Review and Photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Danny Zelisko Presents (https://www.dannyzeliskopresents.com/ )
Venue: Talking Stick Resort – Showroom (https://www.talkingstickresort.com/ )
Date: Saturday August 21, 2021
Tour: The Completion Backward Principle
What make a great concert? A band playing their greatest hits? The band interacting with the audience? A great stage production? Dancers? Pyrotechnics? Tonight, The Tubes provides us with all of this except the last two. The show starts with Fee Waybill coming out in a pure white suit. He starts by reciting The Completion Backwards Principal, i.e., ‘That Imagination creates reality’. The band then starts to play in order and in its entirety their mega hit album, The Completion Backwards Principal. This is the 40th anniversary of the release of this blockbuster album.
The Tubes have been around since the early 70s when 2 local Phoenix area bands moved to San Francisco and later merged into The Tubes. Reviewers have attempted to classify The Tubes as a punk band or glam rockers. For me, I believe that they are just an extension of David Bowie. This was the fifth time I have seen The Tubes. The first was back in 1978 after they produced What Do You Want Live, their first live album and then again in a small bar, Dooley’s, in the early 80s. It is great to see them back on the road again and they seem to have a renewed energy on stage.
The current band consists of outrageous front man and lead singer Fee Waybill, drummer Prairie Prince, guitarist Roger Steen and bass player Rick Anderson and keyboardist David Medd. It is a shame that these musicians are overlooked, because they are very good. At one point in the show, Prairie did a drum solo so Fee had time to change into one of his other outfits. Then just prior to the end of the main set, Roger leads the group on a song to allow Fee time to get into his Quay Lewd outfit.
The show starts with all of the members band in neat suits, but as the concert progresses, Fee changes outfits to match the song he is singing. He went from white suit, to a robe with pipe, to white tee-shirt and smoking a cigarette like a 50s punk, to wearing a leather jacket, to a trench coat and fedora like a 40s detective. They ended the main set with Fee coming out as his alter-ego, Quay Lewd in ultra-high platform shoes, long blonde hair and glam outfit while he sings “Suffragette City” (a tribute to the great David Bowie) and finally “White Punks On Dope”. After a short break so Fee could change, they came back out for a 2-song encore of “She’s A Beauty” and then “Talk To You Later”.
The one song I did miss was “Mondo Bondage”, but overall, it was a fantastic concert. The audience sang along with many of the songs and we even had one gentleman dancing up and down the aisle. The crowd really went crazy during “White Punks On Dope” to a point where they were louder then Fee. During “White Punks On Dope”, I don’t think I have ever seen a higher percentage of an audience with their cell phones talking either videos or photos. If you get a chance to see them, I would recommend it.
Photo by Fred Kuhlman, All Right Reserved
The Tubes Setlist: (Album)
Talk To Ya Later (The Completion Backwards Principle)
Sushi Girl (The Completion Backwards Principle)
Amnesia (The Completion Backwards Principle)
Mr. Hate (The Completion Backwards Principle)
Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman (The Completion Backwards Principle)
Think About Me (The Completion Backwards Principle)
A Matter of Pride (The Completion Backwards Principle)
Don’t Wanna Wait Anymore (The Completion Backwards Principle)
Power Tools (The Completion Backwards Principle)
Let’s Make Some Noise (The Completion Backwards Principle)
What Do You Want From (The Tubes)
I Want It All Now (Remote Control)
Out Of The Business (Outside Inside)
Suffragette City (David Bowie cover)
White Punks On Dope (The Tubes)
Piece By Piece (Love Bomb)
She’s a Beauty (Outside Inside)
Talk To Ya Later (Reprise) (The Completion Backwards Principle)