At the concerts, the crowd is more interesting than the performers. Such was the case at the Capital Centre late Saturday night. The crowd danced in the aisles, by their seats, on their seats, in the outer halls and on every square foot of the chairless floor. They danced to four bands: AWB, Mass Production, Atlantic Starr and Brainstorm. And they danced to the echoing disco records between sets.
The sellout crowd turned the basketball arena into the region's largest discotheque. They blew their whistles, waved their hands and pumped their hips. They danced nonstop from 1:30 at night until 4:30 in the morning. When the lights came up, the 20,000 bodies looked like one gigantic, writhing organism.
Since the crowd came to dance, not to listen, any band with a heavy fore-beat highlighted by a booming bass and multiple percussion would have done.
Brainstorm's funk songs were as tuneless as they were endless. Atlantic Starr mixed strong Philadelphia-style soul melodies into the standard funk formula. Mass Production was a competent but quite derivative imitation of Parliament. AWB (formerly the Average White Band) contains two of the best saxophonists in rhythm and blues, and they shone on the memorable instrumental "Pick Up the Pieces." Unfortunately, the group insisted on singing.