John Denver lauded in Star Plaza concert

2013-02-15T00:00:00Z John Denver lauded in Star Plaza concertEloise Marie Valadez Eloise.Valadez@nwi.com, (219) 933-3365 nwitimes.com

The music of the late John Denver jumps into the spotlight during a special concert tonight in Merrillville.

John Denver: A Rocky Mountain High Concert, sanctioned by the John Denver Estate, will be performed at 8 p.m. today at Star Plaza Theatre.

Fans of the Colorado singer/songwriter will have the unique experience of hearing Denver's longtime musicians play his music live while video clips and footage from his concerts feature his vocals.

"This is a fairly emotional experience," said Alan Deremo, bass guitarist in the show, who played with Denver from 1994 through 1997. (Denver died in an airplane crash in October 1997).

While performing in the show, Deremo said, the band might be in a highly technical mode as they deliver a song but then in an instant will see an "image of John" flash across the screen and be emotionally touched by it.

The bass player said this experience provides a good way of celebrating Denver's musical legacy.

"For the fans, this show is the best representation they'll see of John's music and vocal talent," Deremo said. The show is similar to one that has been presented on Elvis featuring the King's musicians.

The Rocky Mountain High Concert is currently on tour through Feb. 23 when it will play Paramount Theater in Denver. The first show was held Feb. 1 at Theatre at Westbury in Westbury, N.Y.

According to Deremo, the idea for the show was inspired by a concert performed by various artists doing Denver's music in April of 2012.

'It was a huge success and it got the ball rolling to do a show that incorporated more of his compositions," he said.

Deremo is honored he was a part of Denver's band for four years, which turned out to be "the last four years he was around."

The musician feels Denver had really "matured into a seasoned and great vocalist," through the years.

"Touring with John was valuable to me and that he was a friend was a top-notch situation," Deremo said.

He added the musicians currently on tour all share a great camaraderie.

"Playing the music and hearing John's voice takes us right back to specific times we played with him," he said.

Deremo called Denver's music a treasure.

"The themes in John's music represent so many things about America, the West and nature."

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