do."

That was an excellent move. By the end of the show, everyone was hyped at hearing some very new songs by their very cherished group.

Champagne Sunday -- you ROCK!