■ Susan Carrier / Contributed
For Black History Month, the Historic Hemet Theatre hosted two concerts featuring the music of famous black musicians.
On Saturday, Feb. 9, the show was a Tribute to Marvin Gaye featuring Grammy award-winning artist Jackie’s Boy. “Let’s Get It On” is a new tribute show created by Jackie’s Boy and his band. In fact, the Hemet event was the first public performance of the show.
Reaction from the crowd was thunderous. Every hit song drew fans to the dance floor, from the slow rhythm of “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” to the rockin’ beat of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”
After the show, several patrons commented that they felt like they had been to a show in Las Vegas. Everyone was stunned that this was the first time the group had performed this show. The band’s manager and agents from several venues in California and Arizona were on hand to experience the premier of the nation’s only Tribute to Marvin Gaye. Judging from the success here, the show is on track for a great concert tour.
In contrast, on Friday, Feb. 15 Jerome Robinson and his 2nd Generation Platters were in the house to perform a lineup of songs they have performed for decades. Jerome bantered with the audience just as he has done for thousands of shows, filling the audience with laughter and memories of their youth. The dance floor was filled to capacity, everyone wanting to dance to their favorite oldie, including “Only You,” “The Great Pretender,” “(You’ve Got) The Magic Touch,” “Harbor Lights,” and “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.”
The opening act for Jerome was a Tribute to Aretha Franklin performed by Helena V. Helena has an incredible voice, flawlessly recreating the sultry sound of the Queen of Soul. Applause and cheers were generated by each memorable hit, including “Respect,” “Chain of Fools,” and “I Say a Little Prayer.” It was an amazing evening of timeless classics performed by a pair of incredibly talented performers.
The next concert in the Tribute Mania Concert Series will be the Glen Campbell Story on Saturday, Feb. 23. Fans will experience a musical tour through the life of this country music legend, covering five decades of hit songs including “Gentle on My Mind,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Wichita Lineman,” and “Rhinestone Cowboy.”
Other concerts in the HHT lineup include the Music of John Denver (Saturday 3/9), Tribute to AC/DC (Saturday 3/23), The Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons Tribute (Saturday 4/6), Tribute to Elvis Presley (Friday 4/12) and Tribute to The Doors (Saturday 4/27).
Tickets for Tribute Mania and Friday Nite Live shows are $22 presale and $25 day of show. Showtime is 7 p.m., with doors open at 6:15 p.m. Information on all theatre events is available at www.HistoricHemetTheatre.com or by calling the ticket office, (951) 658-5950.