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Red Peters - Boston Debut Sellout! Performs “Blue Ball” at Backstage at Quincy Market, April 19.

Friday, April 21, 2000

The Backstage at Quincy Market was the scene of a jam-packed, sold out show on Wednesday April 19th. Boston's own Red Peters, with an 11-piece ensemble, put on a stunningly hilarious show. Funnyman Red Peters sang and joked his way through selections from his two popular CDs at the sister club of the Comedy Connection in historic Quincy Market. It was Red Peters’ first live Boston appearance, having kicked off his Happy Hour Tour last weekend in Chicago.

The show was filled with excitement and surprises, as he played to a very receptive audience. The WAAF sponsored First Annual Red Peters Blue Ball was MC'd by morning man Greg Hill, accompanied by fellow WAAF morning crew members, Kevin Barbare and producer DC. Moments before introducing Red, The Hillman was loudly suggesting a few new camera angles to one of two videographers that were documenting the rare appearance by Mr. Peters.

After a rousing introduction, the impeccably dressed Peters ripped into a jazzy version of one of his early big-band hits, (You Promised The Moon, But I Preferred Uranus). Red then proudly introduced his 80 year-old mother, who joined him on-stage for a funny interchange, hugs and a kiss. This was a natural segue way into his next tune, (How's Your Whole…Family?) which was wildly received by the standing room only crowd.

Red then brought three lovely backup singers (Patty Barkas, Julie Foster, & GiGi) to the stage and did a romantically hot, Barry White-style R&B number, (The First Time I Met You). Red was then joined on-stage by five male vocalists (members of the Babe Marino orchestra), Kook Lawry, Jon Craig, Art Johnson, Mike McMahon and Babe Marino. The (I Wanna Polka Polka) had Red dancing with vocalist Julie Foster during the instrumental break.

The next selection was an up-beat pop number, with a Dean Martin feel. (The Spelling Song), had the audience singing and swaying along.

Greg Hill took to the stage again as Red disappeared for a costume change. The Hillman introduced the distinguished narrator of both CDs, Englishman Alan Pichloaf. Red returned to the stage in an ornate black and ivory cowboy shirt and riffed with Pinchloaf, recreating some of their classic comic telephone bits. Red then introduced his band members: (some of the cream of the Boston studio scene - Kook Lawry on electric guitar, Dave Stefanelli on drums, Tim Archibald on bass, Mike McMahon on acoustic guitar, Babe Marino on piano).

Red then before performed un-plugged arrangement of (The Ballad of a Dog Named Stains) from his first album, (I Laughed, I Cried, I Fudged My Undies). The entire audience was singing along with the chorus of this silly tune. Staying in a country mode, Red and his band then performed (Doggy Style) from his new album, (Ol’ Blue Balls Is Back) with the audience joining in on each chorus.

Red next spoke about his love for the game of baseball and the Red Sox and the frustration of being a Red Sox fan. Fellow long-suffering Red Sox fan and bandleader, Babe Marino accompanied Red with Fenway Park style organ for his hilarious baseball song (Take It Out at the Ball Game), and once again the audience joined in on an extended version.

That tune was followed by a beautiful and lavishly orchestrated Sinatra-esque tune entitled (I Don’t Just Love You Down There), which he prefaced with comments about the misconceptions many people have about Red Peters. Claiming to be a sincere romantic, Red offered,

“Ladies and gentlemen, all kidding aside... I've been accused of many different things. I've been accused of being a pig, of being rude, using profanity... but, the truth is .... I really...have a sensitive spot.... and you know where that spot is.”

Following that tune, Red was re-joined on-stage by Babe Marino, the singers and band and took the roof off the house with the song that has become a staple in jukeboxes and with DJs around the world – his first big hit – Blow Me (You Hardly Even Know Me).

Red closed the show with the song that is quickly gaining popularity as the best song to clear out a barroom, (The Closing Song) from his (Ol’ Blue Balls Is Back) CD released in February 2000. This song brought a wild response and cheers for an encore. WAAF’s Kevin Barbare took to the stage while Red caught his breath and re-introduced Red and the band for one more. The encore tune was his new rock anthem (Use Your Hand) accompanied by the entire cast. The audience swayed back and forth with arms outstretched, lighters flicking, and cameras flashing.

After a much-too-quick seventy minutes, the self-proclaimed Love God of the New Millennium - Red Peters had left a couple of hundred people in very, very good spirits!

Backstage event coordinator and spokesperson Jeff Myaero proclaimed, 'What an awesome show', as he stood next to Red who was happily signing CDs, T-shirts (and anything else) after the show. Mayero says, 'Red Peters is the Tom Jones of the comedy underground!' Red Peters and his hysterical music is now headed for a mid-west tour, but he's expected to return to the Quincy Market venue in the near future. Mark this as a 'must see' event!

- Review by Lou Cielball


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