Special Thanks to Ryan (standing behind Jules) for writing
up this report and sharing his photos!!
Be sure to click the thumbnails for a closer view of the photos!
|It takes an hour and forty-five minutes to drive from Erie, PA to
Cleveland, so we left around 3:30, thinking we'd get there and have
plenty of time to grab a nice relaxing dinner... boy did we underestimate
Julian Lennon fans' determination!! If you know how to get around Cleveland,
you're the complete opposite of us; so we didn't get to the (right side
of) the Flats where the Odeon is until 5:30. I was set on being in the
front, so our dinner plans quickly changed and we ate a burger in line.
We were told that we missed him entering The Odeon while we were getting
our food, but we were still able to hear his sound check (through a
garage-like door) which consisted of bits and pieces of "And
She Cries," "Photograph Smile," and "No One
About ten or fifteen minutes after they were finished sound checking, a yellow taxi pulled up to the front of the Odeon and Julian's bodyguard came out, soon to be followed by the man himself. The small crowd politely went up to him, many pens and CD booklets in-hand... but everyone seemed afraid to say anything! So I finally asked him if he'd be willing to sign something real quick and he seemed very willing, but still rushed. He signed things quickly and was off. The wait from there was non-eventful; beastly hot, but non-eventful. The predicted isolated thunderstorms came just in time to give us a little cool-down before the doors opened.
We worked our way up so we were in the front row by the time the Push Stars came on. They were very good- very unique and distinctive. I got the accordion/trombone/guitar player's pick at the end and we all awaited Julian's entrance. After a swiftly-done mini stage transformation, the band came out. Matt Backer said hello and introduced Julian. He came out and they started out the show with "Get A Life." I don't want to ruin the show for everyone who has yet to see one, but Julian does an excellent job at explaining the songs that are closest to him. He's very open and intimate with the audience - he truly seemed to appreciate the appraise and flowers given to him and was somewhat taken by the audience's reaction and was very gracious. The set list was this (as far as I can remember; correct me if I'm wrong...):
The band consisted of five excellent musicians in addition to Julian. Gregory Darling on piano, John McCurry and Matt Backer on guitar, Manny Elias on drums, and a bass player who I unfortunately can't remember at the moment. They were the tightest, most in-the-pocket band I've ever seen. I had the opportunity to speak with Manny Elias after the show, and he just furthered my amazement at how modest such great musicians can be. They're all truly worthy of endless amounts of admiration (except for the smoking bit...).
Being 14 years old, this tour has been Julian's first that I've been old enough to understand and get into, but it surely won't be my last. To anyone who's attending a future show, it's probably not even worth putting on extra pairs of socks - they'll all get blown off.
Background/Flowers from the 'Photograph Smile'
CD inlet by Angelika Letsch.
'Hey Jules' © 1998 - 2002 CJ Burianek