As I sit here listening to Vital Signs by Survivor, I can say my only complaint- if you can even call it that, of Tuesday’s show was that I didn’t get to hear every single song off this record done live. I can always count on the New York State Fair to bring great shows to the Upstate NY area, one year we had Night Ranger, Joan Jett and Journey with special guests Cheap Trick all within the span of three days. This year the fair brought us Survivor, the band behind one of the most solid records in my collection, Vital Signs.
Survivor took the stage around 2 pm, and to my surprise the show was pretty packed considering it was the middle of the afternoon on a scorching hot Tuesday. I hadn’t read up on the band in a while, and I will admit I was a little astounded when I first saw their lead singer, who looked only slightly older than my 18 years of age. Turns out Survivor recruited 22 year old Cameron Barton about a year ago to take on the role of the bands front man- and he plays the part well. Does he match, vocally, original lead singer Dave Bickler or mid-80’s era singer Jimi Jamison exactly? No, there are very few singers who can do that- or choose to. But, what he did do was take their style of vocals and incorporate his own personal styles, which created a unique sound that paired beautifully with the songs they were performing. Survivor performed some of their hits such as “High on You” and “I Can’t Hold Back” among other songs like “Take You on a Saturday” and “Light of a Thousand Smiles”. The band had a dynamic that intrigued me, as well. Having members of seemingly all ages, it was interesting to see the interaction between everyone and how the band as a whole worked on stage. Overall everyone performed with high energy and would not shy away from interacting directly with the crowd. In the set was both a keyboard and guitar solo- the guitar solo being performed by the only original Survivor member, Frankie Sullivan. Both solos were done very well and earned the band a great deal of applause. Survivor closed out their set with their infamous hit “Eye of the Tiger”, which brought the entire seated crowd to their feet and had everyone singing along. All in all it was a great show and a solid performance, making even the smallest of Survivor fans want to explore the bands catalog.