Foxboro, MA "40" show

Review by Grady Moates (Switch to

This review is quite late, due to a personal illness that overtook me the day after this show, from which I've only today recovered. However, having read some of the reviews of other shows, I would like to share a few comments. I observed a stage full of musicians who were taking the proceedings very seriously. There was an attention to detail that made me very happy; Jesse did a wonderful job as musical director for the show, and in many cases was solely responsible for getting some of the intricate time signatures done correctly by the ensemble. The symphonette, especially, was watching Jesse's direction like a flock of hawks.

As the band was starting "Within You, Without You", Jesse had trouble with the electronics in the guitar that had the special tuning and processing to emulate the sitar sounds on the original song, and he was forced to use a different guitar, tuned "normally", and -- somehow he still achieved an interesting, sitar-like droning sound, and through copious use of the volume knobs on the body of the instrument was able to almost completely lose the sound of pick-on-string. The man is a master with guitars, and proved it on this song alone, saving the show. Later, several friends told me how much they had enjoyed Jesse's guitar work on WYWY, and seemed oblivious to the problem.

I, also, felt that the sound wonks were not "on" for this show. . . there were so many places where they simply missed the cues and had the wrong mikes up for lead vocals and lead instrument parts. Maybe they just don't know the album, 'cause they're too young.

John Ferenzik and Greg Hawkes were having the time of their lives swapping keyboard parts and bouncing around to the music.

And what can you say about the masterful Prairie Prince? This show required more styles of percussion than any other show I remember seeing, and Mr. Prince was working himself hard to do them all very, very well. The anchor of the proceedings, he built a precise foundation upon which the other musicians assembled their parts.

Todd's failure to take any of the show seriously was the highlight for me. You could see his love of musical, comedic theatre in every song he participated in. Yes, he was as focused as the rest of the group on making the music well, but his vocals and his acting were simply over-the-top!

Finally, I must say how much fun it was to see Mr. Robert Kraft himself, owner of the New England Patriots, in a small group of revelers for the first couple of songs of the Sgt. Peppers set. I waved to him, and made eye contact, and he waved right back. A brush with greatness!

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8/19/2008 - Foxboro - Boston, MA

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