New Cars at Ventura 12-14-06

Review by David Peters (Switch to

Happy to report that a splendid time was had by all. Todd was in fine form, rocking as hard as ever. Singing all but two of the selections (which were handled by Kasim Sultan - no slouch in the vocal department), Todd had full powers in evidence, putting it all out there and holding nothing back, or as Neil Young is fond of saying, burning the candle all the way down. With Mr. Easton handling more of the lead guitar work, we got the opportunity to see Todd as rhythm rocker, showing off his best windmills ala Pete Townshend, and really getting into some nifty jumps and dance moves as well. Sometimes they both were soloing (dueting) and sparks did fly. Don't get me wrong, Todd still played some great lead guitar, just not as much as he would've without Elliott. Getting to see up close is always fun, as you can clearly see how the guys look, and how much fun they're having rocking out.

Compared to the Gibson amphitheatre show in May, this was really more rocking, and less of a presentation (no frills lights, no big name opener). I didn't expect great sound in the Majestic Ventura Theatre, and it was pretty messy sonically, but I can live with that. Highlights included the truly smoking 'Black Maria' played on Todd's favorite guitar 'foamy', the new ballad 'Warm' (not played in May), and a nice version of 'I Saw The Light' with dual guitar leads by Todd and Elliot, as well as the blast from the past 'Open My Eyes' which is forever a great song. For dramatic effect they did the acoustic into electric Bang The Drum which is fun to see, and of course all the great Cars material. A friend commented that this was the Cars at a new level of intensity (duh).

Anyway Todd rocks, and with the crack rhythm section of Kasim and Prairie (one of the very best in the business) playing all those rocking songs, you just can't go wrong.

As far as getting to meet and greet, I was fortunate to speak at some length with both Kasim and Prairie after the show, and got handshakes as souvenirs ( I didn't bother to bring stuff for autographs, somehow didn't feel the need ). The original members were less willing to stop to talk, but responded with a cheery 'thanks' when I said 'good job, guys'. Elliot didn't get on the bus, perhaps a little gunshy after the accident over the summer. I waited around til pretty late, but no sign of Todd (either he left before I got out there, or left late. Anyway, great to see the talent put to good use with a good band. As I told Kasim, it just doesn't get much better than that. Happy holidays to me.

p.s. Saturday in Vegas, Sunday at downtown Disney, that's all folks.

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12/14/2006 - Majestic Ventura Theatre - Ventura, CA

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