New Cars Ride Hard and Fast In Cleveland!

Review by Phil D'Angelo (Switch to

I had mixed emotions about Todd joining up with the “New Cars” as it seemed an opportunity to have a gig for the summer and not much more. I have always been a Todd purist, and still remember the old days with the first Utopia with Moogy Klingman, Kevin Ellman, Ralph Shucket, John Seigler, and either M. Frog or Roger Powell on synths. I still listen to “Another Live” and fondly remember going to the Roxy in L.A. and seeing the Hello People and parts of Utopia backing Todd as he recorded his “Back To The Bars” double album. I also have been a fan of The Cars and my kids grew up watching their videos on MTV when MTV played music! I even knew Benjamin Orr ( or as we called him in Cleveland “Benny Eleven Letters” ) when he played in local bands in the Cleveland scene back in the late sixties, I think the “Tree Stumps” may have been one of them.

What I witnessed at Blossom Music center was a great performance of The Cars catalogue of hits and many of their less well-known album cuts. The set, lighting and presentation are all first rate and the added touch of the multi media accents on the round screens made the live performance seem like you were in a video. Not enough can be said about that aspect of the show, as they say on the food channel “presentation is everything!” NO CARS FAN WAS LET DOWN THAT NIGHT!!!

But all of this would not matter if the actual performances were not great, …. And they were all excellent!

Todd seemed to be the only person to fill Rick Ocasek’s spot, they both share that rock and roll quirky artistic persona and Todd’s ability to sing the Car’s material with affection and respect as well as infusing it with a bit of his own magic was just the ticket. Prairie Prince kicked ass and took no prisoners with thunderous drumming and Kasim did an excellent job at bass and gave a great rendition of the ballad “Drive”. Original member Elliot Easton shined at guitar and, his performance was stellar and when he and Todd traded leads it was nothing less than remarkable. Greg Hawkes shined at syhths and keyboards and really came forward as the musician who really added a plus the the Cars sound and music, then and now!

Run, don’t walk to this show, you’ll kick yourself for missing this tour!

P.S. The only minus to the whole night were the legion of assholes that seem to go to concerts and are loud, drunk and annoying instead of listening to the music. There seemed to be quite a few of them that night screaming to each other over the sound of the P.A. all through the performances, yelling into your cell phone or standing when no one else was and blocking the view of patrons who came to appreciate the show and the music. Also when you go to a live show, or a movie shut off your cell phone, leave it at home or please shove it up your ass, you are not impressing anyone in any way except that you are an inconsiderate jerk.

Phil D'Angelo aka arkanjul

Utopian and Onion Head for over 40 Years

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6/04/2006 - Blossom Music Center - Cuyahoga Falls, OH

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