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Tom Transformer Man Hanna's review
(more reviews coming)
The show details.
Columbus loved Greendale. So did I. I was a Greendale newbie, not having heard any Eurosolo shows, and I only downloaded (for future viewing) the Dublin webcast. I wasn't exactly unspoiled, having a rough idea of what to expect, but I wanted my first listen to be in person.
Probably a reason Columbus liked the show was the explanation (warning?) Neil gave early on about playing some new stuff and that the older stuff would come later, thus averting catcalls for more familiar tunes. Looks like he heeded some Rustie advice.
The music was astounding to me. Accessible on first listen, you could tell much of the crowd got into it. There were several standing ovations (okay, not everybody) after some of the Greendale songs. There are some real gems in there, and I look forward to reviewing the official versions when they come out. The sound was terrific, my only complaint being that Poncho's keyboard was too low in the mix.
The story and production were solid, too, and they appeared to hit a groove after just a few tour stops so far. There are some nuances that bear further listening, but the messages were clear. Growing up in a journalism household, I appreciated the digs at the opportunistic and shallow local TV news crew.
The actors, singers and dancers did a great job in what was a somewhat cheesy but effective set (after all, it's still primarily a concert). What a treat to see the ship captain being played by Russ Tamblyn, who portrayed one of my favorite Twin Peaks characters (not to mention his big part in the Human Highway movie). He was hamming it up well during the final Greendale number.
Further evidence of this being a great crowd and an "on" night: having made a move to the stage rail for the second encore, I could see Neil stop The Horse from leaving the stage after Rockin' In The Free World, and clearly say "Let's do one more." They then finished up with Roll Another Number, just after the 11:00 venue curfew.
Prior to Greendale, Lucinda and her band were easily one of the best "warm-up" acts I've ever seen. This was practically a double-bill. Kudos to Neil, Elliot, whoever for booking strong bands like the Pretenders in 2000 and Lucinda this time around. Their performance of Ventura was chilling. Even Change Locks, one of my least favorite LW songs, rocked well tonight.
Thanks to Mike for organizing the RustFest beforehand. Great seeing folks like Randy, Carol, Jeff, Shawn and meeting Phil, a fellow UK alum it turns out, who liberated the Lousiville '73 tapes that Shawn has spread.
I took about a minute to look at the merchandizzzzzz. Besides most of the shirts being black, they were like $32! Zoiks. One shirt listed the cities but didn't even mention Greendale or the fact it was 2003. It's a shame the talent that produced our More Barn! and RustList t-shirts can't be used for "real" ones. I wore my Swimmin' shirt and got some queries -- even one from an usher.
(more reviews coming...)