Todd and Atom Ellis exchanged positions for this show, and Todd and Elliot were both dressed like stage hands in black pants and shirts. It was a different look for the band, with all the colorful outfits in the middle of the stage on Prairie, Atom and Greg.
The sound was a bit off as well, with many harmony vocals missing from the mix, and even Elliot's introduction of Todd was missing from the house system, and was only heard through the stage monitors.
But the audience was not perturbed by these details, and was warm and accepting of The New Cars, if not particularly lively. I saw quite a few old reliable fans from years gone by in the audience, adding a "secret society" feel to the evening.
An extra treat was the fact that Fee Waybill and The Tubes were playing in the same casino, at the "free show" stage in the center of the main hall. While I heard that there was to be a second Tubes show on Friday night, I was with 6 friends who weren't up for a really late night, so I packed it in and left after The New Cars show ended.
For those who don't know, there are lots of ways that The Tubes are connected to TR, so this "close encounter" was just too cool for words. So, I couldn't resist returning on Saturday night, alone, to take in The Tubes, and I am EVER so glad I made the trip back. What an energetic set Fee and the guys put on! Really good sound, tight playing, great harmonies, lots of the old Tubes hits, a great fun evening. After the show, I was talking with Fee, and when I mentioned that I'd been at The New Cars the night before, he asked how it was, and I recounted most of what I've written above, with the additional comment that it was too bad "Movin' In Stereo" and "All Mixed Up" were cut from the show, because they are so deliciously "heavy" the way TNC does them. Fee and I agreed that Prairie's drumming (and Kasim's bass, when he's around) make all the difference on these two songs.
So, I spent two TR-related nights in a row in a casino in Rhode Island without spending so much as a nickel on gambling, and had a great time. This was TNC show number 12 for me.