The set list was typical of previously reviewed tour stops, with "A Hard Days' Night" (sounding very appropriate), "Day Tripper" and "Help" . Then we hit the overtly entertaining portion of the evening with the individual sets. Which I tended to focus on. First up, Mark Farnerof Grand Funk railroad fame.
You couldn't help but notice him already (as if his dancing schtick wasn't disstractive and hillarious enough) he wore a glitter vest that sealed his fate as the "cheerleader from hell". His rock/funk version of "Taxman" was a bit reminiscent of Wild Cherrys' "Play That Funky Music" but slower and you couldn't dance to it. Believe me there was this woman to our left who tried to dance to everything, but the cracker-jack security (in the form of a retired 55 yr old woman) wouldn't allow anyone to dance. If only she focussed her attention to Mark, on stage, who hit his dance stride in "Bad Time"…. Honestly the music was good, even though Marks' voice seemed flat at the beginning. Christopher Cross had already returned and "Closer To Home" brought the crowd out of its' collective shell, and sent Mark to the sidelines (to presumably recharge the battery in his vest).
Christopher Cross then serenaded us w/ "For No One" and "Sailing". He sounded sweet and used the same quick paced self effacing quips about being a has-been that got a few chuckles earlier in the tour. Alan Parsons appreared and helped Chris launch into, what he called rock & roll Texas style, "Ride Like The Wind". The musical intro sounded so very 80's showy that I was waiting for the Solid Gold Dancers to strut out onto the stage and shake their thing! Or maybe I was having a Mark Farner flashback… Jack Bruce started some nice bass runs during the musical section along w/ Chris' ripping lead and this duo was quite an odd showpiece. While cutting the stage remarkably well, Chris remained stoic as Jack marched around in small circles while pulling 16th notes out of thin air!
Chris then introduces Alan Parsons whose voice also sounded flat opening up solo before Godfrey and the boys rescued him as they did others all night long. The set was similar to last year, this year, any year, but by the time "Games People Play" was cooking, and many leads had been traded off, here comes Mark Farner for a cameo! He played a short lead and then sang for the chorus and left the stage again! To his credit after his set he had thanked the crowd and said "it's great to be here! Even when I suck!" and he surely didn't, doing his best to entertain us w/ ever ounce of his seemongly overcompensating small structure.
And then it was Jack Bruces' turn. He starts out w/ a repetitive Bass solo while venturing to the farthest part of the stage for dramatic purposes. This lasted longer than AP's opening Beatle tune "And I Love Her". He segued into "Sunshine Of Your Love" which also included, you guessed it, a long winded Bass solo. Then Jack put the Bass down (ala "Step away from the Chalupa!") and sang "Eleanor Rigby" and I couldn't help myself thinking that I was watching William Shatner up on stage! "White Room" then started what I refer to as the Jack Bruce Memorial 5K. Grandpa walked around forever playing Bass solos and assuring, for this night, that Godfrey Is Clapton would remain out of the spotlight. The house rose to its' feet again at the end of each performers set and there was no 1st set Beatlles finale as previously performed on tour. They had already played from 8:10-9:35 at this point!
Upon the half time waltz to friends w/o pavillion seats up on the lawn, we were surprised to find others nominating Jack as the best, dude! (Gulp of a Corona!) He invented the Bass! (belch of a Corona!) That was an awesome solo, Man! (Spill of a Corona on somebody's Grandpa!)
So we sachayed back to our seats, for the accoustic start. Being about 20 rows back facing the livelier, left side of the stage, I yelled "Goddddfreyyy!!!" and there was a smattering of applause. The set started slow wasn't very entertaining and, for the first time, it was very obvious that Todd could have made this segment, as well as the majoroty of the second set, more exciting for me and the crowd. My girl asked, "Who do they think they are, The Eagles?" They sounded old (vocals are not their strong points) and if not for Godfreys' guitar and vocals (a thought prevailing all evening) this accoustic portion would have no glue. Hearing "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" took me back to seeing Todd sell this song as if it was his own. That was missing the rest of the show. There were the standard happy, 'sing-a-long', 'put your arn around your girl' songs that finshed up w/ the standing, bopping and clapping along tunes that were nice as well. Nothing challenging as in the set last year that included more studio savy arrangements, i.e. "Magical Mystery Tour", "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" that were a bit more adventurous.
The "Missing Todd Angle" was prevalent for me, as when I bought these tickets 3 months ago, there was no H & O tour to keep Mr. Rundgren away from us, and I was looking forward to seeing TR lead the second set, but I can surely say that I was thoroughly entertained, unfortunately it was in more ways than the band probably planned! I'm still glad I held onto to the good tickets as my Saturday Night survived my lame expectations and relinquished itself to join in with the crowd to enjoy some good ole Beatles tunes!