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Waukesha review


aggiesjc

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Just got home from the concert. I thought I would just provide a few initial thoughts on the concert. Needless to say, another great Raspberries concert.

The guys were very relaxed. They looked to be having a great time. It was more like a party atmosphere.

They played only 14 songs, a little over an hour. Mostly the rocking songs. Eric made only one trip to the keyboards

It was very hot, in the nineties. The sun kept the boys in the heat. (Makes for some great photos!) A thunderstorm rolled through shortly after Raspberries left the stage.

Jim, Wally, & Dave signed autographs before and after the show.

There was not a huge crowd, those that were there had a great time. They kept calling for more, even as the roadies started to break down the equipment.

The new song to the set was ‘I Don’t Know What I Want’ which I think sounded great, I think it was one of the best songs of the show.

Mrs C. wants to know if Eric’s been working out! They all looked great. They dressed the part of rock & rollers. Black t-shirts and blue jeans. Mrs. C. also loved Eric’s shades, and all the ladies around loved Paul’s dew-rag. Jennifer was sporting a particularly attractive raspberry colored top.

The ladies in Row D were amazed that Wally was such a multi-tasker. Smoking, chewing gum, tuning a guitar, and talking to the crowd.

And by the way, the music was great, but we all knew it would be.

These are just a few comments to let everyone know it was another great Raspberries event, I sure others will follow with more detail, on many of these quick notes.

KC

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Hey everybody, I'll give the 1st edition highlights.

It was a terrific set; they played about 90 minutes or so.

It was a very relaxed atmosphere; hotter than be-jebus early on, but it cooled off as they played.

The guys were in very good humour; Wally in particular was in great form bantering with the crowd ("Keith," Jr. has a new idol: Wally played some really hot guitar.)

The 'Berries knew they were among friends: Julia got a shoutout from Dave: "She's here all the way from London; here airfare cost more than any of us are getting paid tonight!"

The played really well and intensely -- but it seemed to me they were getting ready for higher profile outdoor gigs in Denver and Cleveland: less controlled environments than indoor gigs.

They mixed up the song order A LOT from the shows last winter.

Started with I Want to Be With You; ended with Go All the Way, after a goofy "faux encore," much to everyone's delight.

But they sprinkled I'm A Rocker, Ecstacy, and Tonight throughout the set. These were set closers/encores at Chicago House of Blues; kinda funky!

No "slow stuff": Don't Want to Say Goodbye, I Saw the Light, both cut.

No Drivin' Around or Cruisin' Music: would have been a good fit for the vibe.

They played Last Dance -- gorgeous.

I thought Let's Pretend was the highlight; just TOO MUCH: lotso guitars and beautiful vocals.

No Covers! Too Sad!!! But time was of the essence.

Lots of friends on hand: Hoss, Tim, Phil, Julia, Jeff," Razzy," Gina, and ... oh, I'm blanking ... Paul(?) from South Dakota (sorry!), and many more.

The guys spent A LOT of time greeting the crowd, signing, schmoozing, etc. Very classy! As I said, they knew they were among friends.

Jennifer got a summer perm!!!

Paul and Billy did the monitor check; the roadies threw lotso picks into the crowd at the end. "Keith," Jr., grabbed a bunch and has now retreated to the basement and is now blasting IWBWY: said he studied Wally intently and got lots of chop-tips!

Everybody else: fill in the blanks!!!

"K"

Box Tops were cool: Alex Chilon is a great singer and the band is tight and spirited, if not going for the juggular.

More later on the very easy to manage, but kind of bizzare set-up; there couldn't have been more than 1,000 people there; it was pretty laid back. Like no lines anywhere for anything.

I hope the kids and Moms and Dads who hung around for Bowling for Soup (and any Berries fans0 didn't get drenched: a BIG storm was rolling in as the a lot of Berries fans headed for the exits: some kind of lucky timimg, eh???

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I just got home. We were going to stay for Bowling for Soup (who I don't have a clue who they are, but my younger sister and niece did) but we saw the dark clouds coming in and split.Got caught in the storm trying to get out of Waukesha.

Did watch most of the Box Tops, they were very good but I'm amazed that Alex Chilton kept his jacket on as long as he did- I'm sure it was in the 90's then.

The Berries sounded great. I think there we a few issues with some of the sound, but they didn't have a formal sound check. It seemed like Wally had some guitar problems when he was playing "Party's Over". Dave wore a cowboy hat when he played Last Dance. They rocked on "I Don't Know What I Want"-that was the song that mrch hinted at in another post.

I thought this would be a bigger festival-I thought there would be more booths, food, ect. I had never been to this festival before, but I think Riverfest in Beloit is bigger than this was. Maybe because it was the last day, some things had closed up.

It was nice to see everyone again and thanks to Hosskratz (did I spell it right?) for the Wally's Gitarmy hats, and Gina for the Raspberries fans. Both came in very handy in the sun and heat. The guys wished Paula a happy birthday, and you heard about Julia from London getting a shout out.

I was so glad to be able to see the guys perform so close.Thanks to Dave, Jim, Eric, Wally, and the Overdubs for coming to Wisconsin. Hope to see you soon! laugh

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They are getting better and better at each show. The vocals tonight were absolutely amazing! Even though everyone kept having to tune and re-tune guitars because of the heat, I thought that the guys doing the sound did a tremendous job keeping everything sounding great.

At this rate, the NY shows should be incredible!

Working on getting some pictures downloaded sometime tomorrow, as I took a ton.

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Just got home after stopping at a diner to eat and to let the big storm pass before the drive back to Madison.

KC, Keith, Laura and Pat pretty much summed it up. It really was like a party atmosphere. Especially with the small crowd...probably only a few hundred people. Sitting in the first row center, it felt like it was a private concert. There were many empty seats around us - probably for people who didn't come until Bowling for Soup (I still think the promoters screwed up big time on this). At one point I yelled up to Dave "Where's your blue Rickenbacker"? He wasn't going to play it, but he then asked the crowd if he should and he did, though only for one song.

The band was in a great, playful mood as mentioned. And need I say, they sounded fantastic even with it being outdoors. Even with 6 huge bass speakers two feet in front of us under the stage (we heard every bass drum beat of Jim's), it sounded great. At one point I went to the back of the grounds to take some pictures and the sound was even better back there. So clear and balanced - incredible. However, the show was too short...I missed the covers, too, actually. They also omitted Nobody Knows, which I heard they were supposed to play, but then they started about 15 minutes late so maybe time was an issue. Wally had a few glitches with his guitar, but they were minor and he just playfully got through it.

And yes, the guys were very gratious. Indeed they were among friends. We didn't go to our seats until after the Box Tops were done playing and we had heard that Wally, Jim and Dave greeted the crowd on the side beforehand. And after the show everyone, even the overdubs, greeted the fans and signed autographs. My son and I had on our "Wally's Guitarmy" shirts I made up last night (Wally said he even wanted one...it's coming), and we got our picture taken with Wally. We got Dave, Wally and Eric's autograph on a nice commemorative picture I made up from the November show. However, we just missed Jim as he had already retreated back to the trailor. Well, there we were having a nice chat with Paul Sidoti and asked him to sign the picture instead. He looked at it and saw the four Raspberries pictures on it from November, and noticed we didn't have Jim's autograph. And you know what Paul did? He took the picture and went back to the trailor to get Jim to sign it and brought it back out to us!!! Unbelievable. What a nice guy! Paul, we can't thank you enough. It made our commemorative picture complete. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You're the best!

And thanks to Wally for wishing Paula a happy birthday to start the show, and even again later. What a guy!

And of course all of the fans from the board - Tim, Laura, KC, Julia, Keith, Gina, Steve, Hosskratz (great hats), my lovely wife Paula (Razzy), son Matt, who made it through with his earplugs, and sister-in-law Peggy. Oh, and even though they're not from this board - the three guys in yellow Eric shirts - nice, funny guys having a good time. Sorry if I missed anyone.

I too, took over a hundred pictures and will try to get some downloaded. Being right in front, I hope to have some nice shots.

Wish we could be in Denver or Cleveland or New York. You guys going are in for another treat!

Take care.

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Thanks to all for the reviews. I am so looking forward to NYC now.

Keith, interesting that you would single out Let's Pretend. It sounded especially good in Chicago. There was something different about it but I couldn't put my finger on what it was but it sure was special.

Ted

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Thanks to KC, Laura, Keith, Blackhawk Pat, and Jeff for the nifty reviews. It sounds as though the "abbreviated" set really packed a punch nonetheless.

Glad everyone was able to avoid the rain as well. I'll be interested in seeing impressions of the Denver and Cleveland shows.

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What was the size of the crowd? How many does the Wisconsin place hold and how many seats were filled? Is there enough momentum to sustain a tour beyond the summer? I suppose Cleveland will rock and NY, but I wonder if that will be it? Just got my Cleveland tickets and I'm ready to rock! I waited 35 years to see these guys.

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Thanks for all the great reviews! Jeff, I've noticed, as you did, that the sound is even better further back. I sat in the balcony at the first Cleveland show, and stood at the foot of the stage in Chicago -- and preferred the sound from the balcony. As much as I love seeing the band close up, I think I'll choose my spot in NY with the sound in mind.

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The size of the crowd was very small - maybe a few hundred people. In my opinion, this had nothing to do with the Raspberries - but with the festival. Even though it was advertised and promoted, the way they sold tickets really stunk. If you wanted to buy Raspberries tickets, you wouldn't be able to find them. You had to buy tickets for Bowling for Soup, whoever they are? This was the first year for this festival, and I'm sure they took a financial beating, as I heard the crowds the other nights were just as bad.

I'm actaully confused to why they agreed to do this little unknown festival in Waukesha, especially with Milwaukee's Summerfest starting this Thursday. They would have been a HUGE draw there. With anywhere from 60 to 120 thousand people on the grounds at any one time, they could easily have packed in 10-15 thousand at one of the "side" stages there. My only guess is that this weird, little festival was strictly a tune-up for the bigger Denver and Cleveland shows. Even Dave, when recognizing Julia from London, said that her plane ticket probably cost more than they were getting paid. And as Laura pointed out, she expected more from this festival - they didn't have many food booths or exhibits or rides or much of anything. You walked in and said...this is it? When we drove in the parking lot at around 3:30, there were hardly any cars there and the grounds looked empty!

With all that said, we had a great time, and as I've said in my earlier post, it was like our own private little concert for those who did attend. And the band was having fun, too.

So, in my opinion, this should not have any bearing whatsoever, on future shows.

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Jeff,

I think you nailed it. I believe this was almost like a practice runthrough for the guys for the big shows coming up. At one point, Wally asked the crowd, "so what do you guys want to hear?" and someone shouted "Last Dance" (which they had already done). Wally cracked up everyone by replying "Last Dance, didn't we do that already? I know we are getting old, but.....don't do that to me! My advice to you people is if you are on prescriptions, STAY ON THEM!" Everyone roared, as it was so informal. Someday, when Wally is about eighty, I can see all of us in our walkers cramming into some small comedy club to watch his routine!

"I Don't Know What I Want" was incredible! When Wally said "I think I hear bells", right before the start, I just knew it was going to be that song. I felt that Eric's voice was just so full sounding on that tune and the band played great.

One thing that was interesting to me was the song selection, though, as they did more songs from the Starting Over album (four) than the first two (with the originals) combined.

This foursome (and Overdubs) simply rocked!

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I really enjoyed the show yesterday.

Some of my reflections and thoughts on the concert are as follows:

It was a very hot day and as others have said it was sparsely attended. There were not very many booths for food and no rides. There really was not much there in the entire area. They did have two outdoor stages and the Berries were set up at the best one. They had an area of reserved seats that were at least 60% emtpy or more. I had a fourth row seat and lots of empties around me. Anyone could have gone in and taken a seat without showing you had paid $20 extra for it. There were probably 250-300 people spread out all over the place. I took a lot of photos that I am sure when I get them back will look a lot like those posted on the Raspberries website.

The set was short. They started at 6:21pm and ended about 7:35pm. Eric only played keyboard once for Overnight Sensation. Wally did introduce "Its Cold Outside" by saying it is an appropriate song for today. Then Dave shocked me when he said..."This one is for Phil..I know you are out here somewhere!" That was neat.

The songs were all performed very well. They did have some problems with the heat affecting their guitar strings but so did everyone else. It was neat to be so close and not being packed inlike sardines at the HOB Chicago. It reminded me of being at someone's graduation party where the parents had hired a band to play and they played from the back of a hayrack ride platform. I mean that in a good way.

I, too feel that they chose this smaller venue to test out their outdoor set as well as the new song they performed. I also missed hearing the cover songs and more of Eric's keyboards. But, their enthusiasm was very evident. Wally is very funny and just kept making humorous comments!

I got a chance to meet Dave after the concert and introduced myself and he said..."Did you hear me mention your name?". He signed my copy of his CD and he really is a nice person. The other band members were out signing for people as well. It was a good experience. Thanks for a great concert to all of the Berries.

Phil

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Hello all,

I concur with the comments of everyone else. It was a very unique event to say the least. This was the first year for "A Taste of Summer", and even though they probably lost a bunch of money, I hope they give it another try next year. Any event that brings the Raspberries to Wisconsin should be given one more shot!

I thought that the sound was terrific considering that they set everything up in about 45 minutes and had no sound check. To be able to walk on stage and roar right into the first song was impressive. Of course there were a few sound / instrument glitches here and there, but the band handled everything with well and didn't get too upset. Kudos to the roadies and the sound board guys and gals for doing a great job! When Wally was having trouble with his guitar, I thought he did a great job of tuning on the spot and keeping the song moving, and when Eric hit his keyboard for the first time (Almost scaring him and all of us how loud it was) he handled it with a great sense of humor until it was corrected. All in all, I think it was a fantastic show! Of course the selfish part of me wanted them to play for 3 hours, but with the time they were given they made the most of it. The band looks like they are having a great time, and I think that everyone in the crowd walked away with a big smile on their face at the end of the show! happy

I was pleasantly surprised that everyone in the band took time after the show to sign autographs and pose for some pictures! I'm pretty tempted to venture over to Cleveland next month!

Tim

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