By Mike McKenney, Rock At Night New England
The Tubes Shock ‘n’ Rock at the Greenwich Odeum
Friday February 22, 2019
East Greenwich, Rhode Island
For over 40 years, The Tubes have continued to astonish audiences with their brand of glam, punk, head banging, rock and roll. Led by extraordinary front man Fee Waybill, The Tubes started by playing their entire 1981 hit album “The Completion Backward Principle”, complete with all the characters and costumes their loyal throngs of fans expect.
Fee’s constant wardrobe changes, (leather jacket, bathrobe, and chaps) along with his various characters (Mr. Hate, and Biker Johnny) create a spectacle that progresses to absurdity, singing through a box covered in leopard fur and performing in a bathrobe while donning a swimming mask and snorkel. Most beloved of all by fans of The Tubes is “Quay Lewd”. Complete with an unruly blond wig, quay lewd glasses, and ridiculously high platform shoes, Quay works the crowd into a frenzy performing the Tubes anthem “White Punks On Dope”.
For all of Fee’s attention getting hi-jinks, the music is still the thing. The Tubes are tight and never miss their mark, probably because they still retain four of the original members, vocalist Fee Waybill, guitarist Roger Steen, Rick Anderson (bass), the legendary Prairie Prince on drums, and keyboardist David Medd.
“Mondo Bondage”, Bowie cover ”Suffragette City” , and “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman” were standouts.
The Tubes finished the night with their most popular (reaching Billboards #10 in the U.S.) “She’s A Beauty”, then a reprise of the opener “Talk To Ya Later”, before moving to greet fans in the Odeum lobby.
More than a just a concert, The Tubes are an event, a throwback to a time of unencumbered experiments in music and theater. The result is a truly one of a kind multi-sensory extravaganza that must be experienced live to appreciate.
The Completion Backward Principle Talk
Talk To Ya Later
Attack Of The 50’ Woman
Think About Me
Matter Of Pride
Don’t Wanna Wait Anymore
Let’s Make Some Noise
What Do You Want From Life
I Want It All Now
Out Of Business
Suffragette City (David Bowie cover)
Piece By Piece
She’s A Beauty
Talk To Ya Later…Reprise