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Joe Crane's Review
(more reviews coming)
The show details.
A Cincinnati Enquirer Review.
Too bad i missed seeing some old friends. i had to work around two other people's schedules, so we didnt make it to the venue for the RustFest. Didn't arrive until right as the Prentenders opened with The Loner.
Our seats were dead center about fifteen rows back. i was predicting the crowd wouldn't be as good as Columbus, but i missed the boat on that one. The crowd was fantastic! i only sat for two songs (FHTH and POM), and only then because my legs were swearing at me.
The Pretenders set was pretty standard. i think she closed with Brass In Pocket instead of Middle Of The Road (as she did in Columbus). She had to restart on Chain Gang, after making some comments to the men up front that were ribbing her. Highlights were My City Was Gone, and her two Neil covers. Of course we got the obligatory kissing the stage. (Lucky stage...)
i heard from a reliable source that Neil was in a foul mood all day, partly due to the fact he was having trouble hearing the band during the previous two performances (i.e., Columbus). They did about a 45 minute version of Bad News Beat during sound check. HEY NEIL, PLAY THIS IN CHICAGO, PLEASE! If Neil was in a bad mood, it didn't show tonight. He appeared to be enjoying himself, from where i was sitting.
The first thing i noticed when the band came out was Pegi. At columbus she had on a white blouse and jeans. Tonight she had a short black dress with spaghetti straps. i was very impressed. Astrid reminded me more of being Morticia Adams' sister than Neil's. Neil was wearing his standard black T, khaki shorts and sandals. And straw hat, that came on and off at different points during the show.
i like MM as an opener. Pegi and Astrid's vocals were very strong. Neil's facial expressions on the "oooh oooh" part are priceless. We only got a couple of "How ya doin'?"s, although we did get a couple of "Ya doin' okay?"s thrown in. Neil must be branching out. He didn't vebally acknowledge the audience as much as he did in Columbus, although near the end you could tell he was enjoying the crowd's response. Kinda standing out front and letting it wash over him.
i would have to say the difference for me between the Columbus show and the Cincy show was that, in Cincy i think i enjoyed the electric numbers more, whereas in Columbus i enjoyed his slower acoustic songs more. This mostly had to do with the crowd. In Cincy the crowd wanted to rock, and were a bit noisy during the slower, quieter songs. Case in point: Razor Love. In Columbus it was beautiful, the crowd was quiet, and you could really feel the emotion in Neil's voice. In Cincy you could sense the crowd wanted to rock, and from where i was sitting there was a lot of talking and movement, which i feel detracted from the song.
Words, again, was incredible. I heard it timed out at about sixteen minutes. He could play it twice that and i would still yell for more. Right before DLIBYD Neil was having trouble getting his acoustic tuned. Larry stood over to the side, reminding me of a Dad watching his son take out the family car for the first time. After 20-30 seconds of watching him struggle, Larry came out and tuned it correctly in about 3 seconds. Larry got him some applause and left Neil wearing an embarrassed grin.
While introducing his friends and family, Neil first said that he's known Ben Keith for 35 years. Then he changed it to 30. Finally he decided on 32.
The moon wasn't visible during HM in Columbus or Cincy. My personal feeling is, if the moon isn't visible, dont play the song. I realize a lot of people really enjoy that song (including me), but wait around -- i'm sure he'll play it again soon. That's just my opinion, which means nothing.
CITS was outstanding, as usual. I got a sense that the band was tiring out a little, but Neil wanted to keep going. For me, CITS was definitely the next highlight, after Words. i was happy to get to hear MMM to end the show, because we didn't get it in Columbus.
Probably the most touching moment of the night for me was watching Neil and Pegi walking off the stage with arms around each other.
i would have to say i felt the Cincy performance was a little better of the two shows, but i enjoyed the Columbus show more. Don't ask me to explain... And it was good to see some of my friends again.
Two shows down, one to go. Hope to see some Rusties at Gambones before the Tinley Park (Chicago) show!
(more reviews coming soon... --RE*AC*TOR)