The Tubes Are Up to Their Old Tricks
On Halloween at the bergenPAC in New Jersey
A SoundPress.net Feature Article by Rich and Laura Lynch

The Tubes pulled out their bag of tricks for a pleasing Halloween bash at the bergenPAC in Englewood, New Jersey on October 31, 2014. The centrally located theater was one of a number of stops on their current "Tour Noir" run.

The Tubes Are Up to Their Old Tricks On Halloween at the bergenPAC in New Jersey
Fee Waybill and The Tubes were a perfect fit for a Halloween bash at the bergenPAC.

The Tubes left their musical mark in the 70's & 80's with many memorable songs including "White Punks On Dope", "What Do You Want From Life", "Mondo Bondage", "Don't Touch Me There", "Sushi Girl", "Talk To Ya Later" and "She's A Beauty". In their early days the excess of show business was a common topic in their tunes that were paired with provocative, theatrical concerts. Like many bands, The Tubes have had their ups and downs yet they continued to grow as artists thus today The Tubes are still going strong.

Soon after eight the five-piece band took the bergenPAC stage with some members wearing garb for the holiday. The opening instrumental "Getoverture" was spacey with bold bass lines by Rick Anderson propelling the piece. Singer Fee Waybill sporting a trench coat strolled out for "This Town". The tune had a sort of Frank Sinatra swagger to it in a rock context with David Medd on keys adding pizzazz to the jam. The swinging mood continued into "Town Without Pity" that featured a solid guitar solo from Roger Steen.

"Thank you, welcome to the lovely Bergen Performing Arts Center," greeted Fee. He chatted a bit about the hip power of Englewood but declared that he didn't "want to be here in the f***** winter, adding "I live in Venice Beach". "Power Tools" was played with power strengthened by back and forth vocals during the hook. Waybill mentioned that their shows often have themes, stating that this one was focusing on Hollywood in the 1930's -"espousing the era in our strange way," said Fee. "Rat Race" rolled along with cycling rhythms as Fee sang and spun a hamster wheel to symbolize the rat race that we are all running . Sounds of roaring engines set the pace for the crafty "Crime Medley".

The Tubes Are Up to Their Old Tricks On Halloween at the bergenPAC in New Jersey
Fee Waybill reenacts the "She's A Beauty" video on stage in Englewood, New Jersey.

Appearing in a striped convict outfit paired with a straight jacket Waybill sang and shaked his way out of the restrictive clothing during "Mr. Hate". The instrumentation was manic in spots as Fee and the audience shouted "I'm not gonna fry your burgers" that flowed into the disturbing state of "Amnesia", which had a new wave funky feel to it. Waybill joked a bit about the itchy 1940's prison suit he was wearing as he implied that we are all prisoners in "No Way Out". Throughout the concert comedy and commentary were mixed into the music. Sticking with the concept that life is tough The Tubes presented an edgy "Life Is Pain". The stage darkened as The Tubes led by Waybill in an S&M get-up whipped their way through "Mondo Bondage", which closed the first set in daring fashion.

SoundPress.net attended this show with our friends Doug and Jaye who had seen The Tubes when they first appeared on the scene in the 70's. They commented that although the concert was scaled back it was still theatrical and that The Tubes themselves were in fine form. "Up From The Deep" was an intense instrumental that kicked off the second set. Waybill in another costume continued to engage the audience with his rap and dramatic stage personas. "Sushi Girl" incorporated sounds of Japan into the mix. Next, they played their wedding ballad "Don't Want To Wait Anymore" that showcased solid solos from the band including Prairie Prince on drums. The first part of his spotlight blended bass drum with bongos before Prince worked the whole kit.

Time for some punchy punk as the character of QUAY who has evolved over the years rocked out on "White Punks on Dope". Fee who was in high platform shoes managed to chug a beverage in between the pointed lyrics of the song. It took a few minutes for The Tubes to return to the stage as Waybill had to change again but their energized encore was worth the wait. The Tubes closed with "She's a Beauty", an up-tempo "Talk to Ya Later" and an animated version of Jimi Hendrix's "Third Stone From the Sun".

The Tubes Are Up to Their Old Tricks On Halloween at the bergenPAC in New Jersey
Roger Steen was king of the scary good riffs all night long.

The Tubes pulled out plenty of their old tricks to entertain the crowd on Halloween at the bergenPAC - a venue that continues to showcase a unique range of artists. Upcoming events at the theater include The National Acrobats of Peking, Shakti, Abbamania, Lee Ann Womack, Sinbad, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Pinkalicious, Trace Adkins, Pat Metheny Unity Group, Herman's Hermits, Dave Davies and Mooseltoe.

The Tubes: Fee Waybill - vocals; Roger Steen - guitars; Prairie Prince - drums; Rick Anderson - bass; David Medd - keyboards

Set List: Getoverture / This Town / Town Without Pity (Gene Pitney cover) / Power Tools / Rat Race / Crime Medley / Mr. Hate / Amnesia / No Way Out / Life Is Pain / Mondo Bondage / Up From the Deep / What Do You Want From Life / Sushi Girl / Don't Want to Wait Anymore / Drum Solo (Prairie Prince) / Trash (New York Dolls cover) / White Punks on Dope / Encore / She's a Beauty / Talk to Ya Later / Third Stone From the Sun

The Tubes Are Up to Their Old Tricks On Halloween at the bergenPAC in New Jersey
Fee Waybill and The Tubes were a fabulous treat on Halloween at the bergenPAC.

Related Links: For more information on THE TUBES and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links -- The Tubes | bergenpac.org

(Originally Published on November 01, 2014)

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