A Night to Remember in the City of Angels
The Temptations rock L.A. at the Whittier Radisson Hotel
Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor
Man! ...I had to pinch myself on a Sunday morning to make sure I wasn't asleep and still in a dream, as room service knocked on the door with a generous, hot scrumptous breakfast for 2, and a fresh hot pot of coffee that tickled my nostrils as the cart was rolled in....nope, wasn't a dream...we are at the Whittier Radisson Hotel.
Published on LatinoLA: January 18, 2010
The night before was like a dream. Being lucky enough to score on some tickets for the sold out TEMPTATIONS Show at the Whittier Radisson Hotel Ballroom, and then a discount special luxury suite at the world famous Radisson, my Lady and I rolled into uptown Whittier feeling like royalty, not believing our luck.
...I say this because we've paid MORE for motels in our travels throughout Aztlan (...and no offense to any of them) , but the service and courtesies we were extended, in the luxurious & classy atmosphere that is the Whittier Radisson, speaks volumes for the efforts of a good management & staff team that seeks to please. Really hard to believe that first class luxury is so affordable in the Land of 1000 Dances.
I know I was joined by a large multitude of others feeling the same way, as the Radisson was the place to be on Saturday night....gotta admit, despite being "dressed up to the nines", the crystal clear swimming pool looked mighty inviting, and the fine aroma of gourmet food served in SOPHIA's Restaurant makes you want to just hang out in the lobby and enjoy the ambiance.
But tonight, The TEMPTATIONS were in the house!
Just before the show, we were pleasantly surprised to find other music celebrities had checked in for the show, including singer Pepe Marquez from Santa Barbara, who was also a neighbor on our floor.
Just before the show, we got into the long line leading to the grand ballroom waiting to get good seats up front, enjoying a cool drink from the hallway bar, and listening to the hot DJ spins of the Club 201 DJ warming up next door.
As the crowd grew and the doors opened, JEG President & CEO Peter Jaramillo
( who also double dutied as Master of Ceremonies) was at the door, personally greeting many of the guests thronging into the cavernous grand ballroom as the DJ played some favorite 1960's clasic Motown & Soul music.
Nice touch for the moment...
Starting off the show, Peter brought out the Crown Prince of Chicano Comedy, Mr. GILBERT ESQUIVEL, to warm up the crowd and get the evening started.
As always, Gilbert is a warm and humorous soul, making us all laugh and feel comfortable with his L.A. hometown humor, gut busting routines, and the way he involves the audience in the fun, proving again why he is one of the more popular comedians in the country today.
Next came the stars of the show, as the mighty TEMPTATIONS took the stage to thunderous applause with their trademark opening song "Get ready", which almost immediately formed an impromptu and unexpected dance floor full of dancers.
Singing many of the legendary songs the TEMPTATIONS are known for, the first set ended with a beautiful soul Oldies medley that got the large L.A. crowd on their feet, with each Temptation member giving a solo and showing off their world renown singing talent.
The 2nd set proved just as good, as the crowd sang along with almost every song, and many in the crowd screaming for "My Girl".
Finally, to meet the crowd's demand, the TEMPTATIONS performed their most famous trademark song of all, "My Girl", coming off with the soulful stage choreography that has thrilled audiences across the country and around the world for generations.
In a new twist, after their most appreciated performance of that song, the TEMPTATIONS do a slightly different version of this song while the crowd is still on their feet called "Can you sing this song?", in which they invite members of the audience to join them on stage and sing the first verse...a VERY intimidating but fun thing to do...
...I wasn't buzzed enough, so getting up on stage in front of hundreds of people and singing "...I got sunshine, on a cloudy day..." while the world famous TEMPTATIONS sang back up was just NOT on my itinerary for the night, know what I mean?...I am NOT a singer, so my seat was just fine, thank you! LOL!
But some people gave it a shot...almost funny in some cases...
But then, to the pleasant surprise of many, Peter Jaramillo brought out a couple of "big guns" in the audience to make the night a little more than interesting.
First, he brought up singer SARA MORGAN (of the SIDETRACS Band) to join them. Besides being gorgeous & a great singer, Sara is a good dancer, and when the TEMPTATIONS invited her to dance the "Temptation walk", she gave it a twist of her own with some sensual moves & dips & spins that wowed everybody before she passionately sang the first verse of "...I've got sunshine..." which brought her a standing ovation.
"That was a rush of a lifetime...singing with the Temptations on stage", Sara said afterwards. I could see that her smile lasted the rest of the evening, even when she was on the dance floor.
Next, Peter brought up singer PEPE MARQUEZ on stage, who, after jumping in and joining the Temps in the "Temptation wal " dance on stage ( and not bad, either!) he also gave it a soulful twist of his own while singing, so much so that the Temptations invited Pepe to sing the second verse as well.
As Pepe sang " ...I got so much honey, the bees envy me...", it seemed the whole place joined in for the remainder of the verse and the chorus, as Pepe's marvelous voice sang out " My Girl!...talkin' 'bout my girl..." as the Temptations sang along and danced in perfect harmony.
" That was truly a musical experience of a lifetime ! To have 5 perfect back up singers like the Temptations, while I sing lead, is like something out of a dream come true. I've been singing this song all my life...and to have the opportunity to sing it WITH the Temptations...well...I wish I had brought a camera!", Pepe said afterwards.
As the concert ended with an appreciative audience taking photos with, and getting CD's autographed by the Temptations, the Radisson pulled out another surprise of the night, as they brought out a hot, fresh, taco bar with all the fixings, and offered everybody discounted admission to Club 201, where we danced the night away til 2 am !
...so, as I try to drag my Lady out of the warm, king size, luxury dial-a-bed ( Ooh! talk about luxury!) with it's 6 fluffy pillows on this beautiful Sunday morning, I pour us a cup of coffee, start in on my gourmet breakfast, and smile to myself....
...I'm really here, and I was really there!
Note: For more info on upcoming shows, live band appearances, & special
events, including the upcoming Summer salsa season at the
Whittier Radisson, or for info on putting shows together :
www.jegrp.com or call 626-488-3344
...and let them know you heard it from LatinoLA.com !
Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme is the Al Capone of the microphone, and the Hitman of west coast Chicano Soul heard daily on Internet Radio
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