Atlanta Rhythm Section and Pure Prairie League deliver a double dose of 70’s rock to The Stadium Theatre

Atlanta Rhythm Section. Photo by Mike McKenney.

By Mike McKenney, Rock At Night New England

Live Review: Atlanta Rhythm Section and Pure Prairie League – Opener-The Stadium Theatre-Woonsocket, Rhode Island–Friday, February 11, 2022

Atlanta Rhythm Section. Photo by Mike McKenney.

The Governor of Rhode Island relaxed the mask mandate just in time for two of the 70’s classic rock bands to perform their hits to an enthusiastic crowd at The Stadium. Pure Prairie League started the night off right with selections that span their 12 plus albums. “Two Lane Highway”, “I’ll Fix Your Flat Tire Merle”, and “Let Me Love You Tonight” were just some of tunes that had the mask-less masses singing along.

PPL was formed in the mid 60’s, as a Southern Ohio group of friends and has undergone line-up changes and guest appearances, (Chet Atkins, Emmylou Harris), contributions from Country Hall-of-Famers Gary Burr and Vince Gill, as well as award winning songwriter Jeff Wilson. The present day band features founding member/innovative pedal steel guitarist John David Call, drummer/vocalist Scott Thompson, keyboard master/vocalist Randy Harper, Jared Camic on bass and vocals, and guitarist/vocalist Jeff Zona.

Due to the popularity of songs such as “Amie” and “Falling In and Out of Love”, PPL has often been labeled a soft rock band but don’t be misled, these guys are extremely talented musicians that can rock out.  Don’t be surprised if they break out a Led Zeppelin riff!

Pure Prairie League. Photo by Mike McKenney.

Next up, The Atlanta Rhythm Section took the stage and noticeably they were one member short. Guitarist David Anderson had broken his wrist in a bicycle accident and won’t be playing for a while. No matter to this group of experienced pros, they never skipped a beat and although some of the depth of the second guitar was missing, they sounded great just the same.

Sometimes described as a Southern Rock band or as a more radio-friendly version of Lynyrd Skynyrd or the Allman Brothers, the Atlanta Rhythm Section was one of many Southern Rock bands to hit the upper reaches of the charts during the late `70s. Hailing from the small town of Doraville, Georgia, the beginning of the Atlanta Rhythm Section can be traced back to 1970. Fifteen albums and over 50 yrs later, ARS featuring the legendary original vocalist Rodney Justo, and guitarist Steve “Clean” Stone, is still going strong.

ARS played all their crowd pleasers “Champagne Jam”, “Spooky”, and “So Into You”. They rocked hard on “Jukin”, and “Boogie Smoogie”.  Atlanta Rhythm Section finished off the night with their iconic “Imaginary Lover” and an encore of “Homesick”

It was great to experience two exemplary bands playing two full sets of classic 70’s rock, sans masks!

Atlanta Rhythm Section Setlist:

Back Up Against the Wall , Champagne Jam , Spooky , Doraville, Large Time, Boogie Smoogie, I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight, Do It or Die, The Ballad of Lois Malone, So Into You, Jukin’, Imaginary Lover, Homesick

Pure Prairie League (partial setlist)

Two Lane Highway , Lifetime of Nighttime , Let Me Love You Tonight , Woman, I’ll Fix Your Flat Tire Merle, Goodbye So Long, Falling In and Out of Love, Amie




Mike McKenney

Forest Live Festival – UK

Forest Live Festival – UK