I knew that this show was to be dynamite when, the afternoon before the show, while waiting for my Croque Monsieur sandwich from 'Wich Craft at the MGM Grand. I was wearing my TNC shirt with the big logo, and all of sudden, a woman gasped and asked, "Where did you see them?" Next thing I know, we're swapping stories a-mile-a-minute, obviously two core TR fans doing what we like to do the most.
Persephone's Bees was tight and engaging, and Shaun, my friend who now lives in Vegas and does sound for the MGM Grand, was VERY impressed. Matter of fact, he bought the PB CD between sets.
TNC took the stage at 8:30 and the place was packed. This is the best turnout I've seen on the Winter tour, and it really invigorated the guys, pulling a great performance out of them. My only complaint about the audience is that the 5% of them who are "yakkin' jerks" just HAD to shout at each other during "Warm".
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to stifle myself this time, and my head actually exploded during the Meet + Greet (see photos in "Photos" section). This made attending the concert a bit difficult at first, but non-corporeal existence has it's benefits! I figured out how to slip into other attendees' minds and see and hear it through their eyes and ears, which turned out to be better than the old way of physical attendance. By the time TNC started, I'd figured out how to actually experience the show from several vantage points at once! I gotta tell you, the drunk guy in the front row was a fun viewpoint at first, but I slipped outa his head when he started to get pitiful with his constant begging.
The set list was typical of the Winter tour, except that "More" was dropped. I don't think this was an artistic decision, so much as it was a practical one. . . I think HOB LV has a late show that starts at 11:30 PM, and the TNC show may have had to end early so that they could clear the stage for the next show. Todd ended the night with his usual dry wit. . . "Find your designated walker and have a safe trip home" was an obvious dig at Las Vegas Boulevard, upon which cars never move at more than a snail's pace, even at 2 AM.
This ensemble of musicians is simply stunning! This show was the best of the seven I've seen, and I hope that the guys keep playing together, no matter what the songlist. With Prairie and Kasim doing rhythm section, the songs seem to drift toward the "heavier", "power-rock" side, which brought out a totally new feel for some of the Cars catalog. Greg's keyboard performances vary between ethereal shimmer and laser attack! Elliot's guitar work fits amazingly well with TR's. . . it's wonderful to have two lead guitarists who are so comfortable with themselves that they can each lay back and let the other one scream, but then come together for the amazing dual-guitar-leads that Elliot and TR did for this show. Back in the spring of 2006, Todd was talking about having an "Arena Rock tour" idea gestating in his future bag o' tricks, and I'd LOVE to hear these guys do "Living" from "Liars"!