abbey road review-(both houston and mobile)lengthy but worth the read

Review by Greg Ritchey (Switch to

let me first say that i,like everyone else giving heartfelt reviews,am a TR fan from many moons ago.he has always and often made his way to New Orleans(my birthplace and place of domicile since finishing college)ever since i first saw him in 1975.but ,although the main, he was not the only reason i went.this ensemble of talent,that only alan parsons could coax into this format,was,yes,"once in a lifetime"stuff.well,for me and my wife,it was TWICE in a see we saw the show in houston,from the front row center(exactly where todd started and finished,since the stage was in the round) and also in mobile,alabama(3rd row center).

we flew to houston (40 mins)tues p.m.,hotel check in,dinner,then off to the theatre.really cool place to see any performance.the" in the round " stage has to be tuff where to hide,like on a theatre stage where one can fade to the back if one is not involved in the present tune(entwhistle seemed particulary like a fish out of water when pack sang his ambrosia set for there was no bass required-in moblie he could disappear back stage).unfortunately the place was barely half full,if that,and for the folks that didn`t spend the paltry $40 to absorb all this incredible music they are less the human being for it.seeing and hearing these professionals allows you a perspective on life that todays MTV crap rap and droll cannot even aspire too.todays generation of music is either down trodden(suicide/violence laced or not even a muscian in the house i.e.n`sync).enough soap(sorry).as a matter of fact,before the show started,when the group took the stage TR tried to get everyone to move to the sections directly in front of the starting point of the stage since there were so few folks there and to turn off the rotating one reacted and he commented "you`re loss".i guess he knew the performance would be lacking from thier previous experience in the round a couple nites back(TR didn`t care for it).also TR thru-out the show kept dedicating songs to "the people in the back",because there weren`t any.that always got a good laugh from the other performers and the audience.

the quickest 3 hours one will ever spend.all the talent let it out,regardless of the round and smaller turnout.again$40 was a bargain.i was wearing my 2nd wind t-shirt-the one with the pseudo monk on front.but my shirt has a bubble quote(like the comic strips use)and inside the bubble TR put in the words"blow me".needless to say he commented on how much he liked my shirt(i told him it was a daily mantra of mine and he agreed)(our seats were so close in houston we could converse with all the performers with out as much as a shout-the only ones that communicated though were TR,david pack-gave my wife a white rose,and entwhistle-believe that,he was at it all nite,and jocular at that,not the image he portrays ).

like all the reviews before mine,all the performers were just incredible.wilson`s voice and stage presence was quite impressive,but she was an onery type in between songs-no banter,rarely smiled and never made eye contact with us(we were literally 4 feet away).pack was a great surprise-his voice range is magnificent,as well as, his guitar playing.entwhistle,well,they don`t call him" thunder fingers" for nothing.all you had to do was watch as he roared thru the who tunes and witness that his mastery of the bass guitar is matched by no one.his running mates from the "john entwhistle band"-godfrey townsend(guitar) and steve luongo(drums) were as good as it gets on each instrument.those two stuck every note to the fullest.the ecccentric keyboardist(he runs with parsons and his project stuff as does david pack) was pure on all the piano/keyboard riffs.sounded just like paul or john was ther tickling the ivories(i must say here that the authenticity of the sound for all the beatles songs was exact.the band did not interpret anything on thier own-it was pure cover,down to the incredible flute duet by parsons and wilson).and with parsons,i do not know too many individuals in the music industry that would be able to match all this vocal and instumental talent(beatles tunes have so much range and this tour has a voice to hit each one,shows how incredible mccartney and lennon`s voices were,this show needs 5 to match those 2),in such short time,to send each show we witnessed into such a euphoric phrenzy.thanks alan.and his performance ,although reserved ,was as integral as anyones up there(if you have seen a A.P.Project show then you know what i mean).and lastly TR.we all know his talent and none was spared,despite the "people in the back".my hi-lite was "while my guitar gently weeps"-simply because i am a guitar fan and TR plays his rickenbacker et al with the best of them(unfortunately he does not rift like that as much anymore so it was great to hear and see it).he was the relief thru-out the show and it fit him quite well,as we all have come to know.always a leader.when it ended(literally with abbey roads "the end"),it seemed we had been there about 1/2 hour.we grabbed our show shirts(no individual tood stuff to purchase although parsons,entwhistle,pack,and wilson had either thier own shirts or cd`s out)(i bought the offical tour shirt-real cool with a union jack spelling out the tours title on front,with the double decker bus and the principles` names emblazzoned on the back with show stops streaming in a wave under that with great colors and stars and moons filtered all over the back as well-great shirt-came in blk or wht) and headed to our hotel semi-conscious over what we had just experienced.but knowing we were going to get to live it all over again but in much more detail(explination forth coming)

we flew back to N.O. on wed and proceded to head to mobile(only a 2 hour drive from N.O.-i must add the houston show came on tour way before the mobile show was announced so we had made all monetary and travel arrangements before we knew of the moblie stop-no complaints on seeing it twice ,i promise).i am good friends with the gn`l mgr.of the saenger theatre in mobile so he helped me get seats for a group of about 12 of my old hi-school buddies and thier wives(my family moved to fairhope,ala when i was i hi school)all of whom were not too familiar with TR or the format.they were a bit skeptical of the show(saenger staff were fielding calls wondering if this was a beatles video documentary)but I AM GOD to them now for convincing them to go to this show(mind you,i had not seen the houston show yet but i knew,i just knew what lay in store, not only from intuition,after all iam a huge TR fan ,but also from all the reviews from roger`s site(and the chick that commented it wasn`t worth the $72 she paid is a lune,i would have easily forked that over) that tuned me in on what to expect from this show.).needless to say they were awestruck from what they experienced and one by one have been calling  and thanking me for getting them off thier sofa,away from the brats,and into a lifetime memory.after all mobile,ala doesn`t get too many shows from this musical just gotta "carpe diem" sometimes(better yet strive for always-mantra #2).

unfortunately for the houston fans ,this show `s energy was way above the nite before.i suspect, because it was not in the round,much larger crowd,and a much more enthusiastic crowd from the outset.and the band reacted differences in the song list just better energy and vibes(although in houston the band drank alcohol all nite and at this one they were all hitting the H2O).as in both shows ,both sets were rite on and at intermission most were in a daze from the treat they were experiencing(like most when you`re not expecting a whole lot and you get blown away it tends to trance you)(i told todd in between songs in houston that we would be seeing him in mobile,and he sarcastically said yea sure,then i asked him if he had ever been to mobile alabama,and he reflected for a second,then said "maybe",i said that was a good answer.).

since this is so long i will put a "DITTO" on the performances put out by the entire band for both shows.they were able to get everyone to feel they were listening to the beatles,and if you closed your eyes for the entire second set you would have thought you friends were most impressed with TR and wilson out of the whole ensemble.TR had the strongest vocal following,which surprised me due to the locale of the show being mobile.(they had no idea he was the force behind "bang the drum"-they loved that immensely)but then again TODD IS (T)GODD,so i shouldn`t be .

the show finshed in 3 time warp hours and my wife and i were invited to the "meet and greet" session after the gen`l mgr friend handed us our "press passes" and we proceded down some dank and dark stairs which opened up into a large room,reminescent of a submarine/battleship room-kinda bland and stark,we were expecting a mingling of all shapes and sizes with the performers kinda amongst the troops,but instead we found about 10 other males and females hanging out waitng for anyone of fame and fortune to enter.about 5 mins passed when mr.entwhistle surfaced and he immediately was approached by 5 or 6 folks,but he saw my wife and immediately walked over to say he remembered us from last nite`s performance(although he couldn`t remember rite off where last nite`s show was-it came to him after we told him).being so close at the houston show we took a number of pictures thru out and we had one of him handing lisa(my wife) one of his guitar picks thus we asked him to sign the picture(he kept mumbling,like he is known to do, how in the world did we make both shows-personally i didn`t reflect on it being that big of a deal but everyone else from the band to my friends did)he mosied on and in came david pack,and again he too remembered my wife (not me even though i had the "blow me"t-shirt on)and remembered giving her the flower the nite before.(he remembered he was in houston)he,too,was amazed that we would be at both shows on consecutive nites.he too signed our picture of him and then proceded to tell us he was coming to N.O. tomorrow with steve luongo(the drummer-fantastic drummer and individual) to eat and fly out to detroit(next show).we got them reservations at one of the many culinary wonders of N.O.(moscas)and they invited us to dine with them.we rain checked for we were not returning directly to surfaced next and saw my wife and commented was he dreaming or were you at the show in houston last nite in a pair of patched kaki shorts(she has a very nice pair of wheels,so i`m sure that helped his memory,actually all thier memories).she informed him he was correct on both fronts and he too signed a picture.he came in on our eating conversation with pack and luongo and lisa asked if he wa going too and he said he was a vegetararian and didn`t think he would make it,didn`t want to be tempted to stray.the next celeb-du jour was mr.parsons and his wife, "LISA"! he was mobbed by a crowd that had grown to about 20 now,so we hung back.but parsons` wife, lisa ,made a bee line to my wife,lisa,saying she remembered seeing her last nite(like entwhistle she couldn`t remember what town she was in last nite)and proceded to comment on my lisa`s attire for both nites.that conversation went on for some 5 mins,when mr.parsons inched away from the other group and came by to see what his wife was so into.for a change he remembered me(because he liked the todd t-shirt i had on)and was impressed that we made both shows.i got a picture of him with my and his lisa,a picture of just the two lisa`s and he took a picture of me with his and my lisa.we asked if he was heading to N.O. and he said probably not but he heard TR seriously considering it.

unfortunately TR never came to meet and greet any of explination,but i guess it didn`t deserve one-us puny fans(wilson did not show either,but i had read she had not shown for any of them-she seems like a real prima donna with a one of a kind voice).so after waitng around for another 10 mins and TR no where in site we thanked all of them again for both of thier incredible performances over the last 24 hours and wished them safe travels to yankee territory.

truly a "TWICE IN A LIFE TIME " experience.

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6/26/2001 - Houston Arena Theatre - Houston, TX

Other reviews for overall A Walk Down Abbey Road

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