Peter Rivera’s cozy Wandermere rancher is in full swing 72 hours before the former Rare Earth frontman performs with a 40-piece orchestra at Fox’s Martin Woldson Theater.
Coffee is served as the morning sunlight warms the kitchen as 11 people, many of them still in bathrobes, discuss his upcoming gig. It’s obvious that Rivera – aka Peter Hoorelbeke – is excited to check off an item on his Friday night to-do list. However, the Detroit native is equally happy to welcome his family. Rivera provided the flights for his brother, their wives and children. His brother Philip Hoorelbeke and his wife arrived from Detroit. His son Casey Hoorelbeke, his wife and his daughter came from Atlanta. Her daughter Blake Maser, her husband and two children, made the trip from Alabama and her son, Jesse Hoorelbeke, and her son had the time of their lives in Denver.
“I read recently that people over 60 shouldn’t save money for their kids,” Rivera said. “The children will get along very well. The money I have should be spent bringing them to Spokane for this event.
“Some members of my family have not seen each other for years. So it’s amazing. They’re all here and having fun, but they’ll all be gone by Sunday. I understand that they have to live their life but for four or five days, it’s going to be incredible. I told them they would probably never see me perform in such a big show again. I want my grandchildren to see me play because they’ve never seen anything like it.
Rivera hopes the impact for his children will be similar to what the singer-drummer experienced when he saw the Count Basie Orchestra at the height of its powers perform at the Fox Theater in Motor City 68 years ago.
“I can go back to that performance in my head at any time,” Rivera said. “It changed my life. I would love for something like this to happen to one of my grandchildren.
The members of Rivera’s band and those who helped put on his concert are considered family by Rivera.
“I’m very touched by the support from my friends,” Rivera said. “First of all, my band is like an extended family. Joe Brasch on guitar, Danny McCollim on keyboard and Dave Hutchinson on bass are simply the best.
“If I say we’re going to train on Tuesday, that’s fine. There are no arguments. It’s the difference between what I have now and the last days of Rare Earth. There were constant arguments in the last days of Rare Earth. What I do with this band is fun. And then there’s Dave Cebert, who is co-producing this show with me. Dave was absolutely tireless. He just keeps going. Thanks to him and Joe and Danny and Hutch, there will be a show.
It will be a concert with many Rare Earth hits, such as “Get Ready”, “I’m Losing You”, “Born to Wander”, “Hey Big Brother” and “I Just Want to Celebrate”.
“I’ll be playing Rare Earth classics, some fan favorites from the last 30 or 40 years, like ‘Tobacco Road,'” Rivera said. “It will be a special night. We had string elements on our albums with Rare Earth but I always wanted to play the songs live with an orchestra.
Rivera, who will be flanked by a 40-piece R&B orchestra including the Whitworth String Orchestra and the Gonzaga Horn Section, is thrilled the show is taking place in his adopted hometown.
“I was telling my lady, Patrice, last night that there are great shows with the London Philharmonic with Elton John and that’s fine,” Rivera said. “But I’m thrilled to do a show like this with all of my friends in Spokane. It’s a show for the community of Spokane and the money will go to the music departments at Whitworth University and Gonzaga, as well as to the Northwest Passage Community Journalism Fund.
Cebert hopes for a strong turnout.
“I would love to see the Fox wrapped since I love Peter,” Cebert said. “It’s two people. Peter Rivera, the amazing singer and drummer, and then there’s Peter Hoorelbeke, who is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. I guarantee the show will be a memorable one. .