Milford. The Magical Mystery Doors band rocked the house at their Valentine’s Day concert at the Milford Theater. And so began a love feast between the band and the audience.
The scene was almost like pre-pandemic Milford. People were literally on their feet, standing, singing, shouting, cheering. Some were even dancing at their seats and in the aisles to the music.
Beth O’Neil, artistic director of the theater, summed it up perfectly: “The show was electric. Magical Mystery Doors blew people away with their talent. It was amazing to see Milford on its feet and celebrating music together.”
This was the first big concert where people could take their masks off. “With the loosening of restrictions all around, our new policy is ‘We do not mandate masks or vaccinations,’” said theater owner Bill Rosado.
Indeed, signs in the lobby on each side of the bar said, “Masks not required.” So people were happy.
Magical Mystery Doors (MMD) is the only tribute band which pays tribute to three different bands; Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, and the Doors. So everyone in the audience was very familiar with many, if not all, of the songs. And MMD’s playlist included songs from each of the bands, so one minute you’d be hearing The Doors’ “Riders on the Storm” leading right into the Beatles’ “Here comes the Sun.” Some of the other songs they played were Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” The Doors’ “Touch me,” and the Beatles’ “Lonely People.”
The ever-changing on-stage light show, which synced with specific moments in the music, provided a great visual element. The audience joined in many of the choruses.
Vinny De Renzis, the lead singer, was totally engaged with the audience and the other band members, who were obviously all having fun. “We are having a blast,” he said.
Joe Papaleo, an audience member who had followed all of these bands in the day, said, “The band was very tight, especially the drummer and the (electric) bass player. They melded together perfectly.” That tight play, broadcast over the theater’s brand-new sound system, put the audience in a giant pulsing surround-sound bass bubble.
In addition to being the front man, De Renzis plays guitar and keys. He was totally high energy; he was up, he was down, he turned around to face the band and back to the audience in the blink of an eye. There were three encores and a standing ovation.
For their last song, they played “ Hey Jude,” and De Renzis, with great fanfare, led the audience in several choruses and the repetitive coda “Na na na nananana, nannana, hey Jude”
While De Renzis didn’t do all the 240 “nas” in the original song, he did enough to bring the house down.
Most of the folks in the audience were new to the Milford Theater, and some traveled a distance to be there. They were all enthralled.
Linda Delaney from Port Jervis said, “They were just fantastic.”
Mike Szymczak said, “’Hey Jude’ was the best. They rocked out.”
Joe McDonald from Stroudsburg “loved the energy, the lyricism, and the creativity.”
And Sarah Duese,l who came from Nyack, N.Y., said, “They were absolutely full of energy, and I can’t wait to see them again.”