Tucked away in an industrial complex in south Orange County sits a nondescript concert venue called the Coach House.
The Coach House has recently reopened its doors, after having to close them because of the recent pandemic.
“We’ve been closed for two years,” said Coach House owner Gary Folgner. “It’s good that we’re having concerts again.”
Since the 1980s, the Coach House has showcased local bands and presented popular headline groups.
On Aug. 21, the Coach House presented the Tubes, the legendary band of the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s.
Based in San Francisco, the Tubes were created in 1972 and have recently started to tour after a long hiatus.
The current lineup of musicians of the Tubes is original members Fee Waybill on lead vocals, Prairie Prince on drums, Rick Anderson on bass, Roger Steen on lead guitar and vocals and a new addition from the late-1990s, David Medd on keyboards and vocals.
The opening band for the evening was a group called Liquid Circus.
They provided a hard-hitting set of originals and several cover tunes.
The vocals were on point, as bass player Rick Maestas shared the harmonies with lead vocalist Ben Sanders.
Maestas was shredding the bass on several numbers.
The Orange County band played original songs “Angel” and “Sing Again.”
They also performed their version of the Rolling Stones song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”
After a brief intermission, the Tubes took the stage.
It was suits, all the way around, for the band members, as they grabbed their instruments.
The ever-eclectic Fee Waybill waltzed up the steps afterwards, sporting a white suit and a bow tie.
In its heyday, the group was famous for its theatrics and its progressive sound.
Their style is an amalgam of punk, glam rock, hard rock, and is, at times, nuanced with some soft ballads, like “Don’t Want to Wait.”
Reading a script like a narrator, the iconic Waybill informed the audience that the band was going to perform The Completion Backward Principle album in its entirety before launching into a two-hour set that also included some of their greatest hits.
They opened with “Talk to Ya Later,” an upbeat song about a bad relationship.
The rest of the set was filled with not-so-politically correct and whimsical songs like “Attack of the 50-foot Woman,” “What do You Want from Life,” “Don’t Wanna Wait,” the cult-classic “White Punks on Dope” and others.
Always the showman, Waybill pranced the stage, used props and wore costumes that reflected each song he sang.
In one song, Waybill put on and rolled up the sleeves of a white t-shirt when he performed “Mr. Hate.”
The audience received the band with open arms, clapping, calling out and yelling with approval.
Drummer Prairie Prince rocked the house with a bombastic drum solo.
Guitarist Roger Steen took the audience on an extended ride with an over-the-top guitar solo.
Providing the bottom with punctuated riffs, bassist Rick Anderson has not lost his touch when it comes to coloring the songs with style.
After a brief exit, the band came back for an encore and wrapped up the evening with “She’s a Beauty” and “Talk to Ya Later.”
At the age of 70, Waybill still has the energy and pipes to put on a well-orchestrated and entertaining show.
Waybill’s costume changes throughout the evening were reminiscent of the outrageous wardrobe that he used to wear in the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Waybill was happy that the band was performing in public again.
“I’m ecstatic to be out playing,” said Waybill. “We’ve had to stop everything for the last 19 months.”
It is as if time stood still.
The Tubes played the hits like, as if it were 1975.
They are definitely a must-see, if you were a rocker in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s.
If you want to hear a hard-edged band that adds a little flair to their songs, give the Tubes a listen. You might be pleasantly surprised.
For more information about the Tubes and their touring dates for 2021, go to thetubes.com
The Coach House is at 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano. For more information, call (949) 496-8930.