The Cars at the Fillmore Auditorium, 05/15/11
05.15.11 | Fillmore Auditorium
Within the pantheon of rock and roll, there are relics, and there living legends. Last night at the Fillmore, on the fourth show of its current tour, the Cars proved that they are far from antiquity. In fact, the quartet blew a packed house away with a set that, while heavy with new material, still managed to bring tears to the eyes of fans who never thought they would see the evening come to fruition -- after all, the Cars have been on ice for almost a quarter-century and frontman Ric Ocasek proclaimed (on several occasions) that the band would never reunite.
Opening appropriately with the first track from their 1978 self-titled debut, The Cars kicked into "Good Times Roll," which was greeted with howls and upraised hands, an explosive response from a crowd who's energy felt as though it had been saving up for this moment for decades. Ocasek finished the song and blew a kiss in reciprocation for the adoration before jumping right into "Blue Tip," the first of many songs played from the band's 2011 release, Move Like This. From this point forward, it became clear that The Cars could and would do no wrong, no matter what era the gentlemen chose to pull from.
The first few songs kept each band member seemingly tethered to his place, but as the short evening wore on, left-handed guitarist Elliot Easton swiveled his guitar neck toward Ocasek's headstock and danced to the edge of the stage, while keyboardist and sometimes bassist Greg Hawkes jumped and wiggled about spryly from behind his set-up. "Since You're Gone" led into "Up and Down," which prompted some symbolic commentary from Hawkes, who remarked that he couldn't remember which side of the Panorama LP the song came from.
Ocasek took an almost coy stance from behind his signature tinted glasses, waving with big hands and chattering a "love you, too" response to the mixed-gender audience that hung over the barricade and onto his every word. "Best Friend's Girl" rang out with the timeless synth-pop intelligence that The Cars gave birth to so many years ago, Ocasek barely letting his left leg free from a stick-straight position to do a tiny rock and roll bend or two.
More videos from last night and the set list are on the next page.