I started to salivate once I heard that Joe Walsh had dropped out. That meant Todd would be handing the entire guitar load - Yeah!! (Does it get any sweeter? Yes it does with a special thanks to Double G for the ticket hookup, 4th row on Todd's side. Cherry.)
This marked my first time seeing a Beetle live. The things I remember most about Ringo were his irreverence ("Anyone here the last time we were in town...?...well then, you know all the songs!"). He seemed to enjoy himself, although there was a lot of flitting going on on his part....downright effeminate (has Barbara Bach been a beard all this time!?! of course, as far as beards go you really can't do much better).
At the beginning of the show, someone yells, "You, Todd!" Ringo replies, "Utah?"
Later Ringo says, "There's always someone out there yelling Todd........Todd, Todd, Todd..." Todd blushes from the taunting.
At the end of the show, first encore, Ringo comes out and a fan in front with a CD cover and a pen reaches up and asks for an autograph. Ringo sneers, "Can I finish here first?" Meanwhile Todd scribbles one using his guitar as a desk. After the encore Ringo offers the peace sign for about the hundreth time and says, "I love you all!" even though the fan with the unsigned CD cover is left standing there with Ringo turning his back and walking away from him.
I don't mean to sound totally bitter or anything. He was a Beetle after all...how 'bout a little slack for the guy, know what I'm sayin?
Then there's Jack Bruce, who shook the house at will with his mighty bass. The years had not been completely kind to him though, as his face resembled Roddy McDowell gone bad. While I'm at it, he really should not have been allowed to sing. Yikes! Speaking of singing, who let Simon Kirke the drummer sing Bad Company (Paul Rogers, the singer) and Free (again someone other than Simon singing). What if they had a roadie from Lynyrd Skynyrd....would he be singing Freebird?
On the brighter side, Gary Brooker was a real treat. His velvety voice sounded fantastic! "Whiter Shade of Pale" vocals sounded as rich and haunting as the original recording. Brooker added an extra touch of class to the evening.
Then there's Todd :-) "I Saw the Light" was o.k. Todd was mostly going through the motions with the vocals.
"Hammer in My Heart" rocked pretty good, complete with Todd hammerdance. My friend Jeff thought Todd looked skinnier than usual. I didn't really notice a difference. It was still cool to see Todd raise his forearm to use as a hammer and groove away during the drum and bass break of the song.
At the beginning of "Bang the Drum" Todd said, "This is where I dare to play the drums" - much to Ringo's amusement. Todd was very bouncy and energetic during this song. At one point he really gaffed one of the fills and then followed it up by landing on the crash in the middle of nowhere. Jeff and I couldn't help but giggle - it was a fun song. (Yet I remember years ago when Todd used to say, "People on the street used to come up to me and say 'Hey Todd....hello it's me Todd.' Now, even worse, people will come up and say 'Hey Todd....bang the drum Todd....bang the drum.'" Isn't him playing it now pretty much what he was dreading? Oh well.)
Todd mostly used his green Psuedocaster and his psychedelic Clapton (copy?) guitar. The Cream songs were the highlight of the show. Bruce's vocals were sometimes hard to endure, but the jamming made you quickly forget them. During the instrumental section of "In the White Room" Todd steps out and starts to cook. Meanwhile, Jack makes his way over and whispers something into Todd's ear (I insist he said, "I'm fuckin' Jack Bruce!"). Jack then upstages Todd off to the far right of the stage and starts to smoke on the bass. Jack lights it up and starts to rock across the stage. Todd is also getting off as he moves his head to watch Jack's antics, which includes moving all around the stage, snapping his carrot all over the bass, and ending the jam standing on one of the monitors!!
Todd and Jack were a real compliment to each other. They really raised the level of "White Room," "Sunshine of Your Love" and "I Feel Free."
Speaking of Free, "All Right Now" allowed Todd another opportunity to shine. His solo was rock and roll cool. I still don't get how Simon Kirke gets to sing these songs. The other of his was Bad Co.'s "Shooting Star." Again Todd got to rock.
In the middle of the show, Ringo says, "I forgot what song we're doing..." He looks at Todd for help, but Todd shakes his head and shrugs his own self. Then a light bulb goes off over Todd's head and he says, "It's the reason that we're all here now." Ringo says, "Ah yes. It is because of the sentiment of this song that we are all here." "The No No Song" was the culprit.
Another highlight of the show was "Yellow Submarine," as schmaltzy as it is. Todd sang the response vocals, complete with accent and zany laugh. While that made the song even more enjoyable, something inside me went off when I listened to this song. I realised that the Beetles were able to reach a universal appeal with some of their songs. They broke the walls of race, sex, religion, and "Yellow Sub" was able to make both children and adults smile. "Yellow Sub" transcended the limitations of a "song." It became an anthem, an affirmation, a sense of possibly belonging somehow by sharing in a common theme.
All that was ruined with the god-awful remake of "Love Me Do." All I can say is P.U. Jeff nudged me and I looked over to see him holding his nose.
Other stinkers: "I'm the Greatest" - could have been omitted
As I am usually Mr. Ambiguous, I left the show feeling sated yet also disappointed. I was expecting more, but Todd did deliver the goods. The more I think back to the show, the more I like it. I think when the show was actually over though, I did fell like I needed just a bit more Todd, you know, maybe a little "Determination" or "The Last Ride" or "Fair Warning"....you know, something realistic.
A dream does go on forever. Catch y'all later..loutheshoe