"I have an extra ticket for the first Utopia show in the Poconos-would you like to go?"
Although I told myself I was going to check into the show --a later date..after getting the news via the 18 minute announcement. I must admit I couldn't believe that Willie was coming back for the tour..somehow things fell into line...how could I say no?
Some of you who know me know that I was very disappointed in the new cars over utopia decision years ago and I kind of took a break for awhile
But I did help Billy write the vol 2 book on this band. This was my band. The four piece Utopia- I saw more life changing concerts in the 70s and 80 with these guys than I can count. I have always been a champion of this configuration. They covered more ground and hit me always where I lived. I was one of the few that like utopia absolutely as much as TR solo.
I saw WWs Instragram videos before I went up-I saw how his prep for the tour was-he approaches drumming different.
Boy did it shine through weds night. There is a certain magic that happens between people, musicians- a feel-
And it was absolutely undeniable as it was subtle on weds night.
www is not so much a flash drummer but anyone there can right away feel what weve been missing all these years.
I love the other great drummers Todd has played with but Willie Kas and Todd have a special sauce going .
I won't have to tell you anything more than its there. Eyes that have seen....
and you can feel the love in the air.
I shed a tear at LITA-there is no denying the chemistry. Kasim played as well and as complete as he ever did and sang like a bird. The new guys parts were very faithful to Rogers and the voice of Willie quickly reminded you who were listening to. The vocal blend was ecstatic.
Were there mess ups? Sure-Todd probably more than the others but he had a hell of a lot of ground to cover.
What were my surprises given what we knew coming into it?
No mated. No Deface. No 7 rays.
Included another life , I will wait and monument (both KS utopia tunes).
Generally a but more older utopia than I expected but all in all a triumph.
So happy my friend asked me-we had a great time just catching up. But as for this show..do not miss this. There are a range of video effects on both sets- some great period stuff on Communion (Ra) and Road to utopia (intro like 1980)
But at the end of the day..let me say that...I am Willie Wilcox freak! Love his style.
Venue: Nice high altitude venue on a hill overlooking a valley. Chalet stylee
SET 1: Utopia Theme, The Ikon, Another Life, Freedom Fighters, Do Ya, The Wheel, Back on the Street, Something's Coming, Monument, Communion With The Sun, Last of the New Wave Riders
SET 2: Road to Utopia, Play This Game, Swing To The Right, Trapped, Set Me Free, Love In Action, Hammer in My Heart, Princess of the Universe, I Will Wait, Rock Love, Love Is The Answer, One World, Just One Victory.
Generally first set had more rough spots than 2 (TR on FF and AL) Kas and Willie on Back on the Street (only tempo issue all night a bit too slow-Willie was very consistent and did not drag at any point)
Second set was far better received by crowd who really loved hammer on out. Willie kind of gave up halfway on Princess (prob monitors) and half spoke princess but still the crowd dug it. During this second set it begins to dawn on you the subtle power and grandeur of the WW and KS rhythm section. By the time LITA comes, its all over.
The new guy was spectacular in that he didn't overshadow but did not drag the proceedings either-he did a perfect job.
To all the old Utopia fans please get out there and you will be transported to a warm loving place you used to call home years ago. The point is---If you've been there before, I report to you that the magic is absolutely 100% here. You will feel it I guarantee it. Let it wash over you
... now let's do something with it.