|Pabst Theatre - Milwaukee, WI||24 June 2006||by Pat McGuckin|
If this was indeed Rick's final solo show on US soil, it was an absolute corker! He was obviously "knackered", as you folks say in the UK (that's exhausted for us USA folk), but gave it his all, and turned in a phenomenal performance. He gave particular thanks for having a good Steinway, I guess he's had a few dodgy ones this tour. Most songs you could hear a pin drop while he was playing--he does inspire slack-jawed awe sometimes with how remarkably he plays. My first visit to the Pabst Theater, 4th row, a lovely old joint with awesome acoustics. I was particularly touched by the wonderful story of his mum and her mates showing up for 1984 in London, I'd heard it before on the 2000 video but was still sweet, and when he concluded Gone But Not Forgotten, he whispered "thanks, mum", which put a lump in my throat. Having been to the Isle of Man and walking along Douglas' promenade, I could vividly picture everything when Rick told the hysterical tale of Jon A. visiting and "painting the harbour". It's sad that he's stopping solo touring because he could do this show till the day he died and it would be magical and inspiring every night. For service above and beyond the call of duty (all those shows with only a day off!), we salute you Rick! On a personal note, I was so glad to share this show with my wife who just last month completed chemo and radiation for breast cancer, she's getting better every day and was thrilled with this show. It felt so good to see and hear her laugh and be touched by Rick's playing. Rick's music was a highlight of our wedding in Scotland three years ago next month, and I love Carol more each day. Rick's solo piano can be so enthralling and romantic, and he has definitely enhanced our love. Here's hoping all of you find the romance we've found through our love of Rick.