I Can't Explain
Who Are You
I Can See For Miles
You Better You Bet
Love Reign O'er Me
Pinball Wizard / See Me, Feel Me / Listening To You
Won't Get Fooled Again
Review by Pat Stanton
The concert last night was good with the same set list as Bologna, opening with I Can't Explain and The Seeker. I was able to get some excellent shots of Pete, especially during I'm One, a song that the lighting usually makes pictures difficult.
The venue would not allow the front row to stand on the rail but forced us to stand behind a white line. When we were finally allowed to step up they did not even try to control the fans who then streamed behind us 3 and 4 deep.
Roger sounded great and Pete was superb all night. Roger tripped and fell while running the stage but bounced up with no apparent problem other than embarrassment at falling.
A good show in a relatively small outdoor venue. Fortunately the weather cooperated and we had a beautiful night. The fans seemed to appreciate the band and their music.
Review by Lauren J. Hammer
In spite of playing in Europe, just 2+ weeks ago, last night's show in at the Santa Barbara Bowl was indeed, a warm-up gig. It had some strong moments, and a great evening was had by all, but it was not an impressive or memorable show.
The setting was lovely. The view from atop the venue was stunning. And for a casual concert goer, it's a very appealing venue. Nice size (4600). Nice sight lines. Comfortable seating, for an outdoor venue. Etc.
But the "rules" were unpleasant and oppressive. Long before the show, not even in the front section, I was scolded no less than six times for minor infractions like touching a stone wall or standing on the wrong side of a line while chatting. The more sane staff members acknowledged it was crazy (super high in the "stupid rules" index, a huge pet peeve of mine), but they had their marching orders.
Aside from the absolute idiocracy that I encountered, the more important, problematic stupid rule was telling the entire front row that they were not allowed to go up to the rail, instead, instructed to stay back behind that painted "white line" something like four or five feet back.
While I was OUTSIDE of Pete, not my happy place, relative to the circumstances, life was pretty good. I was in the front row. If I was out of the zone, at least it was Pete side and not Simon/Pino side. And Eddie was on my immediate R, making some semblance of sense of my universe. :-)
It all changed during YBYB, when we decided to fuck security and go up to the rail. They were not amused, but when they came crashing in to clear us, Roger stood up for us and shooed them away. They didn't see it, but I did, and I persuaded them that Roger had told them to leave. Unfortunately, being the one to take care of that cost me valuable time and attention during the move + all hell broke loose, and it turned into a GA melee, where the entire pit was soon filled. It was not ideal, but even crowded, I was much happier to be on the rail.
OK. Enough of all that. A few comments on the show.
They started with I Can’t Explain and The Seeker. So, so, so happy ICE is back where it belongs. It really is so pathetic that getting ICE back in the setlist is an accomplishment, but it is one of those fundamental building blocks of happiness in my world. I really despise them starting with WAY. Flat energy vs. the explosive energy burst that is ICE.
Pete took off his glasses during Kids, which was great. I HATE that he wears the sunglasses. I find it so disconnecting, plus I miss his beautiful eyes.
Pino's bass solo in My Gen was especially good and interesting. For whatever reason, it doesn't bother me, and I always enjoy it. Pete had some really nice guitar work, too. But no Cry (sad, sad face) and a kind of abrupt ending.
Bargain had a kind of petering out, abrupt ending.
Join Together was both a high and a low point. I had a rare minute or so of upside down, but truly happy world, when Roger came over to the other side of Pete, and I had a brief window of time, "in the zone," only the zone was flip flopped. Roger and Horace were on my right. Pete on my left. If I didn't have Eddie anchoring me, on my right, I might have completely lost my grasp of reality. :-)
But at the end of that window, Roger, on his way back to his area, tripped and took a sprawling spill. Unlike Pete going down in Milan, this didn't feel scary, and he immediately appeared to be ok, kind of going with it, once he was down, laughing, relaxing into it, and singing while on his back, before getting himself back up. (This all happened, immediately in front of me.) I hope he's feeling ok today.
Turns out he tripped on Pete's secondary mic, the one on the outside of his monitor setup, that he uses to talk to the techs.
YBYB is where the rush happened, and not surprisingly, immediately, the band's energy picked up. They never reached, and they certainly did not sustain, the energy levels of Europe, but as soon as the rush happened the energy improved, and it felt (to me), like they felt more connected.
Roger's Love Reign was wonderful, as always.
Amazing Journey/Sparks, always my highlight of the night, was probably the weakest version I have EVER seen. Now that Keith and John are gone, the current band, particularly Zak, totally cue off of Pete, and tonight, Pete got COMPLETELY lost, not once, but TWICE during AJ. And it wasn't the usual lyrical flubs that both of them frequently have/do. It was during instrumental interludes, and Pete just lost it. And as soon as he lost it, Zak lost it. Then Roger and everyone else, were left adrift. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it. I wonder if the rest of the audience had any idea. To me, it was as much of a trainwreck as their first shot at Cry If You Want back in Glasgow, but minus the delight and the charm that makes me listen to that version of CIYW over and over and over again.
Eminence Front was back, which honestly, was kind of a bummer. If they want to keep it in the set, well, ok, but it was SO POWERFUL and natural in Milan to transition directly from Love Reign into Amazing Journey/Sparks. If it's not too taxing on Roger, I totally think they should either move or drop EF.
At the end of the average EF performance, we got a little machine gun action, which is admittedly, always a thrill.
At some point, I don't remember when, Pete told a Santa Barbara story - about Joe Walsh, Jody Linscott, and an enormous line of cocaine. If you don't know it, check it out. But the most interesting part to me, was Pete starting off with, "For those of you who haven't read my book..." Roger's reaction to the story was one of surprise, which led me to think, much to my utter astonishment, that maybe Roger hasn't read Pete's book. I'm not sure if that's true, but that was my takeaway, and that kind of blew my mind.
That was fascinating and leads me to perhaps, my most important commentary. In Europe and again last night, there was very little storytelling, and very little chatter. Its absence in Europe, made me realize that the storytelling and banter with one another and banter with us, between songs, was actually one of my favorite parts of the show last year, and its absence has substantially detracted from my enjoyment of the recent shows. In Europe, I was thinking that maybe is was because of the language barrier, but that certainly wasn't the reason last night. The other possible explanation is time, but they've cut the show down so much, that they often aren't anywhere near curfew.
Finally, the Birdman was in it's usual spot, as was Pete's (very mini tonight) end of Baba leap. No slide.