Ric Ocasek and Greg Hawkes @ First Avenue / Star Tribune photo by Jerry Holt
Expectations were low, cynicism was high for the Cars live. In their arena heyday of the late ’70s and early ’80s, they were an arty but not exciting live band. Frontman Ric Ocasek’s aversion to touring is as well known as his irony. "Good Times Roll" is ironic, people.
Surprisingly, he seemed to have a pretty good time Tuesday, as I detailed in my review, and gave the fans just what they needed. Sure, some fans would have liked more vintage Cars ("Drive," "Magic," "Shake It Up," "Tonight She Comes" were among the missing) and less from the new album "Move Like This." The Cars played six "Move" songs to prove that they aren’t just spinning their nostalgia wheels.
And, for the record, the songs from the two 1970s albums held up better Tuesday than the material from the 1980s.
Props, too, for Elliott Easton's crowd-inspiring guitar and the backdrop: four columns of faux stones between four vertical video screens broadcasting arty images.
Here is what the Cars played during their 90-minute set:
Good Times Roll/ Blue Tip/ Since You’re Gone/ Up and Down/ My Best Friend’s Girl/ Hits Me/ Touch and Go/ I’m in Touch with Your World/ Keep on Knocking/ You Might Think/ Drag On Forever/ Free/ I’m Not the One/ Sad Song/ Heartbeat City/ Let’s Go ENCORE Moving in Stereo/ Just What I Needed/ You’re All I’ve Got Tonight