Soundcheck review by Horace Austin
VIP Soundcheck lasted an hour and 20 minutes.
35-40 fans in attendance.
Roger was not present when we walked in.
About 15 minutes of noodling about. Pete played some interesting bits on guitar. Loren Gold did "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" all the way through on organ.
"Picture of Lily" - They play it. Then Roger walks on stage. Then they do it again. Lots of discussion about the harmonies. Frank, Simon and Loren offering opinions.
"5:15" - The ending of Entwistle's bass solo was played for Zak.
"Athena" - Roger breaks out the binder. Can't find the lyrics. Throws it down in frustration. Gets another binder from a stagehand. Lyrics aren't in that one either. Meanwhile, the band is playing it all the way through. Pete (I'm paraphrasing): "If we bring in something new at the last minute, we need to make a commitment to play it at 2 shows." Roger finds his lyrics. They run through it again. Simon doesn't feel comfortable with it. Says the groove feels weird. Then they run through part of it without any vocals.
"Cry If You Want" - They play it all the way through. Roger doesn't look at his binder once. He NAILS the lyrics. First time I've seen him do that on this number this tour, soundcheck or show. I look over at Eddie. Eddie gives me a thumbs up.
Rog has an off mic conversation with Zak. Pete kills time by interacting with the audience. "Is anybody local? How many Americans are here?"
"I Can See For Miles"
"Who Are You"
"Magic Bus" - working out the harmonica solo.
Roger, with help from Simon and Zak, sings "Happy Birthday" to Russ. Russ seems slightly embarrassed. Then Roger gets the audience to sing "Happy Birthday" to Loren Gold whose birthday was yesterday.
Review by Dante DiCarlo
Off to Newcastle for my 3rd gig of the tour and this time I was up in the front row in front of Simon. “I Can't Explain” began and though it again sounded perhaps a bit too clean, the sound was much louder and clearer than previous gigs I had seen. Not long into the gig Pete picked up on members of the crowd shouting “Go on Pete” He responded with “Go on what? I only have two things I can do, there's this (mimes wild windmilling) and this... Zak play a drum beat” Zak played a beat to which Pete did a funny dance.
The band are playing Substitute like the record now, with a chord breakdown after the instrumental break, this again caught Pete out as he went to sing the last chorus. This has caught me out a lot when I've played the song too so good to see it's not just me!
After “The Kids Are Alright” Pete talked about some early songs, mentioning “A Legal Matter” but sadly the band didn't play it.
“Pictures Of Lily” was played again, this time Roger was caught out, coming in too early on the final chorus. Pete said “Sorry Rog” after the song finished but Roger claimed it was his fault. To be honest, Roger's timing was as the record, though whether the band have rehearsed something else, I'm not sure.
“Cry If You Want” made a return to the set, this time much better. It's never been a song I loved but this time around I really enjoyed it. It still seemed like Roger was finding it tricky to get in all the words though.
Whilst listening to the intro of “Join Together” I became convinced that the harmonica and Jew's harp is on a tape and Loren and John Corey are miming to it. It sounds 100% like the original and being right up front I could see it didn't quite match.
On “Love Reign O'er Me” Roger pulled out a top performance, unleashing a few screams that left me concerned for his throat if he carries on doing that every gig!
“Eminence Front” proved eventful as Pete became unhappy with his guitar during the intro solo and then took it off and somewhat calmly threw it across the stage. He then wound up singing half the first verse without a guitar as Alan Rogan ran on with a new one.
As in Birmingham the band decided to just play the encore without going off stage and we got “Magic Bus”
All in all a great gig with a touch of mayhem thanks to Pete's frustrations at his guitar.