New Cars at Hinckley, MN
Review by Garry Nordenstam (Switch to
We arrived at the Grand Casino Amphitheater in Hinckley, MN on Thursday night under a beautiful, sunny sky. Blondie opened the show and had people attempting to dance in front of the stage. The security guards promptly put an end to any celebrating there or in the aisles. I saw Blondie about four years ago at the Taste of Minnesota. This performance seemed more energized. During the break, a huge storm blew in with driving wind and rain. The front section of the amphitheater is covered, so that's where everyone headed. So much for paying extra for third row seats - no one seemed to pay any attention to assigned seating with the storm blowing in Security gave up trying to keep people in their seats, which made for a great party atmosphere when the band hit the stage. In spite of the blowing wind and rain, they put in a great performance. The set list was the same as previous shows, so I won't bother with it. The elaborate stage is quite a change from the concerts I've been attending lately. It brought me back to the big spectacle stage show of the 70's like Yes and Utopia. I have to say, Todd seemed the most energized, energetic, and ecstatic than I have seen him in a very long time. There were plenty of scissor kicks and windmills. The solo on Black Maria was blistering and could possible be the best I've ever heard. The audience was very appreciative of Todd's guitar work on that number. And Bang was a big hit with this audience. I found it enjoyable in this new format and with the crowd eating it up, it was hard to not smile and dance along. I heard a number of people after the show commenting that Todd did a great job and that they were impressed. During the encore, I saw a couple of 14-15 year boys headbanging to Open My Eyes. After the show I asked them if they were familiar with Todd and his work. They said they didn't know much of his Nazz work, but loved Utopia. They said they were "bummed there wasn't going to be a Utopia reunion this year but it was really cool that he played the guitar with the eye from the Utopia album." See, young fans are still out there! Overall, this is one great show. The band is tight, the performances are charged, and they all look like it's one helluva blast to be playing together. If you have any doubts about seeing the New Cars, cast those doubts aside and go.
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6/01/2006 - Grand Casino Amphitheatre - Hinckley, MN
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