There was a pretty good oldies show at the Warner Theatre Saturday night, albeit one that featured more rocking and clowning than romantic ballads. Marv Johnson opened the show with a set of uptempo rhythm and blues interjected with impressively energetic dance routines including early '60s favorites like the Pony and the Slop. Johnson's voice may have lost some of its strength as he sang his hits, "You Got What it Takes" among them, but the man worked overtime on the dance floor.
Motown's Contours came next and effectively reclaimed their party classics like "Do You Love Me" and "Shake Sherry Shake." The five-man group staged some impressive choreography that suggested a goofy version of the expert moves of groups like the Temptations. The lighthearted flavor of the show peaked when the Coasters ran through their comic classics like "Charlie Brown" and "Poison Ivy." Only lead singer Carl Gardner is left from the original group, whose re-creations fell far short of their memorable records.
Longtime area favorites Pookie Hudson and the Spaniels closed the show with a demonstration of the magic of the vocal group sound that was a welcome change from the less romantically evocative acts that had preceded. Led by Hudson's tremulous tenor and Gerald Gregory's rumbling bass, the Spaniels were particularly stirring on an a cappella version of "Danny Boy."