Live Review: Three Dog Night Outdoor Concert

Published on June 7th, 2009

June 5, 2009 – The weather may have been decidedly cold and windy, but the music of Three Dog Night kept the crowd warm on third evening of Fargo’s Rib Fest on the grounds of the Fargodome. Thousands had gathered at the event in the lead up to the big show, and cheers filled the brisk air as the band emerged onto the stage. As the first date on Three Dog Night’s summer 40th Anniversary Tour, if you could call it summer that is, the show was filled with electrifying guitar riffs, vocal harmonies, and even some humor. Yes, the first outdoor concert for this reviewer and for most attendees at the Fargo show was not the balmiest, but that didn’t stop the fun. The band’s remarkable 40 year history has seen them play to millions and sell millions, but their sound today is as fresh as can be.

The up-tempo “Family of Man” was chosen as the opening song, and as soon as the chorus arrived it was hard to believe that the sound was coming from the stage and not from the original recordings, and so the tone for the show was set. Plenty of variety was to be found in the selections of the evening as hits and album cuts alike got their turn. As the band broke into the instantly recognizable chorus of “One,” the crowd responded by pushing and compacting toward the stage, and a steady line of fans made their way past the soundboard into the mass of people. There’s no shortage of high notes in the song, but they covered them quite well and the layered vocals were very impressive. Danny Hutton, Cory Wells, Michael Allsup, and Jimmy Greenspoon have been together for the whole ride and their on-stage chemistry was evident. With three lead vocalists and lots of vocally demanding hits, there was never a dull moment and the strength in their voices remains unchanged.

They got down to the blues for “Heart of Blues,” and blinded the crowd with lights during “Liar“. A signature song for the group, “Mama Told Me Not to Come” was extended for additional instrument play and even a rap parody. “We’re going to do a new version of the song in today’s style,” said singer Cory Wells. A few seconds later, a changed band emerged with Wells dawning a white cap and bassist Paul Kingery dressed in a white hood, rapping to the sound of turntable scratching. With Wells referring to himself as “Poop Dog”, the skit was quite a riot and went over well. When asked with version takes the prize, however, the fans made it clear that newer isn’t always better. Everyone in sight was clapping and singing along to “Celebrate” shortly before the band took a short leave from the stage.

By the time “Joy to the World” was played during the encore, the sun had gone down and with continued cold, the only thing the band could say was “we can’t feel our instruments.” Indeed after over an hour of music it was time to call it a night. Few bands can be so fortunate to draw huge crowds decades after first emerging on the charts, but with a catalog that has been covered by contemporary artists and a reputation for great live shows, Three Dog Night makes the feat look easy. “We’ll keep doing this as long as you want us to,” they say. At that rate, the band will be rocking for years to come.

Share Button


  1. Posted by josh kettler on July 26th, 2009, 08:53 [Reply]

    That was the worst job i have ever heard a soundman do. He ruined the show It was the worst sounding concert we have heard .Does’nt anyone from the band hear what this guy is doing to them. This My favorite 70′s band love them but that was horrible.Please someone tell the band they are great sound man does not do any justice to them he hurts them.


Comment guidelines, edit this message in your Wordpress admin panel