Here Comes the (Mohegan) Sun

Review by Greg Hamby (Switch to

As everyone else has pretty much covered the set list, instrument choice and fashion front from every conceivable angle, I'd like to offer what might be more or less an op/ed piece as opposed to a true review of the show. The night was special as I was able to take my 7 year old son Nicholas to his second Todd show in 3 years. We caught the Ringo show at Mohegan Sun a couple of years ago and Nicholas was blown away as a 5 year old sitting on the 2nd row directly in front of his hero, TR. This time, we were on the front row, on the inside corner of the outside section, TR/AP side of the stage. (First beef, I waited in line the morning tics went on sale and was the first to buy seats for this show a full 5 minutes before they went on sale. Nothing was available in the center section inside the first 10 rows as they are reserved for "high rollers" and such. Another reason I hate casino shows. One of the best moments of the night was when AP gave 3/4 of the first row grief when they sauntered in a full 5 songs into the first set. Casino gigs appear to be great for performers, but lousy for patrons.) But, back to being able to take my son to the show.  It is always a great thing to be able to watch a show through the eyes of your child, and Nicholas had a great time. For the record, his favorite songs were, in order: "Open My Eyes," "Revolution" and "Golden Slumbers/The End, blah, blah, blah."

As for me, it was a rough night. I appreciate all the glowing reviews that folks have given this show, but I gotta tell ya, from where I was sitting, I enjoyed it, but was underwhelmed. With the exception of his tunes and the Who songs, TR appeared to be bored silly (literally) at best, and downright embarrased at worst through much of the first set. While David Pack is indeed a talented guy and a great singer, I heard more than enough of Ambrosia during their heyday.  And when I've got TR, and Entwistle on the stage, "How Much I Feel" is not the song that I'm wanting to hear. Add to that the fact that the man who is arguably the greatest rock bass player on the planet is on the bill, having him off stage taking a smoke during the Ambrosia tunes which were filled with key/synth bass was a sin.

As has also been stated, TR's lack of guitar work (particularly in the first set) is unimaginable. Yes, Godfrey Townshend is one heck of a guitarist, and Pack did a good job on some of those APP solos, but having Todd sitting as 3rd chair guitarist was just unnerving.  You could see the absolute boredom on his face as the strummed the rhythm guitar (or played the shaker and tambourine???) line to those APP and Ambsosia tunes.

Yes, the second half was better. But still, the best that can be said is that what this tour amounts to is the presentation of an unbelievably talented cover band doing Beatles tunes. Which is in my mind a questionable use of the talent at hand. One heck of a barmitzvah band, but it left something lacking for a legitimate concert experience. As the "Union Jack Gal" from Jersey (why didn't I ask your name?) commented, "Just too damn many people on the stage." BTW- send me copies of your pictures! After having seen both the Power Trio and Who tours last summer, I would have traded either of those shows for this one in a heartbeat. An interesting idea, an amazing assemblage of talent, but it just didn't work for me. And the cheesy graphics that ran endlessly on the screens didn't help. 

Strip it down to Entwistle, Rundgren, Townshend and the drummer, playing their own tunes and I'd probably come back.  D. Pack summed it up for me when said at one point during the first half, "This is quite a bargain, isn't it?" ( At 30 bucks a pop.) Reckon it's true that sometimes you do get what you pay for.

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7/10/2001 - Mohegan Sun Casino - Uncasville, CT

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