Kearney, USA, 30th July 2002
I Can’t Let Go / Here I Go Again / Jennifer Eccles / Just One Look / Bus Stop / On a Carousel / Stop in the Name of Love / Look Through Any Window / Blackbird / Too Young To Be Married / Peggy Sue Got Married / Blowin’ In the Wind / Carrie Anne / The Air That I Breathe
He Ain’t Heavy / Stop! Stop! Stop! / Long Cool Woman
In Every One of Us
I did not realize until
Hollies were being introduced
that this was their first American concert in nineteen years. I had assumed that
they played at least some East Coast dates since the 1983 tour with Nash, so
this was more historic than I'd realized. After
an electronic/synthesized fanfare
and a wash of flashing lights, the Hollies ripped into “I
Can’t Let Go” and
didn’t look back. The next 75 minutes or so was no less than a multiple musical
orgasm. Carl is superb; I didn’t
actually think about Allan Clarke until some time after the show had ended.
I was struck by how much of the between-song commentary was by Tony
(I’d never thought of him as a talkative on-stage presence) but naturally, as
a front-line performer and a senior member of the Hollies, the job would
fall to him.
Stop" Tony commented:
“Our first worldwide hit, and probably the first one you remember.”
Coates was superb in handling
Nash’s original vocal during “On
a Carousel”, a comment I
heard from quite a few people in the days to come.
featuring Ray, Tony and Alan
was absolutely gorgeous and much superior to the CSN version on the “Allies”
Young to Be Married" was
again introduced by Tony: “I think this
was a hit in New Zealand; we take them where we can get them.”
Tony at one point during the show also said he believed
it was the first time the band had
ever played in Nebraska,
then teased the audience a bit by referring to “Keerney” before returning
with the correct pronunciation of “Karney."
in the Wind" was the big
surprise of the night to me because of the heavy dominance of brass, reeds and
strings in the original, and because I never knew that this song was a hit in
Europe. While Ian ably reproduced the
orchestral parts, the prominent role of Tony’s fat guitar lines really made
this song work well in a live setting. Sorry,
Allan, but I love Carl’s vocal on this one!
Anne" featured Carl
“stepping out” in Caribbean fashion during the faux steel drum solo.
Several women - teens to middle aged - began dancing in front of the
stage at this point. I was pulled from my
front row seat by one woman, which gave me an excuse to work my way up to the
front of the stage and “dig”, as we used to say, Tony’s amazing guitar
Ain’t Heavy" was dedicated by Carl to the
fire fighters and other heroes of 9-11 “or 11-9 as we would say in England.”
"Stop! Stop! Stop!"
I noticed Tony using a four string banjo, rather than the more common five
string. This was the song that started it
all for me and got the dancing going again which was continued and increased by
"Long Cool Woman." This was a
great version of this tune, including another guitar solo, but it was certainly
different to hear vocal harmonies by Tony and Alan on this, the only Hollies hit
with no harmonies on the original. Tony
and Terry Sylvester once adjusted to Rickfors’ vocal range; Tony and Alan now
blend with Carl’s voice. I loved it when Carl introduced Tony by saying,
“I’ve worked with the greats, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray
Vaughan, and this man stands right beside them.” I concur totally!
"It's in Every One of Us" was again dedicated to 9-11. Carl began singing this alone, but was then slowly joined by Alan, Ray and Tony for this a cappella version. It was a captivating end to the show.
Review by Bruce Brandt
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