The Zombies Rise Again in Santa Monica

Colin Blunstone of The Zombies (photo by Scott Feinblatt)
It might seem ironic that the 50 year-old band The Zombies would perform at Santa Monica Pier as part of the Twilight Concert Series. However, to suggest that the band is nearing the end of its life would be inaccurate given the brilliance of its performance and the enthusiasm of its reception. Indeed, moans of disappointment rang out over the Internet as numerous people realized that The Zombies had been in town, and they had missed the opportunity to see the band. Such is the strength of their music, and the years have not diminished it.

Though the band is currently pared-down (no pun intended) to two of its original five members, those members happen to be Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone. Founder / lead songwriter / keyboardist Argent spoke with the Weekly last week about his inspirations and creative process. On stage, he is simply on fire. When he's not standing up from his keyboard station to set up various songs or encourage collective hand-clapping, he is making his Hammond organ and Kurzweil keyboard sing as if their electronic lives depended on it. As he revealed in his interview, this has always been his approach to performing and recording -- to put his all into every performance so that the music has a life of its own.

(Left to Right) Rod Argent, Jim Rodford, and Colin Blunstone of The Zombies (Photo by Scott Feinblatt)
Lead singer Blunstone possesses a very distinctive voice. It is breathy, sweet, and vulnerable, and when it gives manifestation to The Zombies's more haunting and melancholic songs, tears can easily flow. Conversely, on some of the more aggressive numbers, Blunstone's voice commands a cathartic feeling of triumph. At the Twilight Concert, Blunstone's performance demonstrated that age has not withered his ability to command such sentiments.

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