The New Cars 

It's Alive

Yes, it's strange that '70s audio and video pioneer Todd Rundgren, a performer known for technical innovation, is fronting quirky-slick '80s new-wave band the Cars; a band with only two-fifths of its original lineup. Singer/guitarist Ric Ocasek and drummer David Robinson chose not to participate, and bassist Ben Orr is dead. So, co-founder Elliot Easton and keyboardist Greg Hawkes are steering the New Cars from the passenger seat with Rundgren, his former Utopia bassist Kasim Sulton and the Tubes' drummer Prairie Prince along for the ride. The gang plows through a live set of most of the Cars' greatest hits with detours for Rundgren's solo "I Saw the Light," the Nazz's "Open My Eyes" and the new "Not Tonight." And guess what? It's a total joyride. Rundgren jettisons his Philly-soul leanings, renders the material faithfully and seems to have a blast in the process. The illusion is real, so let the "Good Times Roll." 5 Stars.

The New Cars/Blondie show scheduled for Mon., June 17, at Chastain Park Amphitheatre has been postponed.

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