MUSIC: Temptations Bring Motown to Rhode Island

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


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A warm welcome greeted The Temptations Sunday night in Cranston as the Park Theatre hosted a sold out show by the legendary Detroit band. The award winning R&B group thrilled those in attendance with classic hits along with some new songs.


First up was Tribeca, a well-known RI band, the perfect choice to open the show. Singing before their idols, the vocal act performed a brief, but engaging set. Founding member Ron Campagnone joined the band onstage for tunes which included classics like Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” and “I’ll Be Around,” originally recorded by the Spinners. If you like the classic R&B sound, check out Tribeca soon – like Del’s and coffee milk, they’re a local institution.

The Temptations

Known for their chart topping hits “Just My Imagination,” “My Girl,” and “Ain’t to Proud to Beg,” The Temptations took the audience back to those celebrated Motown days. They rocked the house on their first #1 hit, “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” and added some 70’s funk to their classic “Papa was a Rolling Stone.”

Over the course of the evening, they belted out more hits including ”I’m Gonna Make You Love Me,” “Get Ready,” and a “new” song, “Stay,” from the album “Phoenix Rising,” recorded in 1998. And of course, they showed off their trademark dance moves to the delight of those in attendance.

A Winning Formula

The Temps are known for their vocal range – all members get at least one chance to sing lead during the show. Their 15 piece backing band really adds to the ambiance. Only one original member, Otis Williams remains on tour with the group, but the formula is the same – 5 guys harmonizing to a killer back-up band.

How important are the Temptations in the history of popular music? According to many critics including this one, they are as central in R&B music as the Beatles were to Rock and Roll. They’ve had 4 Billboard #1 hits, (14 on the R&B charts), were inducted to the Rock Hall of Fame in 1989, and have received numerous honors, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.

Temptations Own the Town

The evening was topped off with a special welcome from the city of Cranston, as Mayor Fung declared Sunday “Temptations Day” in the city. A nice finish to a great evening!

The Park Theatre has more great shows ahead. Check their schedule for upcoming concerts including Mary Mary, Michael Bolton and the Beach Boys.

Ken Abrams reviews Roots, Rock and Blues for GoLocalProv. He can be reached at [email protected].


Related Slideshow: College Guide 2013: Best Places to Get Wings

The best places in Rhode Island for wings.

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Wings Over Providence


A chain restaurant with the feel of a local staple, Wings Over Providence offers plenty of flavor options, including twenty wing sauces. This is the perfect place to order for parties, as they offer Combo Packs that combines wings, sides, sodas and more. With a variety of choices, there’s an option for every appetite. Delivery is available to Providence area colleges.

725 Hope Street, Providence. Monday-Wednesday 4pm-1am, Thursday 11:30am-2 am, Friday-Saturday 11:30am-3am, Sunday 11:30am-1am. 401-274-9464.

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Rick’s Roadhouse


For Monday and Thursday Night Football Games, you can’t beat the 25 cent wing deal at Rick’s Roadhouse. For the adventurous there’s the Wings From Hell, wings so hot conquerors of the challenge get their photo on the Wall of Flame. Stop by on any football Sunday and enter in a contest to win tickets to Patriots games or other sports memorabilia.

370 Richmond Street, Providence. Open Sunday-Thursday 11:30am-11pm, Friday-Saturday 11:30am-12am. 401-272-7675.

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South Street Café


Boasting the best wings in town, this centrally located spot offers 35 different types of sauces. Some of the more unique and mouthwatering options at the South Street Café include Peking Sticky, Honey Chipotle BBQ, and Tequila Lime. They also have a Ladies Night on Mondays featuring $5 martinis and $3 shots every night.

54 South Street, Providence. Open Monday-Wednesday 2pm-1am, Thursday 11am-1am, Friday-Saturday 11am-2am, Sunday 11am-1am. 401-454-5360.

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The Abbey


This North Providence spot offers 92 different types of beer and fresh made food. The Abbey’s menu even offers suggestions for the beer that pairs best with each order. They suggest ordering a Miller Lite on draft with their “World Famous Chicken Wings,” which can be ordered Buffalo, Honey BBQ, Teriyaki, or BBQ style. Try one of their “soon-to-be-world-famous” sauces to kick up the flavor.

686 Admiral Street, Providence. Open Monday-Sunday 11:30am-11pm. 401-351-4346.

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Doherty’s East Avenue


Head to Doherty’s to try some of their Famous Wings, which are available deep-friend or char-grilled. They offer nine different flavors, including classics like BBQ or Teriyaki and flavorful options like Sesame Garlic or Orange Ginger. For the brave, the Buffalo wings come in Nuclear, Atomic, and Inferno flavors. Pair your wings with one of the 82 beers on draft that Doherty’s has to offer.

342 East Avenue, Pawtucket. Open Monday-Friday 11am-1am, Saturday-Sunday 9am-1am. 401-725-9520.

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Reasonable prices and a prime location near the Bryant campus makes Parente’s a go-to spot. Chicken wings, offered as an appetizer, are only $4 between 3 and 6 PM. Fans of wings will want to try the Buffalo Fingers, the Grilled Chicken Teriyaki Skewers, or the Combo Appetizer (featuring Chicken Wings). The menu and beverage list are extensive, meaning there’s options for everyone at Parente’s.

1114 Douglas Pike, Smithfield. Open Monday-Saturday 11am-12am, Sunday 12pm-12am. 401-231-7600.

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The Ocean Mist


With an oceanfront view and a location close to Matunuck Beach, The Ocean Mist is a perfect place to stay in a summertime mindset all year long. Come in on Wednesdays when a basket of wings is only $3 after 8 PM and flavors include Pineapple Teriyaki, Peanut Butter & Jelly, and Georgia Peach. Ocean Mist also offers many events with live bands!

895 Matunuck Beach Rd, Wakefield. Open Monday-Friday 10am-1am, Saturday-Sunday 9am-1am. 401-782-3740.

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Charlie O’s Tavern


A comfortable hang out for over twenty years, Charlie O’s offers a fun and causal place to have a meal or catch a game. Chicken Wings flavors include Buffalo, Teriyaki, and Garlic Pamigiano. Red Sauce is available as a dipping sauce for their wings. A new addition to the restaurant, Simon’s Martini Lounge, is open upstairs and serves the full Charlie O’s menu until Midnight.

2 Sand Hill Cove Rd, Narragansett. Open Monday-Sunday 12:30am-12am. 401-782-2002.

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Cabral’s Gourmet Chicken


For Chicken guaranteed to be fresh, Cabral’s Gourmet Chicken is the place to go. Their wings are available at as a Daily Special for Market Price. You can also call ahead for a ready to eat pick up order. Their Barbequed wings are a healthier alternative to the deep fried wings found at most restaurants. Cabral’s accepts the UNICARD for Roger Williams University students.

585 Metacom Ave, Bristol. Open Tuesday-Friday 9am-7pm, Saturday 9am-6pm, Sunday 9am-2pm. 401-253-3913.

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Nikolas Pizza


Mainly known for their Mediterranean dishes, Nikolas Pizza’s Chicken Wings should not be ignored. The unique flavor options include Chesapeake, Eastwest, and Little Italy. Also available are three types of Buffalo “temperatures,” blaze, bonfire, and inferno. A plus to Salve Regina University students is their free delivery, which comes in handy to those without cars on campus.

38 Memorial Blvd W, Newport. Open Monday-Sunday 7am-12am. 401-849-6611.


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