Musicians ease on down `Abbey Road'

Review by Sarah Rodman/Boston Herald (Switch to

``A Walk Down Abbey Road,'' with Alan Parsons, Todd Rundgren, John Entwistle and Ann Wilson. At the FleetBoston Pavilion, last night.

In theory, it sounded like a really strange, and potentially bad, idea.

Four well-respected musicians, whose commercial and creative peaks occurred quite awhile ago, banding together to pay tribute to each other and the Beatles in a show entitled ``A Walk Down Abbey Road.'' In fact, it sounded like Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band, minus an actual Beatle.

But in execution last night at the FleetBoston Pavilion, Ann Wilson of Heart, John Entwistle of the Who, Alan Parsons and Todd Rundgren - with immeasurable assistance from David Pack of Ambrosia - came together with a highly entertaining show that was a rousing success. Proving yet again, as if it were necessary, that the Beatles catalog is an absolute blast both for performers and audiences.

The first set was dedicated to the performers own well-known material.

Wilson drew the night's first huge ovation for a soaring vocal on Heart's driving rocker ``Crazy on You.'' Later she floated through the ethereal ``Dreamboat Annie'' and kicked out the jams in the assaultive ``Barracuda.'' In terrific voice and seeming more confident then ever, Wilson was clearly having a ball especially on the McCartney solo number ``Maybe I'm Amazed,'' which she nailed, and the blues rave-up ``I'm Down.'' She even lent willowy flute to ``Fool on the Hill.''

Multi-hyphenate Rundgren was also in great voice belting out songs like ``Hello, It's Me'' and the bouncy, anti-work anthem ``Bang the Drum All Day'' with his high falsetto and good humor intact. He shone during the Beatles set as well doing a lovely rendition of ``You've Got to Hide Your Love Away'' and playing a searing solo during ``My Guitar Gently Weeps.''

Entwistle, who, like Rundgren is an alumnus of Ringo's All-Starr band, not only brought his mind-boggling bass runs to all the material, including his own ``My Wife'' and the Who's ``My Generation,'' he brought drummer Steve Luongo and guitarist Godfrey Townsend who proved indispensable during the second set.

Parsons, who has the actual Beatles link - he engineered ``Abbey Road'' and ``Let it Be'' - and is steering the tour, took a rare but lovely vocal turn on ``Blackbird.'' Otherwise he let Pack sing both Alan Parsons Project hits like ``Don't Answer Me'' and Ambrosia songs like ``Biggest Part of Me'' and a good deal of the Beatles stuff including an appropriately trippy ``Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.''

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7/11/2001 - FleetBoston Pavilion - Boston, MA

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