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WHAT. A. SHOW. IT. WAS!!!!


Trindy

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Oh boy, this is gonna have to be a relatively short one because I've got tix to the Indians tomorrow and I have to get some rest, but I have to report in here on the Cleveland show because no one else has yet. I'm not a musical expert, but to me it was...FAN. TASTIC. As always.

This set list is from memory, trust those in the know to come up with better, but they did the "Carnegie Hall opening" for this one (with no video): the first few lines of "Ticket to Ride" segueing into "I Wanna Be With You." Practicing up for New York? Anyway, we in Cleveland sure loved it. Other songs, in no particular order: It Seemed So Easy, Let's Pretend, I Can Remember, Nobody Knows, Should I Wait, If You Change Your Mind, Tonight, Makin' It Easy, Hard to Get Over a Heartbreak (lower key, I think), Ecstacy, Overnight Sensation, Play On, Party's Over, It's Cold Outside, I Don't Know What I Want (first time ever in Cleveland--heavens did it rock!). When called back for their encore, they divested themselves of the Overdubs for the first time I have seen and just played, the four of them alone, "You're Gonna Lose That Girl" and "Twist and Shout." Sounded like the damn Beatles, you could not tell the difference. Incredible. That should put an end once and for all to any question of whether or not the four guys can still rock out all by themselves. Right there. Finito.

And, of course, they wound it up with a rousing rendition of I'm a Rocker followed by, what else, Go All the Way. Eric had a guitar emergency of some sort--looked like a switch broke or something, I don't know anything about guitars, but looked like a roadie was trying to give it a quick solder and it just wasn't going to work--so Eric just unloaded it and took the mike and sang the second verse of I'm a Rocker sans guitar, doing his best Mick Jagger elbows of course. By the time the first or second line of the chorus came around again, he had it back. Nice work!

Other special moments during the concert: when the Nautica Queen tour boat came by on the river and all the people on the boat were standing and listening and waving at us. When loud booming and flashing lights suddenly appeared from the direction of downtown, and Eric asked "Is that fireworks or is that thunder?" And then, when it became obvious it was fireworks, cried "The Indians won!" And when they introduced the guy sitting on my right as "the oldest rocker in the audience" (I had heard that he was Kim's dad!) and three of their fans who had come the farthest distance to see them. Julia, Kazumi, hope you had the time of your lives! When they said hi to their special people in the audience. And, well, just seeing my boys play in the quintessential hometown venue, in the Flats with the lit-up downtown skyline and the Cuyahoga River bridges as their stage set. It just doesn't get more Cleveland than that.

The guys were looking fine. Dave as hot as ever, Jim smokin' on the drums, Wally actually smokin' more on the guitar than on the ciggies (he didn't even start puffing until I'm a Rocker) and Eric--well, everyone is right, Eric has obviously been busy of late building up his summer muscles and his summer tan. Ooh la la! Girls, if you haven't seen him yet this summer, bring the smelling salts. You're gonna need 'em. And yes, he rocks as hard and screams as high as ever (especially during If You Change Your Mind!).

The sound was not as good as at the HOB concerts, probably because of the acoustics in such an outdoor venue. Also seemed to be a lot of feedback. But I am not going to blame the new sound guy. What the heck, the band still rocks. I am so psyched for New York I can't even say. Bring 'em on!

This was the first concert for my cousin who loves the band but could not make it to the first two shows. He said the moment that made it for him was hearing Eric reminisce about 1970 and how there was nothing on the radio but progressive bands doing boring instrumental solos and how he and Jim got together to make a band and said "I know what we should do that's different--let's write some SONGS." And said "WMMS didn't play them, they didn't get it" (that's true, they didn't start playing the band until Side 3 came out), "but YOU did" (cheers). "And that's when it first occurred to me...we were the first ALTERNATIVE band. We were the ALTERNATIVE to everything else."

That you were, guys. And you still are.

Thanks for being there, again, for us.

Lord, New York doesn't know what is about to hit it. But Cleveland does. And I can't wait.

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The last time I saw the Raspberries was in 1975 in Minneapolis, and saw them countless times before that locally, as well as The Cyrus Erie, Quick, Choir,etc.

It was great to hear the old songs...the favorite of the night for me was "I Can Remember"; what a masterpiece of movements! I was also impressed with the energy that accompanied these songs. They were excited to perform them.

HOWEVER... I'm sure the bandmembers are surrounded by "Yes-Men" that when asked by the group if this or that sounds good, they say "It's Great". This could be the weak point in this show, as well as perhaps the whole reunion tour. Frankly, the sound mix was poor...at best! The first two songs experienced harsh feedbacks and levels that ruined the opening presentation of the group. After awhile, that was cleared up, but the vocal mix throughout was poor,poor,poor! The lush harmonies that are one of Raspberries trademarks was undetectable...only because I knew the songs did I "imagine" I heard what I wanted. I was sitting center stage, elevated...behind the soundboard, and I can't believe the soundguy didn't hear what I was hearing. I've mixed and edited audio/video for the past 25 years, so I feel I know a little about this.

Don't get me wrong...I loved seeing them last night...I've known these guys for going on 4 decades,but the act is going to have to be heard more clearly before New York pays attention! Please...take this this as constructive critizism; not destructive critizism.

At one point, Wally asked the crowd if they could hear things alright, most of the crowd around me was yelling "No". The guitars came through great...the bass was wonderfully heard...drums were good...just those vocals, guys, just those vocals! But I still loved it!!!

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I have to echo Brian's comments. The guys' playing and singing was exemplary, the energy level was there, but the sound was hurting big time in spots.

I realize it's not fair to compare it to the first HOB show, which I also saw, because of the considerable difference in the venues. I know outdoor is much more difficult, and it was a lot bigger, so there's more to fill. But besides problems in the vocal mix, there were several occasions when Wally's solos didn't cut through as they should have.

Absolute #1 requirement for a sound man: KNOW the music you're presenting. Know when there's gonna be a solo and be ready to adjust to make sure it's heard. If you don't know exactly what to expect during each song, you shouldn't be behind the board.

I don't want to be completely negative, so I will say this in his favor: the drum mix was exceptionally good, and you really could hear Jim in all his glory. "I Don't Know What I Want" was simply awe-inspiring all the way around...what power! And I will say that the mix was fine on the two Beatles songs that just the four of them did. They absolutely nailed "You're Going to Lose That Girl"! Those glorious three-part harmonies on the bridge...perfect in every way.

Again, I don't want to seem overly negative. It was a wonderful show...the guys seemed to be having a really good time, and there were many highlights besides those I've mentioned.

Special kudos to The Knack, too...they were great! I hate to spoil the fun for those who have yet to see them, but in addition to great songs from all their albums, very crisply performed, we got...wait for it..."Tequilla," with some amazing guitar work from Burton Averre, segueing right into The Doors' "Break on Through to the Other Side." Don't laugh...it worked!!

All you B.B. King folks...you'll have a great time, as I'm sure the sound will be under better control in that venue. Big big thanks to Raspberries and all their support people for again making a dream come true for me that I never thought could happen.

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One thing I want to add before I forget: they played Last Dance too. Don't know how I missed that one. There may be others but that's the only one I can think of off the top that I skipped. And the Overdubs were back for I'm a Rocker and GATW, although as I say, the boys proved once and for all that they do not "need" them to sound good. On their own they are just damn fine. So, kudos to the O's, they are a great addition...but just in case anyone thought they were "covering" for anyone...the answer is "uh-uh." A BIG "uh-uh." :-)

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Ok, which one of you ladies threw your panties up on stage?

God, Eric nailed IF YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND. Thats the best I have heard them do that one so far.

The two songs they did as a foursome were "FAB" and I could have only hoped that part would have lasted another two or three Beatle covers! I had my fingers crossed for "I'LL Be Back" but alas that one was not played.

Only Ras song I wish they would have done but did not was DON"T WANT TO SAY GOODBYE as that holds special meaning for me and my wife but we did get to hear them do that at the two HOB shows so I guess its ok.

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Having just read Brian's and Mike's comments also, I wanted to add that hey, if you want to criticize the sound guy, go right ahead, I'll let you...I don't feel I'm the expert in this stuff, but yes, I would have liked to hear the harmonies better although Jim's drums did come through loud and clear (which is a good thing because he was just en fuego). And like I said, quite a bitt of feedback. Also, the sound overall was dissipated and muddied by the nature of the venue, I feel. I am not sure how much anyone could have done about that, not being an expert.

In any case, I think that with BBK they are once again going to be indoors and so long as the equipment they have to work with is of the same caliber as at HOB, the sound should be of similar quality. What I found myself having to do last night was pay attention to what I knew was there...a band that just kicks butt even when the sound is not perfect.

A few other things...I talked to mrch's wife, Denise, at the merchandise stand, where Raspberries guitar-pick earrings are now for sale (autographed by the guy of your choice). Get 'em while they're hot, girls! Also overheard that the reason the CD/DVD are not out yet is because the guys are not completely satisfied with all the material they have accumulated yet...and this concert too was being taped and recorded (the camera guys were well in evidence)...the material will not be released until they are happy with the caliber of quality. (I just hope that doesn't take another 30-plus years...)

And a shout-out to hungry eyes...saw her and introduced her to my family members...nice to see her again after Chicago! See you again in NY!

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WOW !!! "I Don't Know What I Want" - Eric said it was his tribute to the WHO. I remember the days when they would play a Who medley that would last for 45 minutes with the same power we saw last night. Again, THANKS GUYS.

When you really, really need it the most.... that's when rock-n-roll dreams come true.

Jeff Engel

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I sure thought of everyone at the show last night, especially the band, and wished I could be there! Hope the weather was more pleasant than the 107 degrees we've had here lately! The setting sounds like it was lovely, and Trindy, thanks for all the details - you really know how to set the scene.

Jennifer

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The show was great and the Raspberries were extremely well rehearsed. There were a few variations thrown in that obviously required good preparation. This was by far the best rehearsed show I have attended so far in the reunion. The "just the four berries" songs (Beatles numbers)were wonderful.

The only downside for me was what I perceived as some poor balancing on the sound system. I thought the sound performance was far inferior to previous shows. On several songs it was very annoying.

I was dismayed by the many empty seats, and know that must have been a let down for the group. These guys are putting out a fantastic product, probably not making a dime doing it, and are under appreciated by music fans in general. I am afraid we will see the tour coming to an end soon after the New York shows (both of which I am attending). That would really be a shame, as there are not four better and more deserving musicians in the world.

So...thanks Raspberries for making my life better and for coming back together this year. We all appreciate what you have done for us. And if you get the itch to wander into the studio we'll be there for you!!!!

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Thanks for the posts on the Cleveland show. I am counting the hours till next Saturday night, when I will be able to experience the awesome talent of the Raspberries. My husband is the greatest guy in the world. #1. He has put up with my "love" of their music for over 30 yrs. #2. He agreed to drive all the way up to NYC for this concert for our 28th anniversary (which is on July 22) I am so ready for this concert and..to see NYC again...I grew up just north of the city many years ago. Can't wait to eat some real NY pizza again. AND..can't wait to meet all of you from this message board.

Robin

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Sounds like everyone had a Great Time at the Cleveland Concert. Sorry I had to miss it.

As far as the band being well rehearsed? I did attend the Reunion Concert in Chicago at the House of Blues in January. The sound quality of the venue and 2 hour show length was incredible. The mix of instuments; lead guitar, rhythm and bass, keys and drums was exceptional. Eric, Wally and Dave's lead vocals plus the harmonies were balanced perfectly. Probably one of the Best and most enjoyable Concert's I've attended in many years. Plus I go to approx. 30 Shows a year. I really like "Live Music". RASPBERRIES are at the top of the Music Mountain at this time! The are a well rehearsed, polished and tight Band.

Don

Art wrote: The show was great and the Raspberries were extremely well rehearsed. There were a few variations thrown in that obviously required good preparation. This was by far the best rehearsed show I have attended so far in the reunion. The "just the four berries" songs (Beatles numbers)were wonderful.

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Stone Pony Band set:

Thunder Road

She's The One

Prove It All Night

Talk To Me (Southside Johnny song)

Havin A Party

Rosalita

Born To Run

Knack Set:

Pop Is Dead

Baby Talks Dirty

Boys Go Crazy

Oh Tara

Just Wait and See

Good Girls Don't

Doin The Dog

Siamese Twins

Heartbeat

No Matter What (the Badfinger song)

Tequila/Break On Through

Frustrated

She's So Selfish

My Sharona

Raspberries Set:

Already described in other posts.

All Three Sets: A perfect evening (sound woes notwithstanding) of perfectly played power pop.

Started at 7...ended at 11:30...and never let up. An evening to remember for all time.

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