Review by Roger Linder (Switch to

My wife and I took the 2+ hour drive up to the beautiful Clear Lake area on Saturday afternoon for the 5:30 show, arriving about 3 PM. Parking was a breeze, due to the early arrival and more than adequate lot for this outdoor venue. The weather was comfortable, and strolling in the area pre-show was quite enjoyable.

About 5 PM we made our way into the amphitheatre. Knowing I would not be partaking of the $11 beers or $20 margaritas, I purposely did not seek out a wristband ID. I did, however, pick up "It's Alive" from the pre-show vendors rather than wait for its release later this month.

Taking out seat in the open sun, we knew it only to be a matter of time before the sun set and the thought of burns vanished. Sun screen, hats and light jackets also helped.

The 5:30 advertised start actually turned out to be 6 PM with an unannounced local duo opening on a six song acoustic set. By 7 PM, Blondie was on stage and performed their fan-pleasing set. The amphitheater remained only about half full.

As the sun was setting, the wind came up over the lake and the temperatures started dropping. Although it was probably in the 60s (comfortable by some standards), for Memorial Day weekend in California, it's considered a bit cool. Between the Blondie and New Cars sets, it was so cold that even with a blanket wrapped around us, we were still shivering. The crowd gradually grew to about 3/4 capacity.

The wind was also a factor in the stage setup. The video screens were absent and the lights swung ominously over the stage.

Around 9 PM, the New Cars took the stage. Launching into "Hello Again" everyone was on their feet and remained so for the rest of the show. Turns out that was a good move, as the circulation kicked in and the cold was not so noticeable.

The boys moved through the standard set, although a couple were cut (most notably Open My Eyes) due to the cold. Todd occasionally appeared on stage with a hooded sweatshirt. "I Saw The Light" with Elliot's contributions was really special and "Black Maria" was also outstanding.

All the Cars numbers sounded great. I thought the set order beginning with "Hello Again" and ending with "Bye Bye Love" was inspired and probably not coincidental.

All in all, a great show, despite the weather complications. Hitting the road at 10:30 PM, and with a short stop about an hour from Sacto for a quick refresh nap, we pulled in at 1 AM, tired but happy.

Other reviews for The New Cars
5/27/2006 - Konocti Field Amphitheatre - Kelseyville, CA

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