review - sewell NJ show -A.W.D.ABBEY RD

Review by André Cholmondeley (Switch to

First thing we noticed was the excellence of the venue! - This was basically one of those new 'superhighschools' that are cropping up - and it was the mondo 'performing art center' of same. Great place, but they need to get their phone machine /directions right! One of the nicest venues in NJ, hands down.

Great sight -lines, damn good sound - (vocals coulda been EQ'd a little more, Entwistle's bass could've been louder/more prominent many times..) - but for 8 musicians constantly shuffling around and changing instruments - it was great

Basically - it was a blast seeing such talented people play classics that you'd never hear them do - it led to several surreal moments - I mean - you just won't get another chance to see "The Ox" playing bass for Ambrosia's "HOW MUCH I FEEL" !! Or - Ann Wilson's pipes crushing "Birthday" or "Lucy in the Sky"!

Others will post an accurate setlist - we walked in during song #5 or so - TR featured on "bang the drum". i had only an academic interest in seeing that song performed again.. and it was. Of course the crowd went wild..

The first set as you all know was dedicated to the variety of hits from all onstage.. Ann Wilson did "DREAMBOAT ANNIE" - amazing hearing one of my fave Heart tunes with TR on backups!!! wild. A crushing 'BARRACUDA' rounded out the Ann tunes - surprisingly they went for the 'cinema verite' version, nailing EVERYTHING in that great ol' song - all the pinch harmonics and solos and thunderous drums. Again - i am a WHO fanatic - and it ruled seeing Entwistle on that song....other treats were Alan Parsons' "GAMES PEOPLE PLAY".. i dunno - always liked that song AND album.. and seeing Ann & Todd belt that out only made it better - Godfrey Townsend tore up some serious guitar - he really worked to get the sound and inflection on everythijng - which i love. I play in a band that does the music of Frank Zappa - so I love seeing 'covers' - it really reminds me that - as much as we listen to the LPs, tapes, MDs, CDs, CDRs, MP3s, whatever - you can't beat the connection with seeing a band tear it up live.. A couple of highlights for Entwistle - MY GENERATION.. Hearing that song waqs a historic landmark for me - -and I'm sure many others - it was the OLDEST released rock song i had ever seen, perfrormed by the author..(I've actually seen the WHO also - but i like these silly landmarks. ) and of course THE REAL ME - that bass tour de force from 30 yrs ago!! still an amazingly contemporary sounding song - think about it.... During the intermission i ran into John Ferenzik - he of the TR touring band keyboard/guitar spot since 1995-..he lives in the Philly area and is an old friend - he's doing some recording in and around the City...I saw Mary Lou running around the venue as well...

2nd set of course was all Beatles....randomly - we had Rain, Lucy in the sky, I wanna hold yer hand, The end/Golden slumbers/etc, Fool on the Hill - great!! with Ann Wilson as session-flautist and ALan P on flute and recorder...(Todd admonished an imaginary 'bad audience member' that due to their behavior, they would be "FLAUTED" Everybody's got something..,Day Tripper, Lady Madonna, solo/Alan Prsons with an exquisite BLACKBIRD, solo/ Todd with 'hide your love away', - QUITE the surprise was Sir Paul's "Maybe I'm Amazed" with Ann doing vocals (she tended to be RIGHT ON in the Macca vocal range...damn she was so good and is really a national treasure. ) They restarted "MIA" for a flubbed vocal line - as they did for TR doing the awesome lead vocals/guitar on "WHile my guitar gently weeps.." - for continuity he had the "Fool SG" - [or was it the copy?] - of course as you all know - Clapton once owned this guitar, AND played on the track for the Beatles.... this was slammin' - at first Todd's guitar was being uncool " guitar's not weeping..!". I notice he has that Line6 modeling stereo combo amp. they make great shit - Todd also had a Line 6 Pod at the monday night NYC show.. (Is he suing them over that name..The Pod??) Guitarist Godfrey Townsend also sported a couple Line6 heads ...Other tunes in the set - Revolution, BAck in the USSR

Anyway -- a great friggin show - better than i would have anticipated - i expected greatness - but the WARP FACTOR of seeing people doing vocal parts that you'd never dream of seeing!! a whole bunch of weird combinations - all good... Here's to the LIVE ALBUM that they were partially taping last night - and here's to us all being alive in this great great era of music - where some of the architects of rock and roll are all still out there - staying fresh, creative and challenged long after the idoit-scribes have deemed them Dregs/SMB/Kansas/Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse wrote recently, and i paraphrase "..rock is the only area where EXPERIENCE is seen as a detriment..."

André Cholmondeley, Red Bank NJ

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7/27/2001 - Center for Performing Arts - Sewell, NJ

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