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A Review


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Just got back from Cleveland and thought I would post some of my musing on tonight's show. I was in the center Balcony, Third Row center so I had a prime spot.

Pre-Show Atmosphere: It was amazing. It honestly was. I had conversation after conversation with folks who were passionate about the 'Berries. We traded stories of times past when we saw them...we talked of getting older and how time waits for no man. We talked of how the 'Berries music had come to mean so much to us years before. A wonderful time...and the show hadn't even started.

The Show: Well...the whole thing started with a wonderful video montage. Much of it I had seen...some of it was new. It was edited very well...and provided an emotional explosive liftoff.

As the video ended with I believe the word TONIGHT....the band launched into IWBWU still behind the curtin...it lifted slowly as the second drum blast of Jim was starting. WOW...ya had to be there. The Second song was a suprise for me a Fantastic WHO cover...I'll never listen to The WHO version without thinking of this night.

The sound mix and quality was first rate with no feedback glitches or dead mics. The lighting was fantastic...I think the DVD will look gorgeous.

The band was tight and sounded unreal. Honestly...from a technical standpoint it seemed they had not missed a beat. Ecstacy/Tonight/GATW were first rate.

If I am to be totally objective...Eric took it down a vocal key of two on some songs. Also Wally flubbed a note of two...but this is nit picking.

Oh..about Wally...and Eric...there was much good hearted jabbing from Wally...and from Eric making slight references to past differences.

I found Wally to be refreshingly open and candid with his remarks between songs. He clearly is looking forward to finally getting some cash (his Ralph Cramden spoof clearly indicated this " Alice..this time I'm gonna get rich...I swear I'm not gonna blow it this time"...or something real close to this effect.).

I thought Wally really made everyone feel comfortable. At one point in the post-show reception room he asked.. " how was the sound mix...did it sound good" He cared about the quality of the show and commented frequently about the fan support.

Wally's V sounded fantastic. His Double neck should be declared illegal it is so dang powerful. Wally rocked out...played with all the passion of 31 years ago. Yes there were a few notes dropped...but he does the Chord/Lead at the same time thingy better than Robert Johnson (well maybe not...but he is good!)

Dave Smalley...and I mean this...he hasn't aged a month since 1973. Seriously...this dude has made a pac with dark sinister forces...because he has not aged!!!!!!!!!!!! We had a nice brief chat about his family in the post-reception meet. He was also exceptionaly warm. His was outstanding on stage, vocally and instrumentally. Perhaps he impressed me most of all. This guy is a major talent and should have had a string of country hits!

Jim was absolutely solid on drums. Technology allowed his drum set to sound nuclear at times. The kick pedal hit like John Bonham x 3.

Ah...and then there is Mr. Carmen. Well...he was in fine voice. 2.5 hrs of almost non-stop singing. Eric exudes an "air" of "star" around him. This is not a bad thing. Wally I could see throwing down a few beers at the local tavern...Eric..naw. Eric was very tan...and was the "sharpest" dresser. As I said...this is clearly a man who is a "star" and carries that with him.

He also has an eye for the ladies...I could explain...but naw smile It was kinda funny and harmless.

The show end was 100% raw fun. Ecstacy...I'm a Rocker...GATW. Pure Power Pop.

THE MEET AND GREET: Okay...now I am gonna complain...and it has nothing to do with the boys.

Whoever set this up completely dropped the ball. The room/signing setup...photographer setup SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE DURING THE SHOW. Instead...as everyone waited for the boys...the staff ran around shifting chairs around...setting up a table...then collapsing it....they looked confused. The boys came out...no sharpies for signing....then someone found some....nothing for them to sign objects on...balancing them on their lap. I have the most "creative" Eric signature due to the poor guy trying to sign my tee shirt on his lap.

I was #4 in line to meet the boys and I told Eric "ya gonna be here all night the way they have screwed this up"...Eric responded " not gonna happen"

Really...who ever had the responsibility for the post-show meet and greet should be fired.

The guys were gracious...very much so to me and my wife...but we got our picture signatures almost immediately...I can't imagine how long it took to get everyone through. Oh and the pictues were in groups...not individual. The photographer seemed ill prepared/she was frantic trying to get everyone to sign a sheet with email. No clipboard...sheet looked tattered after being passed. I hope I get to see my picture!

Overall: What a great night! My wife...who was not a fan of the 'Berries thought it was a great show. It was a technical and artistic triumph.

Most important...it was a human triumph. Four human beings finding a way to get past differences, to resolve conflicts and heal old wounds...and in the process make beautiful music.

Dream do indeed last forever....and this night I will never forget.

Tom from Toledo

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Tom, me and my wife were right behind you in the M&G line and I concur on what you said. There was no planning at all. They should have left the table up, pushed the couch out of the way and set the guys on the folding chairs (which were at the side for who's use I do not know) behind the table.

They were all very gracious but my wife and myself really, really liked Wally. I commented to him on how much I admire people who work in the field he does in his "day job" and he seemed really touched that we would comment on that. My wife asked Wally for a guitar pick and he said to one of the crew "where are the picks, we have them and did not bring them out" but then he reached in his pocket and pulled out the last one he used during the show. So we have the guitar pick that strummed GATW!!!!

I kidded Dave about leaving Arizona sunshine to come to Cleveland in late November. He laughed and it seems like he really had a good time with all of this.

Eric, I agree, he just fits the term "star" in manners and looks but he was very nice and I was thrilled to shake his hand, one Cleveland native to another when you boil it all down.

Jim, I love you man. Great drumming and he laughed when I told him "a concert 32 years in the making".

WOW, what a night. My back is still sore from all the standing, but guys, it was worth it!

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What at great show!!! It was everything we imagined it would be!! I had front balcony seats but chose to stand on the floor up front!! About four rows back right in the center. It was great seeing them up close. I was in one of the first few groups to meet the band in the meet and greet. The best part of that was when Eric noticed my name tag with the screen name and recognized it from this message board and told Jim who I was and said it was nice to place faces with the names.

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