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Eric Burdon and the Animals @ Briggs and Stratton

Thursday, July 26, 2008

Jun. 27, 2008
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“I knew someone would cover this song at Summerfest,” my friend moaned as “The House of the Rising Sun” drifted over the festival grounds from stages away. The band playing the song wasn’t a cover band, though; it was the group that made the song famous 40-some years ago, The Animals, sounding very much like an Animals cover band.

At least they sounded like a good Animals cover band, though, riding a tight, bluesy groove that rocked a little bit harder than the familiar originals. Fronting the band, as always, was Eric Burdon. At 67, his voice still packs some serious power, but it’s grown rougher after years of wear and tear, its deep bellows now colored by smoke, gravel, asbestos and soot. An enthusiastic, overflowing crowd of boomers cheered and sang along with the haggard icon, standing on top of picnic tables to (quite literally) boogie.

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