Cut and paste job from my Ticket Master review of the Steve Earle/John Hiatt show last week. (Went right from Cohassett to Maine for a mini-vacation, hence my absence. I see the Sox still got it going on while I was off the grid).
This was my first time at the Music Circus. The revolving stage sounded bizarre, but it worked very well. I don't think there is a bad seat in the house, ours were certainly outstanding. For those who haven't been, it very slowly revolves 360 degrees. Actually it stops at one point and reverses direction.
I was a little disappointed in several things. First, the sound system wasn't the greatest. It actually sounded alot better standing outside the tent than it did in our seats. Second, eat and drink somewhere else before going. The food stinks. The drinks adequate, but expensive. Third, getting there is none of the fun. Slow crawl down 128 and then 3A took forever at rush hour.
The crowd was a little disappointing as well. Too many empty seats, I thought these two acts would fill the arena. It was a Thursday, and they were playing the Cape the next night, so perhaps that was partly to blame. I came mostly for Steve Earle, but he disappointed. He was sweating like no tomorrow, which has me worried about his long term health. And he didn't seem to be into it much. I'm sure the late arriving, sparse crowd didn't inspire.
John Hiatt, on the other hand, stole the show. He was rocking from the get-go. Cut right threw the muddy sound. His band was stellar, much better than Earles. I didn't realize he had so many familar numbers. The closer, Riding with The King, I had no idea was one of his. He introduced a new number, a slower blues, that was really, really good. There wasn't a clunker in his entire set.
The other highlight was some drunken middle aged lady in the front row of our section. Looked like she was going to stagger on the stage, she tried to get someone up to dance in the aisle, was warned several times to sit. And finally Barney Fife and a couple other security types escorted her out. Several minutes after that her husband sheeplishly walked out to find her. There was another guy who staggered out alot earlier than that. Our friends in the section across thought he was drunk, but I think he just tripped on something accidently.
I'm still a Steve Earle fan, but I think I'd rather see him solo acoustic than with a band. He did keep the politics to a minimum, just one general purpose comment as the introduction to 'City of Immigrants'.