Review: A Walk Down Memory Lane with Ambrosia

Seventies rock & roll legends Ambrosia brought their concert tour to Canyon at the Rose in Pasadena, CA earlier this month. Featuring a line up that includes original members Joe Puerta (bass and vocals), Burleigh Drummond (drums and vocals) and Christopher North (keyboards and vocals), and Doug Jackson (guitar and vocals), Ken Stacey (vocals), and Mary Harris (keyboards and vocals), Ambrosia performed a nostalgic 90-minute set. Touching the heartstrings of an audience that was predominantly of the baby boomer generation, highlights included their timeless hits “How Much I Feel,” “Biggest Part of Me,” “You’re the Only Woman (You & I)” and “Holdin’ on to Yesterday.” The crowd sat mesmerized from the opening number to the evening's encore finale. Ambrosia was given a standing ovation as they took a final bow, and exited the stage. During a post-show meet and greet with fans, band members thanked fans for coming out, signed autographs and took photos.

“I think it’s wonderful being the soundtrack of people's lives,” says bassist, Joe Puerta, before tonight’s concert. “We made these records 40 years ago, and every day people are continuing to absorb those records, and relive the memories.”

“When people come to our show I want them to feel like we haven’t lost it,” adds Puerta. “ You still want to be able to sing strong and move people. We want to keep that level of performance up, not just phoning it in, but giving it our all every night.”

Formed in Southern California in 1970, Ambrosia released five studio albums, Ambrosia (1975), Somewhere I’ve Never Travelled (1976), Life Beyond L.A. (1978), One Eighty (1980), and Road Island (1882). Merging a variety of musical influences, they left an indelible musical impression in what many consider to be the most fertile period in rock & roll history.

“The '70s certainly did something for us,” recalls Puerta. “Every decade had something pretty great about it. What we did was incorporate jazz, rock, R&B, folk, classical, prog, it’s all meshed into what we do. It can’t be described by, ‘we are this or that,’ you have to see the whole show and see and hear what we do.”

“I enjoy doing this as much as I ever have,” adds Puerta. “We just continue and, knock on wood, we will continue as long as everybody in the band is into doing it. People walk out these shows ecstatic because it’s the soundtrack of their life.”

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Photos by Rob Nagy 2020