Starship Makes Smooth Landing at Busch Gardens, Piloted by Mickey Thomas

Live Review

Starship featuring Mickey Thomas

By Brent Michael, Rock At Night Senior Photojournalist

Venue: Busch Gardens Wine and Food Festival Concert Series, Tampa, Florida. Sunday, March 10th, 2024

Band Links: Starship featuring Mickey Thomas (website),  Starship featuring Mickey Thomas (Facebook)

Starship featuring Mickey Thomas

If you want to read about the history and drama and legal battles that brought Jefferson Airplane to become Jefferson Starship, with a short-lived period as Starship Jefferson, Starship and finally, since 1992. Starship featuring Mickey Thomas, there are plenty of places to do that. I’ll just give a quick rundown of parts relevant to this performance. Jefferson Airplane formed in 1965, and though none of its members are in this band, the band acknowledged their roots by performing “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit,” which are among Rolling Stone‘s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” Jefferson Airplane became Jefferson Starship, Mickey Thomas came along in 1979, having made a name for himself as the lead singer on “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” by the Elvin Bishop Group, another song performed at Busch. Don’t think the night was filled with just nods to former groups, they also performed many of their best-known classics like “Jane, Sara, We Built This City, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now, Find Your Way Back, Set the Night to Music, It’s Not Enough, Wild Again,” and as a kicker at the end of the night, AC/DC‘s “You Shook Me All Night Long!”

Starship featuring Mickey Thomas
Starship featuring Mickey Thomas

All band members are, of course, consummate professionals. “The Voice of Starship,” Mickey Thomas, is the band’s driving force, handling lead vocals and rhythm guitar (1984–1991, 1992–present). Darrell Verdusco slays on drums, with backing vocals (1995–present). Phil Bennett tickles the keyboards, with backing vocals (1995–present). Jeff Adams lines up the bass, and backing vocals (2000–present). John Roth shreds lead guitar and backing vocals (2012–present). And the newest member, holding down the vocal legend Grace Slick’s legacy, is Cian Coey, lead vocals (2021-present) including both former Jefferson Airplane tunes and the AC/DC growl!

And just a reminder, all Busch concerts are included in the price of park admission, though VIP seating will cost you extra. Fortunately, I have a year-round pass grandfathered in at a low, low rate – just one concert would cost me the same as a year does!

 

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