Amazing Grace Reunion Concert This Sunday

Original members of Amazing Grace to reunite for concert 

"Where it all started... for one last time" 

Following a successful stint wowing Sri Lankan music lovers back in the '70s, the original members of frontline group of yesteryear, Amazing Grace, will return to the stage for their final reunion concert at the BMICH this Sunday. 

Their repertoire of successful renditions of hits by artists like the Bee Gees, Grand Funk Railroad and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young notwithstanding, the concert is bound to be a nostalgic experience not only for fans of Amazing Grace, but for fans of all ages who enjoy legends who have carved their niche in the industry. 

Their journey began in 1973 when Augie Ranaweera, a respected recording and PA engineer in the country, decided to put together a new band that would eventually become one of the most influential supergroups in the country. Augie soon enlisted musicians Tony Silva, (Keyboards and Vocals), Benjamin Ranabahu (Bass) and Donald Pieris (Drums and Vocals) who make up the original Amazing Grace members. 

Speaking to Life Online, Damayantha Kuruppu of DK Promotions expressed that his desire was to provide the local audience with topnotch performances, and this resulted in him wanting to organize the reunion concert of a band with the repute of Amazing Grace, adding that he hopes even youngsters would attend the concert for a taste of yesteryears music. 

Life Online caught up with the band amidst their hectic schedule and rehearsals. 

Joey Lewis 

Tell me a little about yourself. 

I am a very unconventional person and always think out of the box. I always look for new ideas as I get bored very easily. I need a challenge. 

Tell us about your life in and out of the band. 

I did many wonderful and inspiring things before and after Amazing Grace, but being an original member of the band/a founder member, is one of the most important parts of my musical career. There was a certain chemistry between the four of us. It is not something that you can make happen. It is something that is there or not there. We worked together as one. We all had our roles to play and we complimented each other. 

What else have you been involved in apart from Amazing Grace? 

I had a very exciting music and acting career in the U.K. I have been blessed with the opportunity to have worked with some of the most famous stars in all those fields of the arts. From the recording studios to the film and television sets too! I always point out though, that my greatest role in life was being a hands on parent to my children. My wife and I made very sure that our children were our responsibility and obligation and our family life was always very important, and took priority over everything else. 

What can we expect from this concert? 

From our first rehearsal together, we felt the same excitement and enthusiasm that we used to feel all those years ago. Although it is an enormous help to us, we are making very sure that we do not let modern technology influence us too much, and are making a great effort to tell it like it was. There was a very special sound and feel to the music of the '70s and '80s and we hope that we can capture that and present it to the audience at our show on the 11th. 

This is your final concert together. Anything you have to add? 

The boys in the band have prohibited me from making any more statements about my intention to hang my guitar up after this show, so I guess I had just better say bye for now, and leave it at that. 

Tony Silva 

Tell me a little about yourself. 

I live in the USA, and I play music part time. I own a little recording studio and work with computer operating systems. 

Tell us about your life in and out of the band. 

I was the leader of Amazing Grace and played with the band from its inception till the very end. 

What else have you been involved in apart from Amazing Grace? 

Now, it's more of a classical gig for me, and I do concerts in the USA a couple of times a year. 

What can we expect from this concert? 

Fun! And a musical experience that we hope our fans will love. 

This is your final concert together. Anything you have to add? 

I'm not buying into this being a final concert. Who knows though? 

Donald Pieris 

Tell me a little about yourself. 

I am very much a homebird. I like keeping a low profile and spend as much time as possible with my family, who I love very much. 

Tell us about your life in and out of the band. 

I left Amazing Grace in 1978 and toured with another band. I rejoined Amazing Grace in 1982 while the band was performing in Europe. 

What can we expect from this concert? 

Since this is the first time the original line up has managed to get together after about 40 years, it is exciting to discover that we can still create the energy and excitement in our music like we used to do. 

This is your final concert together. Anything you have to add? 

I believe that we can never predict what the future holds. 

Benjy Ranabahu 

Tell me a little about yourself. 

I used to be a footballer and then discovered my love for music. I enjoyed playing bass guitar and it took over my life. I was very lucky to have a mother who supported my love for music and gave me all the encouragement that I needed to become a professional musician. 

What else have you been involved in apart from Amazing Grace? 

Apart from Amazing Grace, I have played with many other lineups and toured the world visiting some beautiful places. Most of my careers have been spent abroad. 

What can we expect from this concert? 

The four of us have always been travelling and been in different places all the time. This was a great expectation that has finally come to pass. We have finally managed to get together here in our homeland, where it all started for us - the original line up of the band. 

This is your final concert together. Anything you have to add? 

I am a person who never says 'never again' and always believe that anything can happen. 

Excerpts of the set list: 

● I'm A Believer 
● Cowboy 
● Lola 
● Desperado 
● Hotel California 
● Tears On My Pillow 
● Isn't She Lovely 
● Sir Duke 
● My Friend The Wind 
● Feeling Alright 
● Some Kind Of Wonderful 
● Why Me Lord 
● Lean On Me 
● Yellow River 
● Hallelujah 
● Sweet Caroline 
● Mother 
● Beatles Medley 
● Queen Medley 
● Bee Gee's medley and more 

Tickets are almost sold out, so do hurry! For details please call 0777 744950. The Amazing Grace Reunion Concert will take place on June 11 (Sunday), at 7:30PM at the BMICH. 

Tickets are available at Torana Liberty Plaza, Sonata Sounds - 3rd floor Majestic City, Video International - 325, Nawala Road and on TicketsLK. 

VIP - Rs. 6000 
Platinum - Rs. 4000 
Gold - Rs. 2000 
Balcony (reserved seating) - Rs 1500 
Balcony (free seating) - Rs. 1000

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rihaab Mowlana

Foodie • Bona-fide expert on Harry Potter universe • proud Slytherin • Unapologetic know-it-all • Keyboard warrior • Occasionally sarcastic • Incessant retweeter • Self proclaimed funny girl • twitter.com/ReeMowlana

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