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6/16 - Blaisdell Arena


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Hey all,

I went to the concert on Sunday night at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu. There were only maybe a 1,000 people there but it was a lot of fun and the crowd was energetic. I'll try and provide as much detail as I can...

The show started with "A Hard Day's Night" and "Day Tripper", I think they played a few more Beatle tunes but I can't remember what they were. Todd Rundgren led the showcase sets off with "Rain", then two of his tunes. I didn't know the first one but I guess it's the song he mentioned in the Honolulu Advertiser, "Open My Eyes". The second song was "Hello It's Me".

Then it was Eric Carmen's turn. He played "Help!", then switched to bass and then asked the crowd, "how many of you were born by 1972?" which elicited cheers from the middle-aged crowd. Eric then said "well you might remember this one then" and proceeded into a rockin' version of "Go All The Way"! So he made good on his hints that he would play a Raspberries tune. I was very excited to hear that tune live, made me wish that a full Raspberries reunion would take place so we can hear more. Eric then sat at the piano and played "All By Myself" and of course there was a big sing-along with the audience. Mark Farner did "Taxman", then the Grand Funk tunes "Bad Time" and "Closer To Home". Christopher Cross then came on and did "For No One", then his hits "Sailing" and "Ride Like The Wind" where he showed that he can rip it up on lead guitar as well as being a great songwriter. Alan Parsons did "Eye In The Sky", "And I Love Her", and "Games People Play". Jack Bruce did "Sunshine of Your Love", "Eleanor Rigby" (kinda shaky vocals at the start there), and "White Room". All of the artists were well received by the audience. The first set finished up with "Back In The U.S.S.R."

After a short intermission the group came back on stage for an acoustic set. Among the songs they did: "Norwegian Wood", "I've Just Seen A Face", "Here, There and Everywhere", "No Reply" (Eric on lead vocal). There were others but again I can't remember them at this time. After the acoustic set they went back to a full band and did "Here Comes The Sun" (the guitarist in the backup band sang lead), then Todd brought out the famous psychedelic painted SG that Eric Clapton once owned for "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". Other songs they did in this set were "I Wanna Hold Your Hand", "I Should Have Known Better", and I think they ended the set with "Birthday". The encore songs were "Revolution" and "Golden Slumbers/The End". Lyrics were forgotten, voices cracked, equipment didn't work, and cues were missed but overall it was an enjoyable performance. They'll probably be real tight by the time they get to the mainland. Don't miss "A Walk Down Abbey Road" if it comes near or in your town, if only to hear "Go All The Way"! :-)

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Here's another take of the Honolulu (2nd) concert--yesterday on Father's Day!

The concert was fun and nostalgic. It moved well from song to song and artist to artist. It seems that most of the songs were chosen but at least one song was done impromptu ("Fallin', yes I am fallin'--in love w/you"). The Beatles covers were fun.

Eric's two solo songs were kind of obvious choices (a rocking "Go All The Way" and the only piano-based song the whole night -- "All By Myself"). Seems like Eric was just getting started then it was time to move to the next soloist. Eric soaked in his ovation for a few moments...

Eric was also featured on a few Beatles tunes ("No Reply").

One nice surprise was an "unplugged" section of Beatles songs.

Norwegian Wood - Jack Bruce vocal

If I Fell - Alan Parsons

Fallin' - Todd Rundgren

No Reply - Eric sounding like Paul

Her, There, Everywhere - Chris Cross

You've Got To Hide Your Love Away - Todd

Here Comes the Sun - Godfrey Townsend (guitarist)

While My Guitar Gently Weeps - Todd

I Should Have Known Better

8 Days A Week

Ticket To Ride

I Wanna Hold Your Hand

Birthday

Encores: Revolution

The End/Golden Slumbers.

I wished that Eric and the others could have done a few more originals and less Beatles BUT they can't please all the people all the time! With so many rockers from the 70's, I expected a wall of Marshall amplifiers...Instead, a very modest stage & lighting with hi-tech (little) amplifiers. ALL of the stars were right up front -- get close up seats if you see them.

Eric was right in the center, a little on the right side if facing the stage. He may have soaked in too much sun in Maui (he looked relaxed, tanned and had some trouble nailing the highest notes though he is still in fine voice).

The overall volume was just right for the mostly-middle-aged crowd. It was great fun to see a few younger folks going right up to the stage and dancing despite the security guards' attempts to get them to sit back down. By the end of the night all of us were on our feet letting the music and musicians transport us back to a wonderful rocking time.

If you're an Eric fan you'll be happy to know that Todd Rundgren will NOT play at all the concerts (and Eric will sing more because of that). Todd has committed to other concerts with Hall and Oates so he'll be at about 1/2 of the Abbey Road dates.

Aloha -- Chet

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WOW! Two great reviews. Thanks, guys!

If Hawaii is any indication than these individual concert forums are going to work out just fine. Let's see if we can get at least one review for each of the venues. Did either of you guys take any photos? I'd love to get a couple of them on-line.

I'm looking for this show to really rock once everyone gets into the groove. A lot of the band members don't tour regularly enough for their voices to be in perfect shape for the first show or two. Eric's voice became so amazing on the Ringo All-Starr tour a couple of years ago that by the time the tour hit the East coast he was nailing every note!

Thanks again for the GREAT reviews! --Bernie

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The first "official" review -- from the Honolulu-Star Bulletin / June 18, 2002

A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE

6 Classic Rockers Play Beatles Favorites

By John Berger

It was a moment made for a music video. The rock star, classic Cream and an anonymous air drummer.

Whoever he was Sunday night at the "A Walk Down Abbey Road" concert, the guy was excellent! He appeared out of the crowd and stood by the stage just as Jack Bruce smashed into "Sunshine of Your Love," a guy with the physique of a body builder, the sides of his head shaved, the hair on top cut short and bleached albino. He matched Bruce's man on the drums perfectly.

Bruce's old Cream hit was single most powerful number during the concert at Blaisdell Arena. The arena-level seating was comfortably full of classic-rock fans and curiosity seekers who turned out to see how Bruce, Eric Carmen, Christopher Cross, Mark Farner, Alan Parsons, Todd Rundgren and a trio of sidemen would work together playing a hodgepodge of their favorite songs by the Beatles. Each of the stars also got to do a couple of their own hits with various combinations of musicians in support, with Bruce on bass backing most of others.

For the crowd, most of whom appeared old enough to remember when Bruce and the others first hit the charts, renewing acquaintances seemed to be half the fun.

Carmen slipped behind the Kurzweil and took the audience back to his Raspberries days. Farner rocked with "Bad Time" and got great audience response with "Closer to Home." Cross, seen here recently with the Honolulu Symphony, hit with "Sailin'" and "Ride Like the Wind," and told the crowd that "nothing validates you more with your 10-year-old daughter than having one of your songs covered by *N Sync." Parsons commented that with his involvement in the show, he had "discovered the concept of having to learn words." Farner added an interesting twist to the show when he played "Taxman" in an arrangement distinctly different from the original.

Bruce's powerhouse miniset was followed by an enthusiastic rendition of "Back in the U.S.S.R.," with all six principals performing up front. It was a promising introduction to the concept, and it felt that we were getting down to business. Then came the intermission.

What followed was closer to a jam session than a rehearsed show, but not so sloppy that it seemed disrespectful to paying fans. Rundgren affected a nasal country accent on "I've Just Seen A Face," Carmen took over on "No Reply," Cross got the lead spot on "Here There, and Everywhere," and at one point Rundgren said simply, "Somebody take the initiative here."

The crowd was forgiving of the ragged moments, adding a lusty "Hey!" to "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away," and yelling along to "I Should Have Known Better" as well. They were dancing down front long before the group closed with "Birthday."

Rundgren, who had the center spot on stage and seemed to do most of guitar solos during the Beatles half of the program, had the lead in an encore performance of "Revolution," and Bruce started things off on the "Abbey Road" medley that closed the show.

Most of the fans seemed satisfied.

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Hey everybody! Check out this PILE O'PHOTOS from the Honolulu show at the Todd Rundgren Connection web site ! So much for the "NO CAMERAS" rule! smile --Bernie

PS: You can also read the photographer's review of the show -- she's obviously a HUGE Todd Rundgren fan. I gotta admit, seeing the two of them together on stage makes me hope that Todd *does* play at least one of the NJ/NY shows with Eric. I just LOVE that photo of the two of them BOTH playing their black John Lennon Rickenbacker guitars simultaneously!

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Interesting review of the first show. Now how did I know that Eric would do "No Reply"???!!! In just about every interview I've ever read over the last 30+ years, he's mentioned that song has being one of his favourite Beatle songs. I would love to hear his version.

Marvin

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