Doug’s KC and the Sunshine Band adventure: Part II, the show

KC and the Sunshine Band played a 90-minute set June 9 for an enthusiastic audience in their 60s at the Jefferson gaming hall.

This begins part two of my KC and the Sunshine Band adventure.

I ran across Doug Reeder from Raccoon Valley Radio and his wife, Sue. They must have had better tickets than I did because they sat closer.

We waited for about 20 minutes. It must be the manager of the casino who comes on stage to talk before every show. He was five minutes late.

He always talks about the act and what is coming up. He then led a singing of “Happy Birthday” for a woman who had hired KC and the Sunshine Band to play during her 21st birthday years ago at the Val Air Ballroom in West Des Moines. How a 21-year-old could afford this is beyond me.

The manager introduced the leader as KC. His name is Harry Casey. He was born in 1951, and the band is named KC for the last name of Casey and Sunshine Band because the band came from Florida.

Then the concert began with an instrumental version of “Shake Your Booty.” and finally Harry Casey came on and sang and danced.

Then Harry came out and talked awhile. If you look at video from him from 1975 and then today you almost cannot tell it is him. He now has a beard and like most of us has gained a lot of weight.

If you see a current picture of him with no facial hair, he does resemble the 1970’s version of himself. He stated that he is now 66 years old. He had a long segment that insinuated all of the things that I mentioned.

He commented that he almost changed the name of the band to KFC and the Sunshine Band. In the videos from the 1970s, Harry is always bent down, standing over a keyboard while dancing. Now he rarely plays the keyboard, and when he does he is standing straight.

I am sure the old videos showed him bent over because it looked more cool, but he could have only done this for a short while.

During the concert there were always 12 to 15 performers on stage. They were various musicians, but he also had two to four dancers on stage at any one time. He danced a lot and had several wardrobe changes. He sweated a lot.

The Band went through all of the favorites. “That’s the Way I Like It,” “Shake Your Booty,” “Keep It Comin’, Love,” “Get Down Tonight,” “I’m Your Boogie Man,” “Boogie Shoes,” “Please Don’t Go,” “Give It Up,” “Yes, I’m Back” and others of their own as well as songs by other bands.

The songs had a newer feel to them. The arrangements have been reworked. In between each song there were long musical interludes which incorporated the previous song and then blended to the current one.

The band started in 1973 and broke up in 1985. Casey had been in a serious car accident in 1982 and was partially paralyzed for a time. He brought back the band in 1991, when disco made a resurgence.

Most of the people at the concert were in their middle 60s and over. There were very few younger people. A lot of alcohol was consumed. One older lady kept dancing before the show. I think that she had one too many mixed drinks.

Nearly half of the people stood for the concert, which lasted for about 90 minutes. The band did one encore. A lot the people, particularly the women, danced through most of the show. There was also a lot of recording with cell phones. If you could piece the Facebook posts together, you could see most of the show.

I did not like having to stand although it did not hurt me. There was enough room to put down chairs for all of the standing tickets. I never did understand about the standing.

All in all it was a good concert, and the price was not really bad for the show. On June 25 Country Gold Came to the Jefferson gaming hall, but unfortunately I could not see it because I was on a trip to Ireland, Scotland and England. There is always the Iowa State Fair.

Keep watch for an upcoming report on my overseas trip.


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