Matthew and Gunnar Nelson Perform a Flawless Retrospective…
It was very exciting for us last month to open 2 shows for “Ricky Nelson Remembered” a retrospective about the life of teen idol Ricky Nelson, as told (and sung) by his twin sons Matthew and Gunnar Nelson. One of the shows was at the Chandler Center for the Performing Arts in Arizona and the other was in Palm Springs at the McCallum Theater.
I highly recommend the show. The boys did a flawless presentation of their father’s career, complete with newsreel video footage and family archives, beginning all the way from film footage their grandfather, Ozzie Nelson created of the budding musician during the “Ozzie and Harriet” days.
I was so impressed by Matthew’s and Gunnar’s musicianship, they are great musicians and singers in their own right. Even though it was only the two of them; they sounded like an entire band, switching back and forth between acoustic and electric guitars and the bass. They harmonized beautifully with one another, and switched between classic rock and roll to sweet ballads effortlessly. I was most impressed with their seamless patter, (which is always the most difficult for me and therefore to be admired) which they performed rapid-fire, without a single stammer or a teleprompter. Awesome!
We didn’t have much time to get to know the Nelson’s personally, but they went out of their way to make us feel welcome. There was a delay in getting their sound check done (technical difficulties) and they were so kind to apologize profusely for cutting into our sound check time – not necessary…it was only a few minutes delay, but it shows you that they are a class act.
Even though the show was mostly advertised as a Nelson show, the audience was very responsive to us during our time, and they enjoyed and the music of John Denver. They recognized most of the songs we sang for them, and they sang with us and clapped along, and gave us a very enthusiastic standing ovation at the end of our portion of the show (both shows!).
If you are curious about the Nelson twins, click on this youtube video of them singing a song they wrote for their father. They close their show with this song, and I don’t believe there was a dry eye in the audience, and then there was another standing ovation. Well done Matthew and Gunnar!
“Just Once More”