Let me get my affiliation out of the way, right off the (fungo) bat. TIG. OK?
Having said that, and having seen reviews from prior shows on this "tour," here is the unvarnished:
1) TR PLEASE get your band together and come back and do a show. TR was in probably the best voc I have ever heard him, and obviously, heís an incredible musician. But there were just way too many boners Ė not just an average flub, but true song stoppers Ė to ignore. Iím trying to recall if he made it through more than 5 songs without a stop down, and honestly, I donít think he did. A band not only can cover some of these mistakes, but also fills the sound out and makes the whole experience so much better. The first time I saw OH, I had a 101-degree temperature, and only went because I knew the song HIM. I was predisposed to not liking him that night. The show I saw that night absolutely blew me away Ė great tunes, a huge brassy band, action, harmony, everything. I was an instant convert. That was 1989. I realize "have gun will travel" works for TR on an economic level, and I probably understand WHY he does what heís doing from a financial and practical standpoint, but it truly punishes the fans in the long run. I was in the crowd one year ago when he came through town, and saw the good/bad/ugly that night, and knew he was going to do the same show (almost exact same set, except he added "Kindness" Ė which, damn, was killer until he went to a wrong chord prog and stopped the song in its tracks Ė and "Beloved Infidel"). There will be no converts from shows like this. Itís just way too sloppy. And the envelope canít possibly be pushed in this format. From a fanís perspective, itís an exercise in frustration Ė seeing a guy who obviously doesnít mind hitting the road, still has glimmers of chops, and has such a robust catalog of great songs to play, you get about 3/10th of what could be there. That I would pay my admission every time, and take the time to write this out indicates my true respect for the guy. Oy. I guess weíll all keep coming out Ė a routine weíre in as much as heís in.
2) TR looked to be in good shape, still has a great rapport with the crowd (some REALLY funny subliminal humor about Big Dís version of the Tenderloin district, whatever that is), and again had really strong vocs. He admitted that Prarieís furnishing his wardrobe, so why not throw him a bone and bring him on the road (with the rest of the band)? Itís been one long year, how many years ago was that?
3) Technical difficulties. Whatís new here? I donít know if these are phantom issues, the real deal, or what, but you ainít gonna see a TR show without a technical meltdown. He referenced the venueís shortcomings Ė WHY DOES HE CONTINUE TO PLAY THIS CLUB?? Ė but again, let the soundboard tech "ruin" several songs. I guess soundchecks donít get it done, but for those die-hard fans, this is rote by now. Why is this so?
4) Thatís it. Set list was consistent with other shows. 2 encores. HIM attempted as an encore on 88s, but to no avail. TR gone instant show ended (back to The Mansion, I guess) and no chance to get his auto on a $25 shirt my wife bought. These last 2 shows a lot like a meal at that Chinese place down the street Ė hit and miss, arguably enjoyable while itís going down, but man youíre hungry (for love) less than an hour later. I suspect we wonít get that satisfaction for a while. A&E replaying an H&O Live By Request at various times next week. Be sure to catch that and donít worry so much about this version of TR show coming to your town. We all know that thereís no equal to TR, just wish the real one would stand up!