Capital One Bank Theatre at Westbury
Picture & Review by Dancy Zahn
Circle of Life or Vortex of Doom?
For many of us east coast fans, it’s been a 4 month long dry spell between shows. Finally our man is coming to entertain us, but the anticipation is bittersweet. Yes, it is the dreaded Westbury theatre in the round. True, there are many more front row seats to be had. Also true, only half the ‘face time’ with Rick. Navigation of the Long Island Expressway is also a factor in the madness. Enough of the negativity…I’ll get to the good stuff.
The Squirts! I was so happy to hear they’d be opening. Matt joked that this was their last show. Not funny, Matt! Turns out our good friend and cruising buddy Mark Goodman was in the audience. He reprised his role as Mr. Tambourine Man during First Time. Mark commented that he couldn’t discuss his first time because his daughter was in the audience, also. Ok, that’s understandable, but perhaps during the cruise Q&A we could revisit this topic? Ok, maybe not. Anyhow, the Squirts were just as amazing as they always are…three of the most talented performers out there. A helper from the audience walked around selling their cds until she had none left.
After a short intermission, the theatre fills back up and the intro music starts. By now a little of our trepidation has been overshadowed by the excitement of the band coming on stage. We finally see our man, looking truly fine in a black sleeveless shirt, under a black vest. Nice arms! Looks like he has been pumping some iron lately. And apparently also purchased the Buns of Steel dvd since I saw him in Milwaukee.
Now, for the show! He opened with the customary Mr. PC, an apparent crowd pleaser. Affair of the Heart was next, followed by Living In Oz. By this point, everyone had had a turn with Rick in front of them, so the happiness was taking over the frustration. Lucky me, I Get Excited was played right in front of me, with a crotch grab. Nice! I’ve Done Everything For You came next, followed by Rick prompting us to sing Happy Birthday to him. Then the moment I was waiting for, a cover of Jet! I know they’ve been playing it lately but it was the first time I’ve seen it. I loved it! The band is really on top of this song. Rick’s vocals were fantastic, but the backing vocals and really every single instrumental contribution from the band made this cover a new favorite of mine.
Continuing with the set list…Alyson, Venus In Overdrive, I’ll Miss That Someday, Love Is Alright Tonight, and Crossroads led to the moment in the show that strikes fear into the hearts of many…Don’t Talk To Strangers. Fortunately, I was looking at the back of Rodger’s drum kit at this point and could breathe freely. There were a few victims across the theatre, before a couple of adorable little girls were led onstage. Rachel and Alexandra, ages 9 and 6, dressed in orange Jessie’s Girl shirts. Rick commented on their footwear, noting that at a certain point in his life the white bobby socks and mary janes would have been very exciting to him. O-kay….anyway, they sang like angels before leaving the stage, and DTTS came to a close.
Rick stayed onstage for Love Somebody, ventured out for Human Touch, and came back onstage for Jessie’s Girl. No medley, and honestly I didn’t miss it. Rick introduced the guys and they left the stage. At this point, you can tell people are visually calculating whether they will be facing Rick for any of the encore. Good thing it was a two song encore! I’ll Make You Happy was a pleasant surprise, especially since the set list we saw under Derek’s keyboard said “Wasted”. The show closed with a nice, loud Kristina, a good way to end the night. The stage had been littered with rose petals, underwear, and a sombrero. All signs of a good party, at least in this case.
Ok, I know I did some venue bashing early in this review. I am not a big fan of theatres in the round, for the obvious reasons. I’m choosing to see the silver lining in this somewhat dark cloud. The varying views had their perks, we got to take pictures from different angles, and got to see the band do their thing a little more. Most importantly, we are reminded that we enjoy seeing Rick do his thing from the front, from the side, and from behind. I’ll stop right there.
I’ve Done Everything For You
I’ll Miss That Someday
Love Is Alright Tonight
DTTS feat. Rachel and Alexandra
I’ll Make You Happy