utopia review 1/30/11

Review by Mark DePaulis (Switch to

After all,to me in 1976,this band was a myth....,fabled,the subject of my brother Joe's basement tales.You know....the 70's basement where so many musical inspirational moments took place.Anyway,he would tell me of these legendary concert experiences involving the "original" Utopia......All of it meant nothing to me or should i say had no relevence because my only perspective of Todd,Kevin,Moogy,Ralph and John were via the 2 albums and that photo on the back of the TR Utopia album.How cool is that picture i still ask myself...(I missed the maiden voyage...came on board for the Ra tour). Looking at that picture and wondering what it must have been like at the Fox theatre that night has stuck with me the past 36 years.I knew that i had really missed something special....Oh well.....

Like a punch in the face the news came that night.......staggered me.....didnt make sense.The ORIGINAL Utopia in nyc.How could this be ?.....Quickly went for the tickets.Shut out of saturdays show....what sort of cruel joke could this be?OK...Landed tickets for sunday.So off we went.....wife,son,brother and neice in tow....Ah those moments where you feel like a young kid again...this was one of those except i was now with some of my most loved.Joe understood what was about to happen ....the rest soon would.

A fellow in line outside told me on several occasions the hair on the back of his neck stood up at the previous nights show......thats all i needed to hear,Didnt want a set list.Knew what was comin'....somethin' good.Not gonna get into the set list....no need..we all know what was comin'.....Then there they were,like they jumped off that famed photo.No longer mythilogical figures but real life humans right in front of us...even met Moogy and Kevin after the show...All too human, as we know why we were there that night.....wasnt about me or my dream to see these guys at all..Moogy was amazing..... such a celebration still.

How good was it ??....My wife Patti wasnt sure what to expect....she had also only heard the stories.....same for the kids.As i looked at my family during the show i could see that they now understood what they were seeing.How could this sound as good or at times even better than the original recordings.........i closed my eyes at times and you could swear you were listening to the originals.....it was that good.Thought maybe i was listening "through rose colored glasses" but i know what i heard and the pay per view confirmed it.This was a shot of sonic adrenaline.As the lights dimmed at closing i understood why the fans kept applauding......they knew what they had just experienced and it was all to sobering to think it was over, perhaps never to be seen again....................but then again, isnt that what i said back in '76.

So here's to the most amazing band of all time past and present......and here's to my son Stephen...(second to none as this bands #1 fan) who couldnt make the trip but was with us every note along the way.

One of 1,400 very fortunate people that weekend,

Mark DePaulis

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1/30/2011 - Highline Ballroom - New York City, NY

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