Todd & the Abbey Road Show in Phoenix

Review by John Menzies (Switch to

(Phoenix) Saturday, June 23rd, a beautiful evening in Phoenix (gorgeous sunset as the temperatures drop) and the Tribute to the Beatles (A Walk Down Abbey Road) at the Celebrity Theatre, an intimate venue with a revolving stage in the center of the room.

The band enters and after a bit of banter and equipment checking they break into: - Magical Mystery Tour (Ann Wilson's voice is terrific)
- Open My Eyes (Todd counted off the start. Entwistle, with white hair and a denim shirt, seems at home in its "Can't Explain" stylings)
- Sirus/Eye in the Sky (Ambrosia's David Pack sings. Alan Parsons still looks pretty young!)(I expect a basketball game to break out)
- Crazy On You (Ann Wilson wails like Joplin on this Heart hit)
- My Wife (the Who song. Entwistle introduces Godrey Townsend-who is FANTASTIC on guitar and later plays keyboards)
- Hello It's Me ("Let's get stupid," Todd says before it starts. He walks around the stage, behind the drums, doing his hand gesture schtick to accentuate the lyrics. Todd performs with true Las Vegas showmanship and actually does the song justice. I've never heard him sing it before, and probably never will again. I loved it.)
- Don't Let it Show (more Parsons Project)
- Biggest Part of Me (we're into the Ambrosia set. "I thought this was a Michael MacDonald song," says a friend. David Pack says afterwards, "I'm honored to be on the same stage as some of the greatest names in rock'n'roll." Yeah, but I'm still not an Ambrosia fan, David, you were just at the casino stage a few months ago)
- How Much I Feel (Entwistle plays NO bass on this-he just leans against his amp. Todd mugs during the sappy, vocal harmonies. He looks back at Entwistle as if to evaluate who is the bigger loser from this gig-at this point, I feel it's the audience)
(a drum kit is brought onstage and Todd says, "When people ask me my favorite song, this doesn't come to mind. But we'll play it anyway.")
- Bang On The Drum (Entwistle's bass is pulsatingly strong. Just when I was feeling sad about his reality and this tour, he kicks it on big time)
- Real Me (from Quadrophenia. For me, the BEST song of the night. I love the Beatles, but I realize now I wish I'd seen the Who live. Todd & Godfrey Townsend soar on guitars. Entwistle is sizzling)
- Games People Play (plenty o' Parsons projected tonight)
- Dreamboat Annie (An Wilson takes the crowd into delicate mode and she treats us to an outstanding flute solo. Todd plays the tambourine while Parsons and Entwistle sit this one out)
- Barracuda (a double play of Heart! Lots of guitar from Todd & Godfrey & Pack. Wilson wails in bluesy Joplin styles. Now I know why Roseanne thought she could be a rock star but it takes talent Roseanne, not girth. Ann Wilson is converting me tonight into realizing how great she truly is. Where's Nancy, I keep wondering )
- My Generation (a rocking close to the first set. Pack is not Daltrey, but who else is?. A tough gig to imitate).

During the break, a local school auctions off a signed guitar (with a meet-n-greet after the show). I think it goes for $2500.00.

Set two opens with:
- Back in the USSR (Pack does a decent rendition)
- Lady Madonna (Todd on vocals. They keyboards are hot)
- I'm Down (Ann rips raucously on this one)
- Fool On The Hill (Pack appears to be McCartney du jour. Parsons and Wilson on flutes-GREAT!)
- While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Todd on vocals. Excellent. He gets the solo near the end too)
- Here Comes the Sun (Townsend delivers the goods on this one. Eloquent. Todd vocally adds the synthesizer drop that appears
:12-seconds into the track. very funny & appropriate)
- Lucy in The Sky with Diamonds (Pack)
- You've Got to Hide Your Love Away (Todd on acoustic with vocals. He shines)
- Maybe I'm Amazed (Parsons takes credit for woking with McCartney on this one. Ann Wilson does it justice. She does it good. Townsend delivers hot keyboards. Beautiful)
- Rain (Todd, of course, to all you "Faithful")
- Blackbird (as mentioned, Parsons actually sings! And well! He plays a mighty fine acoustic too. I think I like Crosby, Stills & Nash's cover better, however)(Todd * keyboardist leave stage during song)
- Everybody's Got Something to Hide (Except for Me and My Monkey) (I love this song. Always thought 311 should cover it. Near the end, I hear riffs of Sgt Pepper, but then, almost like a premature ejaculation, the song ends. Very odd, very disappointing)
("We gotta find something to get you out of your seats," Ann Wilson yells. And they do:)
- Revolution (Todd rocks away on guitar and vocals)
(the crowd stands throughout the remainder of the show)
- Daytripper
- Ticket To Ride
- I Wanna Hold Your Hand (I think this is where Todd introduces the group as the Dung Beatles..I don't think Entwistle is amused)
- Hey Jude (audience participation)(band leaves the stage, audience claps for 2-4 minutes)

- Birthday (Ann alludes to yesterday's birthday boy, but Todd negates it all and says his birthday is a long, long way off)
- Golden Slumbers, Carry That Weight, The End (great to hear the guitar jam. Unfortunately, the stage was rotated so all I saw were the backs of the players. Nice drum kit however!)(I could tell David Pack was excited by the crowd's enthusiasmit helps to have solid material)(McCartney's "Flowers in the Dirt" tour was the epitome LIVE performance of these songs, however)

The show endsI've been conditioned to expect, after :15-seconds, someone to come out acoustic & play "Her Majesty"that would've been a nice touch

I don't know how I feel about this show.
It's the best Beatle cover band ever.
At times I felt bad for Entwistle. He still plays great. I was glad to finally see him.
Todd downplayed the multitude of fans yelling his name (and Ann Wilson had quite a contingency of fans).
But in all honesty, Godfrey Townsend (no relation to Pete) was the MVP of the night. An incredible musician!

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6/23/2001 - Celebrity Theatre - Phoenix, AZ

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