Angel and the City
Updated: Mar 28
Angel opened their 2023 tour March 3 at The Cutting Room in New York City. The tour is in support of their next album, Once Upon a Time which is set for an April 21 release.
The show open harkens back to their 1970s roots with a full-sized screen along the back of the stage, the Angel logo spinning against a blue sky background to be replaced by the George logo.
The band is positioned with their backs to the crowd. Once George rises, he begins speaking in a deep God-like voice that is nearly drowned out by the exuberance of fans cheering.
George introduces the band, "Gabriel summoned his flock of Angels, and thus it came to pass, that there was music on earth, as it is, in heaven."
Keyboardist Charlie Calv welcomed the night to music with the siren beginning of On the Rocks. Drummer Billy Orrico joins in, stage lights flick on, the rest of the band turns to face the crowd, and what ensues is a blistering 16-song set that covers every album but In the Beginning.
The enthusiasm of the crowd never waned. Not only was there a standing ovation for the last song, The Tower, but throughout the set, fans were on their feet. Notably during Don't Leave Me Lonely.
In a request for comment about the evening's proceedings, lead guitarist Punky Meadows said, "Angel started our 2023 tour off with a bang at New York's Iconic Cutting Room. We had a blast, and the band was cookin' and so great to see so many familiar faces in the crowd! New York is our kinda town, and the fans are great!"
A note on In the Beginning, the one lp that is not represented by a song on the setlist. It is a year 2000 release that featured original Angel members Frank Dimino (vocals), Barry Brandt (drums) and a guest appearance by Mr. Meadows.
The present day version of Angel has Mr. Dimino and Mr. Meadows, along with the aforementioned Mr. Calv and Mr. Orrico. They are rounded out by Steve E. Ojane on bass and Danny Farrow Anniello on guitar. All of the new members were Angel fans before joining the band.
Angel fans come from all over the world to see them perform. The band is keenly aware of this and not only makes the trip worthwhile by their on-stage performance but by their open, friendly manner towards the fans. Their demeanor helps cultivate a tight-knit group I like to call the Angel community.
Safe to say, I have seen the band 20-plus times; safer to say their March 3 performance was tied for first as one of the best shows to date. Highlighted by the addition of Pressure Point.
A gentleman sitting at the table with me was seeing them for the first time, he was blown away. I received a similar response from a Facebook friend. Count them both as new Angel fans.
Count Sex and the City actor John Corbett as a long-time Angel fan. He was at The Cutting Room show. As Mr. Meadows wrote on his Facebook page, "He's a Big Angel fan! Knows all about us and saw us play when he was 15yrs." Mr. Corbett starred in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding and the popular TV series Northern Exposure. He also plays guitar and did some touring, most recently in 2015.
The second night of the tour, March 4, took the band to a favorite spot of theirs, the Debonair Music Hall in Teaneck, New Jersey. Mr. Meadows offered, "The Debonair in Jersey is like our home turf, and we always have fun rockin' out with our fabulous Jersey fans! Always feels like home and Angel family."
There are plenty more shows to come, but many are selling out quickly, so make sure to snag some ducats before it's too late.
You can also pre-order the new CD. Mr. Meadows is psyched about it, "Can't wait for everyone to hear our new album Once Upon A Time. It has everything Angel fans expect and more. This album is deep and I'm really proud of it and can't wait for it to hit the streets and your ears!"
Back to The Cutting Room show, have you ever enjoyed a movie so much you don't want it to end? That feeling was this show. I did not want the night to end.
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See ya soon!