the venue - new place, Showcase LIVE! part of the Kraft entertainment complex. home of the perfect Patriots. still has that new car smell. good sound, good views, good personnel, just wish i didn't have to drive to foxboro.
the band - every review should start and finish with props to the band. Jesse leads the band and is, well, Jesse. don't know where TR found him, just happy he did. we all know where TR found Prairie. solid as usual. good to see Ferenzik back in the mix behind the keys. would have been better if he busted out a little wheel of nesh. speaking of keys, if nothing else comes from The New Cars, at least we have the pleasure of Greg Hawkes on keys for this gig. here's hoping it's not the last we see of him with TR. on bass, Jonathan (Sulton who?) Clark. and last but not least - the septet symphonette whom Jesse named but i could not hear well enough to remember.
SET THE FIRST - all players are on for the first song, REVOLUTION. then it's solo time for each player.
first up, the one and only, Denny Laine. not quite sure what was going on with Denny during the show opener - REVOLUTION. it seemed off. with Denny's resume, he's like the George Carlin of the group. GO NOW was a nice treat, like Carlin in his prime. the song was familiar to all and well sung. TIME TO HIDE followed. well played, vocals seemed rough to me, a bit muddled - could be my lack of familiarity with the song. it seemed more like current Carlin, less like 7 words Carlin.
i don't care how he got to where he's at, Bice has a good voice. he played two songs during the first set and there were plenty of Bice fans in the house. unfortunately, with the use of the Vocodor/TalkBox on the first song and the double necked guitar on the second, i can't help but think of him as the Carrot Top of the band. he's got the voice to take care of the southern rock thing, i hope this tour will erase any lingering american idol tendencies. his first song was WITNESS. Bo give us I'M GONE for song two. both are country flavored rock songs which he sings quite well.
Christopher Cross won an Oscar for ARTHUR'S THEME. it's crazy, but it's true. don't get me wrong, i tuned into that Boston soft rock station back in the day. Christopher Rage Cage Cross set the wayback machine to 1980/81 with ARTHUR'S THEME, SAILING AND RIDE LIKE THE WIND. for 3 songs, i was back in college in Worcester MA; mellowing out to soft rock; i was the same weight as Greg Hawkes; Jimmy Carter was ending his only term; we no longer had to worry about all that energy conservation nonsense he was forcing on us; and people were treating Liza Minnelli and Dudley Moore like movie stars. good times, good times.
Lou Gramm, the Sam Kinison look-a-like of the band, was not with them tonight, so we went right to the head fool on the hill, TR.
Todd started with OPEN MY EYES which was followed by I SAW THE LIGHT and his set ended with BANG THE DRUM ALL DAY. three songs, three decades, three hits. the usual rejoinder applies - nice job. was that really David Mustaine on the audience participation bang drum kit?
minus kinison, total 1st set was about 55 min or so.
SET THE SECOND - Sgt Pepper start to finish. everyone returns for the first song, then leave, returning for specific solo songs and all returning for the big finish. to visualize, think magic dragon theatre '08.
Denny gets the Silver for stretching while Jesse tried to handle technical problems with his guitar of choice for WITHIN YOU WITHOUT YOU. the Gold goes to Clark, for his conduction of the audience breathing exercise.
i'm thinking Bo got more songs in the second set with Gramm being out of the mix. idol fans had to be pleased. no talkbox, no double necked guitars - just quality vocals, though a bit out of his country rock sweet spot.
probably the best song of the night, by Christopher Cross with assistance on vocals by Clark featuring the septet symphonette: SHE'S LEAVING HOME. simply beautiful. i wish i could go to work in a robe.
TR - like me, you've seen the pictures. even knowing what was coming did not lessen the hilarity. i don't know how to describe the second set except to say it was just plain fun. TR lead the way.
set two with encores (Strawberry Fields Forever & WMGGW) was about 65 min or so.
it was worth the drive to foxboro. and props again to Gress, Prince, Ferenzik, Hawkes, Clark, and the septet symphonette.