Kelly Trom/Arts Reporter

Motown group The Temptations performed at the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center on Valentine’s Day.

Kelly Trom
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Love and nostalgia mixed in the air of the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center (PAC) on Valentine’s Day evening. The classic ’60s R&B/soul group The Temptations took the stage in bright red suits as part of the 14th annual Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa Benefit Performance.

But before The Temptations danced onto the stage in a choreographed line, local San Luis Obispo trio The Damon Castillo Band performed original songs about loves gone right and wrong.

“Every day is Valentine’s Day,” Castillo said smoothly as he slung his guitar on and started singing “Good Lovin’,” a single he wrote for Valentine’s Day this past year, to kick off the show.

A mix of eros, humor and flattery weaved its way through Castillo’s lyrics. Castillo broached a variety subjects, singing about forgetting to leave the toilet seat down, the beauty of women just the way they are and a “bad girl” he just can’t help but love.

The Damon Castillo Band left the stage on a sentimental note with “One Life Stand” — a song about a one night stand that turned into a marriage.

After a 10-minute intermission for the 12+ person band to set up, The Temptations were up to bring a vintage Motown feeling to the audience.

The band started playing the introduction to “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me,” originally performed by Diana Ross and The Supremes alongside The Temptations.

Behind the stage, the band harmonized “After all these years, we’re still here” as they readied themselves to come on stage. Walking in a single-file line, they graced the stage with synchronized choreography.

The crowd ate up the energy and some even got out of their seats to sing along to the famous hit.

The Temptations’ set contrasted the modern, recent songs of Castillo, but carried the same eternal themes of love, desire and, of course, temptation.

All five of the Temptations members reminisced between songs about Motown Records and successful singles the group has performed over the years. The only original member left, Otis Williams, addressed the fact that he was a “shy guy” and answered his fans’ requests to sing more lead parts.

Belting out the first lines of “For Your Love,” Williams slowed down the set with slow, melodic lyrics.

The mood didn’t stay slow for long, however, as audience members were asked to pull out their cell phones and sing and dance along to “Get Ready.”

The audience was full of couples, young and old, singing to the classic songs they all knew, whether they heard them when they first came out or when their parents played them on the radio. Business administration seniors Jessica Tang and Joseph Pak came to the performance for a Valentine’s Day date. Pak surprised Tang with tickets when she mentioned the concert to him a few weeks beforehand.

Tang grew up listening to the band with her dad and watching movies about Motown legends with friends.

“I love Motown, and The Temptations are No. 1,” Tang said. “Of course, it would have been cool to see all the original members, but it is cool to get the feeling of what they would have been like.”

Though there weren’t many Cal Poly students in the audience, both Pak and Tang said they would have regretted not going to the show.

“How many people do you know that have seen The Temptations live? I don’t know of any,” Pak said.

Pak’s favorite song was “My Girl,” and judging from how many voices sang along, the same was true for most of the audience. As soon as the well-known six ascending guitar notes opened the song, the audience swayed back and forth.

The Temptations lined back up and left the stage as the guitar riff closed out the song, bringing the performance full circle.

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