*Known for creating some of the most memorable songs in music history, and helping to formulate the Motown sound, the audience at the Arcadia Performing Arts Center in Arcadia, California was treated to music royalty when The Four Tops performed on Saturday night to a nearly sold out crowd. With only one remaining original member left, Abdul “Duke” Fakir, the show would have had a more bittersweet overtone were it not for the beautiful homage paid to original members – former lead singer Levi Stubbs, who passed away in 2008; Lawrence Payton, Sr. (1997) and Renaldo Benson (2005).
The new Four Tops lineup brings the energetic Harold Bonhart to the lead position, followed by Ronnie McNeir and Lawrence Payton, Jr. who is following in the legendary footsteps of his dad. Payton brought the audience to tears when he did a beautiful rendition of the Luther Vandross hit, “Dance With My Father” to honor Payton, Sr.
This groups’ performance continues to prove that today’s younger generation of artists still have a long way to go when it comes to showmanship. The group, backed by a large band of independent musicians conducted by Fakir’s nephew, The Four Tops really looked like they were enjoying the audience and each other while singing hits like “Bernadette,” “Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch),” and “Standing in the Shadow of Love” among others.
In an interview with EURweb associate Chris Richburg, Lawrence Payton, Jr. commented on the impact that the groups’ music has had and continues to have, on fans.
“A lot of people come to you and say ‘That music was the soundtrack to our lives.’ And then there’s younger people that’s hearing it for the first time. And when they hear it, they’re just amazed,” Payton, Jr. admits.
The group invited the largely Caucasian audience to get up and dance if they wanted to, and it was ‘nothing but a word’ as the audience jumped to their feet and sang along with the music.
The Four Tops has had over 15, top 20 singles in the U.S. including “Baby I Need Your Loving,” ‘I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch),” “”It’s The Same Old Song,” “Reach Out, I’ll Be There,” and “Ain’t No Woman (Like The One I’ve Got).”
Listen to The Four Tops sing their 1967 hit, “Bernadette,” with lead singer, Levi Stubbs below.