“Shadows of the 60s Motown Holiday Tribute”: Motown Magic coming to Flint

By Linkin Carlson and Miriam Zayadi

The “Shadows of the 60s Motown Holiday Tribute,” led by Motown legacy and visionary Dave Revels, is poised to ignite the spirit of holiday cheer in Flint on Thursday, Dec. 14, at 8 p.m. at the Flint Institute of Music Capitol Theatre.

Revels and his team are building the anticipation and setting the stage not only for a fully interactive performance but what he calls “a grand celebration of life” striving to immerse his audience in a “euphoric bubble of love, happiness, and generosity.

Shadow of the 60s performance (Photo provided by rathbunpr.com)

With this holiday tribute Revels and his crew not only pay heartfelt homage to the golden era of Motown, but also say they hope to evoke the deep emotional connection music has to our memories. Revels said that as a musician it is important to acknowledge the power music has to make the audience relive a memory. He states

“There is a song for every part of your life,”  he said, adding that he is excited to perform for a room of people who “paid money to see that and relive their memories. I mean, what else can you ask for?”

Revels and his team invite the whole community to celebrate.

“Do not be the person in the Flint community who has to hear from other people, where were you, you missed a great time, how could you have missed it, don’t be that one!” he said.

“Otherwise, you’ll be hearing ‘Man you should’ve seen this, you should’ve been there, we sang all night, we danced all night, what happened to you?’ ”

Ticket prices range from $24 to $44 for balcony seats and $24 to $64 for seats on the main floor. Residents of Genesee County receive a 30% off discount applied at checkout at the Flint Institute of Music Capitol Theatre.

The setlist for the Motown Holiday Tribute is carefully curated to cover a wide spectrum of Motown classics, Revels said.  From the Temptations and the Marvelettes to the Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder, the audience can expect a musical journey through the iconic hits that defined an era.

The inclusion of holiday classics like “Here Comes Santa Claus” and “Frosty the Snowman” ensures a festive and captivating experience for all generations to enjoy, Revels predicted.  In Motown, every song holds significance, he said, so he and his team are covering a range of hits which they hope will make the experience deeply personal for each member of the audience.

“Shadows of the 60s” incorporates various elements to enhance the immersive Motown holiday experience. The audience can expect a multisensory journey, complete with Broadway legends producing vocals, interactive props, intricate costumes, and choreographed dance.

Revels said his inspiration for founding the “Shadows of the 60s” and creating the production is rooted in his deep appreciation for the great voices of Motown.

“As a fan I started to do a tribute to The Four Tops,”  he recalled, “and within a year it became very popular,
so I started touring it.”  That success inspired him to expand to satisfy a high demand for Motown nostalgia.

Revels said he has spent about 15 years touring the States and traveling the world, bringing the voices of Motown to those who love it. He says “Doing it was from a fan perspective first, but then I realized a lot of people love the music so it’s  just something that became a part of my fiber.”

The Motown Holiday Tribute is a manifestation of this admiration and a testament to the enduring personal impact Motown has had on Revels and many other lovers of the genre.

Bringing the Motown Holiday Tribute to Flint involves a thoughtful curation process, he said. He recognizes the special occasion of being in Michigan, the birthplace of Motown, adding what he described as a unique layer of magic to the event. “Shadows of the 60s” aims to recapture the essence of Motown, with hopes that the audience in Flint feels the same magic that once emanated from the streets of Detroit.

Revels said he is excited to bring this show to Michigan, adding that he feels Flint is directly connected to Motown as he states, “It doesn’t have to be Detroit to be Motown.”

For those who have limited knowledge of Motown, there will be the Christmas classics, Revels said there is something for everyone in this show. He said he is very confident in his cast to put on a show that honors Motown hits authentically and captivates the crowd “from the first note to the last note.”

Asked what challenges he faced putting the show together, Revels said there were no challenges. He asserted the journey of bringing the Motown Holiday Tribute to life was “remarkably smooth.” His vision, coupled with a dedicated cast, ensured “a seamless execution.” He said he had a vision and he knew exactly how he was going to bring it to life.  Once he had his cast,  he said, everything was smooth.

Instead of dwelling on challenges, Revels reflects on the rewarding moments that came with people stepping out of their homes to experience the show post-pandemic.  He said it is very rewarding to have people come out of their homes and spend money to come see his show after the pandemic has kept everyone inside. He said many people have told him that it was the first concert they attended since the pandemic and that they had a great time.  In that sense, he suggested,  “Shadows of the 60s” has forged unique connections with many different audiences, becoming a “beacon of hope and celebration after a challenging time.”

EVM reporter Linkin Carlson can be contacted at carlsola@umich.edu.

EVM reporter Miriam Zayadi can be contacted at miria@umich.edu.

Author: Tom Travis

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