|Rosebud - Pittsburgh, PA||01 November 2003||by Tim Gaus|
Having been a Rick Wakeman fan for many years, I was very pleased to find that my hometown of Pittsburgh was a stop on the current tour. I knew that I would enjoy the show, but my wife had no knowledge of Rick's work, and so I thought that her opinion of the show would be as unbiased as possible.
We both greatly enjoyed the show. The venue was not a theater and I thought to be too small, with an extremely limited amount of stage space - Rick's keyboards seemed almost wedged into position, and there was a 45 minute delay in the start of the show until the bar and kitchen could be shut down and the dishes and bottles cleared. To compensate, the intermission was eliminated and Rick gave us 105 minutes of wonderful keyboard artistry.
The playlist was much the same as the other reviews on this site. "Merlin the Magician" was regrettably not in the mix - "After the Ball" from the White Rock album was the encore. In any case, Rick astounds on so many pieces. Besides the great Yes and solo material, I was really impressed with his reworking of the Beatles' "Help". What a fantastic interpretation! It would be wonderful if that could be available on CD someday, along with other rock standards reinterpreted by Rick.
The crowd was very much into the show, and the combination of Rick's musicianship and stories made for a very entertaining evening! Hopefully we'll see another American tour sometime in the future.