? & The Mysterians still shine!

? & The Mysterians hit it big with ’96 Tears’ in 1966. It stayed #1 in the charts for three months! They recorded two LPs brimming with tight, clever, pop nuggets, and though the second was an even stronger release than the first, no further hits emerged. Their third LP didn’t get released. They were labeled a “one hit wonder”, and soon disbanded. They obviously did not quit music and their musicianship has continued to grow. When they step out on the stage as ? & The Mysterians, they bring the party with them.

? & The Mysterians were fine and easily the highlight of the show today. They opened with ‘Do You Feel It’. Besides the ? & The Mysterians hits, they also played a number of classics, including ‘You Really Got Me’, ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’, ‘Try Me’, and a number of other songs. Today ? wore a very spangly top with fringe on the sleeves. His dancing was a little more subdued this time out, but no less constant. He looked good, and he sounded good. The band sounded good and tight, too. What with the various covers, Bobby Balderrama got a bit more chance to step out today. His leads were hot and rockin’, and it’s damn smart of them to give him a chance to step out and show his stuff, though the tunes featuring Frank Rodriguez on keyboards are the lifeblood of this band. It’s a rockin’ band, and their star does his duty as the front man, stepping out and showing his stuff to good effect. During the set they brought out one of The Velvelettes (who had played earlier in the afternoon) to help them do ‘Sally Goes Round The Roses’. They closed the set with ’96 Tears’, of course, and halfway through the song Ronnie Spector came out and sang with ?, which was good fun. At one point ? went into ‘Be My Baby’, and Ronnie gave him a big smile, but refused to follow him. It was a shorter set than The Gories, but it was a lot of fun to see ? and The Mysterians again. They topped an amazing show of Detroit bands. The rest of the bands (Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels/The Gories/Death) were interesting historically, and played well, but ? and The Mysterians were the ones who seemed be burning nearly as brightly as they ever have.

? & The Mysterians still shine!

—Paul Wheeler (former webmaster, writer and photographer of RockOfJapan.com)