Micky Dolenz at Fallsview Casino, Niagara Falls, ON on April 26, 2023

I managed to avoid setlist spoilers for this tour, which I don’t think I’ve ever been able to do before. I had seen the tour poster, so I knew the tour was called “The Monkees Celebrated by Micky Dolenz”, which meant he would be paying tribute to the other three Monkees. I also knew that there would be a focus on Headquarters — but I didn’t realize they would be performing the entire album, so that was a pleasant surprise.

My current camera has a removable lens, which the venue did not allow, so I dug out my trusty old Panasonic Lumix camera, which I haven’t used since my last Monkees concert back in 2018. It turns out things have changed a bit since 2018; most venues used to be very against anyone recording videos, but at this concert, they had a sign stating that cell phone photos and even videos are permitted, just no flash photography.

Another thing that’s changed since my last concert is that there are no more physical tickets; the tickets were only available through the Ticketmaster app, and they had devices to scan your phone at the door. I work with computers for a living, so I’m all for using technology to make our lives easier, but I’m not a fan of forcing people to download an app, because I know apps can take way more data from you than they should, and that’s a privacy concern. Unfortunately, that’s Ticketmaster for you.

I had seen a photo of the tour merchandise online previously, so I was looking forward to getting a tote bag and some groovy buttons, and my mom was hoping to buy a new Monkees t-shirt (“a New Monkees t-shirt?” my brother asked before the show; I just love how much Monkees knowledge my family has absorbed through me), but they weren’t available at our show. From what I’ve read online, it seems to be a tax or customs issue with bringing the merchandise across the border. They had signed photos, and I believe there was a live DVD from 2014 and a Wayne Avers CD. I didn’t end up buying anything, so I’m hoping leftover merchandise from this tour will eventually go up for sale on the Monkees’ website, as has happened in the past.

Every other Monkees concert I’ve been to has been an evening concert, but this show started at 3pm. It was kind of surreal going to an afternoon concert; my brain was just not in concert mode that early in the day. I’m not sure if that’s a venue-specific thing, or if Micky has been doing afternoon shows at other venues.

Casino shows tend to have shortened setlists, which is a shame, but I know to expect it. Someone has posted video of the entire concert in Warren, Ohio on April 18th, so I’ve been watching that video to see what I missed out on. To refresh my memory as I’ve been writing this review, I’ve also been consulting videos taken at the show I attended from sassymonkees on Instagram, musicchickart on Instagram, and RushDeadDixonVixen on YouTube, as well as the entire previous show on April 25th from Don’t Blink Concerts Vids on YouTube.

At this show, there was no intermission, so they played the intermission video before the concert instead. We arrived while they were playing “I Remember the Feeling”. After that, there was the scene of Mike and Frank Zappa from the TV show, a video for Micky’s song “Daybreak” that I’d never seen before, the “Oh My My” promotional video, the scene of Davy and Charlie Smalls from the TV show, and the “She Makes Me Laugh” lyric video. I believe they ended by playing the song “Looking for the Good Times”.

Our seats were in the third row on the right side, in front of Coco’s side of the stage. Shortly before the show started, tour producer and Monkees historian Andrew Sandoval walked by. Even though my mom’s not as big a Monkees fan as I am, she still knows who Andrew is. I went to nudge her to point him out, but before I could, she was like, “Hey, look who it is!”

“Last Train to Clarksville”

Emeen Zarookian, Micky Dolenz - Fallsview Casino, Niagara Falls, ON - April 26, 2023

The show started with “Last Train to Clarksville”. This was my tenth time seeing Micky live in eighteen years, but this was the first time I’ve seen him and realized, oh… he’s gotten old. Micky’s 78 years old now, so he’s not going to be running around and jumping up and down like he did back in 2004, nor should anyone expect him to.

Fortunately, Micky’s voice is still as good as it was back then, which is rarely the case with other singers from the ’60s. I’ve found at many classic rock concerts that the lead vocalists tend to get drowned out by the rest of the instruments or the backing vocals, but that was definitely not the case here; Micky’s voice shone through, and he still sounds like the Monkees.

“A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You”

“The Girl I Knew Somewhere”

I didn’t realize this during the show, but seeing the setlist now, I understand why they played these two songs back-to-back, since they were basically the Headquarters single, so that’s a nice touch. It also works out well that the show starts with a Micky song, a Davy song, and a Nez-penned song.

It looks like at the longer shows, they would have played “All of Your Toys” next. I would have liked to hear that one, because it’s up there with some of my favourite Monkees songs. I have heard it live once before, but that was back in 2011, with the original Threekees, so it would probably be quite different to hear it now.

Micky didn’t address the audience until after the first three songs, which I found a bit odd, because at other Monkees concerts, there’s always a lot of storytelling and banter between songs. It wasn’t until I saw Micky up on stage that I realized he doesn’t really have anyone to banter with any more, and when I realized that… oof. Part of what made the Monkees so successful was the chemistry they had with each other, and so you do lose a bit of the magic when there’s only one of them up on stage.

Nevertheless, Micky is more than capable of telling stories and handling a show on his own. He welcomed us to the show, and as the Monkees have always done at their shows, he acknowledged that there was a lot more to the Monkees than just the four guys in the band, because there were producers and songwriters and a whole crew that were involved with the project.

“You Told Me”

Emeen Zarookian, Micky Dolenz - Fallsview Casino, Niagara Falls, ON - April 26, 2023

“You Told Me” was the beginning of the Headquarters set. Micky definitely accentuated his “ing-gah” the way Mike did on the line “Of girls and all the games that they are playing… gah”.

“I’ll Spend My Life with You”

This version of “I’ll Spend My Life with You” had a bit more of a country feel than the original. When the steel guitar part started, I had to look around the stage to find where the sound was coming from, because I didn’t remember seeing a steel guitar before. It turned out Wayne Avers was re-creating the steel guitar part on his guitar, and I thought that was nicely done.

“Forget That Girl”

I recognized all of the band members from previous Monkees concerts except for the guitarist, Emeen Zarookian (“the new boy in town” Micky called him later). He sang the lead vocals for “Forget That Girl”. The video on the screen was mostly from the “One Man Shy” romp. I think there was a bit of laughing in the audience at Peter trying (and failing) to impress Valerie.

“Band 6” Video

One of the reasons I didn’t think they would do the entire Headquarters album was because of songs like “Band 6”, so it was nice that they managed to work it into the show, even though it wasn’t performed live. For this song, the stage was dark while the song played, accompanied on the video screen by photos of the Monkees recording Headquarters.

During this sequence, I spotted a little “coolcherrycream” watermark in the bottom right corner of one of the photos; you can spot it at about 17:24 in this video.

Now, that’s a trip! (Although I wish I knew they were going to use the pictures; I would have gladly sent over a higher resolution, unwatermarked version. And that goes for anyone reading this; if you need a better version of a specific photo on this site, drop me a line, and I’ll be happy to send it your way.)

“You Just May Be the One”

“Shades of Gray”

On previous tours, the Monkees would usually goof around during “Shades of Gray”, joking about their gray hair. This time, the performance was more serious, which is honestly more fitting for this particular song. Micky and his sister Coco sang this song together. I thought Coco had a great voice, and she did a fabulous job with this song. “Shades of Gray” was probably my favourite performance of the show, even though it’s not one of my favourite songs on Headquarters.

Davy Video

“I Can’t Get Her Off My Mind”

Tributes to the other Monkees were interspersed throughout the Headquarters set. Micky talked about his relationship with each Monkee, and then they played a video on the big screen with footage and songs featuring that Monkee.

First up, Micky spoke about Davy. Micky mentioned that they both had similar backgrounds, since they both started in show business at a young age. He talked about how talented and funny Davy was, and how they both started their families around the same time, and so their kids grew up together and are still friends today. He ended by saying:

“But there was one quality about him that I’d like to get a little bit serious about. His main quality for me… that he was really friggin’ cute.”

The Davy video started with a clip of Davy’s audition for the Monkees, the My Fair Lady parody scene from “The Chaperone”, one of the “Cuddly Toy” videos, a bit from “Monstrous Monkee Mash”, the “Daddy’s Song” sequence in Head, Davy performing “Someday Man”, and some behind-the-scenes footage from one of the Kool-Aid commercials. The video ended with a clip from the ’90s of Davy playing guitar and singing “Oh, What a Night”. I never really thought of the line “If I had the chance, I’d stay another day” as being particularly sad, but I feel the line took on a new meaning here.

After the video, the band returned to the stage, and Alex Jules took lead vocals on “I Can’t Get Her Off My Mind”, while Micky sat next to him. There was one point where Micky was looking at his watch, and it took me a second to realize that Micky wasn’t being impatient, but rather it was a reference to the line, “’Cause she walks by every day about this time”.

Peter Video

“For Pete’s Sake”

Micky Dolenz - Fallsview Casino, Niagara Falls, ON - April 26, 2023

Next, Micky talked about Peter. He spoke about how Peter was the only Monkee who actually played a character on the show, “the dummy”, and how Peter was far from a dummy in real life. He also talked about Peter being a hippie, and he said if you look up “hippie” in the dictionary, there’s a picture of Peter Tork. He also said something like, “Peter was eating brown rice and kale before it even existed!” Micky finished by talking about the legendary parties at Peter’s home in the Hollywood Hills, where people would often lounge around the pool naked. “I was up there all the time,” Micky said, and then added, “…for the kale!”

Like Davy’s video, Peter’s video started with a clip from his audition for the Monkees. Then there was a bit of the “Your Auntie Grizelda” romp from “Captain Crocodile”, “Cripple Creek” from “Monkees on Tour”, a scene from “The Devil and Peter Tork”, “Long Title” from Head, “Solfeggietto” from 33 ⅓ Revolutions Per Monkee, and a clip of Peter playing banjo while recording “Wasn’t Born to Follow” for Good Times! After that, they played “For Pete’s Sake”.

“Mr. Webster”

Next up was “Mr. Webster”. I’ve never been a big fan of this song, but it’s still cool to hear it live. Micky explained that it was a story song about a guy who had worked at a bank for forty years, and who felt unappreciated at his job.

“I’m sure there are some of us out there that have felt at times you were not appreciated where you worked. Yes? Right?”

Some audience members raised their hands, and everyone in the band behind Micky also raised their hands. The audience laughed, and Micky looked behind him. The band quickly lowered their hands, and then re-raised them when Micky wasn’t looking.

On the video screen during this song, they mostly played scenes from “The Picture Frame”, since it took place at a bank. At the part about telegram from Mr. Webster, they showed the telegram scene from Head, which I thought was clever.

When Micky got to the twist at the end of the song, he chuckled his way through the last few lines, and then commented:

“That just cracks me up. I love that. ‘I’ve flown away and taken all your money.’”

Mike Video

“Sunny Girlfriend”

Micky Dolenz - Fallsview Casino, Niagara Falls, ON - April 26, 2023

Next, Micky talked about Mike, and how well they got along, partly owing to their similar musical backgrounds. Although Micky grew up in California, his mother was from Austin, Texas, and Mike was from Dallas, Texas, so Micky had grown up with country music, like Sons of the Pioneers and Tennessee Ernie Ford. Micky spoke about his and Mike’s two-part country harmony, which he called “The Everly Monkees”.

Micky said besides being funny and witty and sharp, Mike was also an incredible poet. He highlighted “Daily Nightly” in particular, reading some of the lyrics from a piece of paper:

Dark and rolling figures move
Through prisms of no color
Hand in hand, they walk the night
But never know each other
Passion passed in neon lights
Light up bejeweled traveler
Lost in scenes of smoke-filled dreams
Find questions but no answers

“I read these words when I was gonna sing it, and I was like, ‘Nez, these are amazing lyrics. These words, where did they come from? Where?’ He said, ‘How the hell should I know? I was ripped!’”

Mike’s video also started with a clip from his Monkees audition, then a scene from “Monkee vs. Machine”, the “You Just May Be the One” performance from “One Man Shy”, “What Am I Doing Hangin’ ’Round” from “It’s a Nice Place to Visit”, the blooper from “Monstrous Monkee Mash”, “Naked Persimmon” from 33 ⅓ Revolutions Per Monkee, “Nine Times Blue” from The Johnny Cash Show, and a live performance of “Me & Magdalena” from the Mike & Micky tour.

Next up was “Sunny Girlfriend”, which holds a special place in my heart, since it’s the song that gave this website its name. I wore a t-shirt with the Sunshine Factory logo on it to the show, and I’d like to imagine that Micky was looking in my direction during this song.

“Zilch” Video

Similar to “Band 6”, they darkened the stage and played “Zilch” over the speakers while showing photos on the video screen. Since there was no intermission at this show, “Band 6” and “Zilch” were in pretty convenient places to give the band short breaks in the set.

“No Time”

Micky Dolenz, Wayne Avers - Fallsview Casino, Niagara Falls, ON - April 26, 2023

To introduce the next song, Micky said something like, “We’re going to get a little funky… funky Monkee.” Wayne Avers started playing a blues riff on his guitar, making it seem like they were going to do a slow blues number, but then they went straight into “No Time”. “What did you expect?” Micky chuckled.

I think casino crowds sometimes have quite a few people in the audience who were given free tickets to the show from the casino, and who aren’t necessarily big fans of the artist, because I feel like the audience had been a bit quiet during the Headquarters set, but “No Time” definitely woke everybody up, and it got a big applause.

“Early Morning Blues and Greens”

Micky Dolenz - Fallsview Casino, Niagara Falls, ON - April 26, 2023

Before I knew they’d be playing Headquarters in its entirety, “Early Morning Blues and Greens” was the top song that I was hoping to hear. It’s one of my favourite Davy songs, but since it’s not a very well-known song, I didn’t expect them to play it, so it was awesome that they did. Appropriately, the lights were blue and green during this song.

“Randy Scouse Git”

Micky Video

Micky Dolenz - Fallsview Casino, Niagara Falls, ON - April 26, 2023

It felt very fitting for “Randy Scouse Git” to be the finale of the Headquarters set, since Micky wrote it. On the video screen, there was a shot of Samantha Juste at the line “she’s a wonderful lady, and she’s mine, all mine”, and a clip of the Beatles performing “All You Need is Love” at the line “the four kings of E.M.I. are sitting stately on the floor”. At the end of the song, Rich Dart dropped his drumsticks like Davy did in the original video.

Next, Micky gave a short introduction to the video about himself. Micky said he could use some hyperbole, or some of the adjectives that the band has used about him, but they weren’t appropriate for mixed company. The video started with the opening credits and theme song from Circus Boy. When Corky appeared, the audience applauded. Then they played “Don’t Do It” along with some video footage of a young Micky fooling around with his friends, a bit from Micky’s Monkees audition, a scene from “Here Come the Monkees (The Pilot)”, Micky as Mrs. Arcadian in “The Chaperone”, Micky performing “I Got a Woman” from “Monkees on Tour”, Micky in the desert in Head, and Micky performing “As We Go Along” during the Mike & Micky tour.

“Pleasant Valley Sunday”

“Pleasant Valley Sunday” is usually one of the last songs played at Monkees concerts, so while I love the song, hearing it does mean we’re almost at the end of the show, so it’s kind of bittersweet.


Emeen Zarookian, Micky Dolenz, Wayne Avers, Rich Dart - Fallsview Casino, Niagara Falls, ON - April 26, 2023

This was a bit of a surprise for me. “Valleri” was a single, so it is better known than many of the Headquarters songs, but since the song was originally sung by Davy, I didn’t expect Micky to play it. I’m not a big fan of “Valleri”, so personally, I would have rather heard “All of Your Toys” or “Goin’ Down” instead. This was actually the first time I ever saw Micky playing a full set that he didn’t do “Goin’ Down”, so I guess I can’t complain too much.

“Daydream Believer”

Micky Dolenz, Coco Dolenz - Fallsview Casino, Niagara Falls, ON - April 26, 2023

Micky introduced the band during the intro to this song. As he was introducing Coco, he said, “Over here on percussion, background vocals, and lead vocals…” and then Coco must have said something to him, because he added, “Oh, and the clock!” and then he held up the alarm clock she would “play” during “Daydream Believer”.

  • Alex Jules - keyboards, background vocals, lead vocals, and vocal arrangements
  • John Billings - bass
  • Emeen Zarookian - guitar, background vocals, and lead vocals
  • Rich Dart - drums
  • Coco Dolenz - percussion, background vocals, lead vocals, and the clock
  • Wayne Avers - guitar and musical director
Micky Dolenz - Fallsview Casino, Niagara Falls, ON - April 26, 2023

While introducing the song, Micky said something along the lines of “You all know this one…” and then, he quoted one of Davy’s concert jokes: “If you know the words, don’t sing along, because it puts me off.”

I didn’t notice it during the show, but looking at my photos now, I can see the lights were arranged in a rainbow pattern during this song, to echo the rainbow room set from the music video.

“(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone”

“I’m a Believer”

Wayne Avers, Rich Dart, Micky Dolenz, Coco Dolenz - Fallsview Casino, Niagara Falls, ON - April 26, 2023

“Got one more for you here. Any of you got little kids at home or grandkids, you tell ’em I sang this song long before Shrek.”

Since Micky didn’t tell his “Randy Scouse Git” story, I don’t think we got a “I’m told I had a good time”, so I’m glad we did get the classic Dolenz Shrek line when he introduced “I’m a Believer”.

But with that, it looks like we’ve made it to the end.

After every Monkees concert I’ve been to, I always get this sort of post-concert depression. You buy the tickets, you look forward to the concert for months, and then the day of the concert finally arrives, and for a few hours, you’re in this other magical world, but then, just like that, it’s over, and you have to go back to real life. This time was especially bittersweet, because I know this is likely the last Monkees concert I’ll ever attend.

I have been so lucky to see the Monkees live, in various configurations, fifteen times since I first became a fan in 2002. Every tour, they manage to switch the setlist up, while still creating a show that appeals to both hardcore and casual fans.

I don’t know if other musical acts have the same attention to detail in their live shows as the Monkees do, but you can tell the Monkees, the band, and the rest of the crew really put a lot of thought into every aspect of their shows — from the songs and stories to the videos and lighting and everything in between — and I’ll always be grateful for that.

John Billings, Alex Jules, Emeen Zarookian, Micky Dolenz, Rich Dart, Coco Dolenz, Wayne Avers - Fallsview Casino, Niagara Falls, ON - April 26, 2023

Artist: Micky Dolenz
Place: Fallsview Casino, Niagara Falls, ON