I love the Cars and I think their first and second albums (they lost me after Panorama) are among the finest of the era. In 1979 I was a wee tyke and I loved all the Cars hits. When I would listen to them on the radio (the only way I could hear them), for some unfathomable reason, my mother was horrified. When she heard Good Times Roll she informed me that I did not, in fact, like it and that it was a horrible noise. So it was a real coup that I was able to talk my father into taking me to see them. I had the privilege of seeing them during their prime, on the Candy-O tour. I was in love with the then current single, Let's Go and in fact had saved up enough money to buy it and played it nonstop despite my mother. While in line at the Philadelphia Spectrum, I was so young and my father was so old that, several other concert-goers asked us if we were really there to see the show (I'm not sure why else we would be there). Neither I nor my father had previously attended a concert and he brought a 6 pack of Fresca, expecting us to waltz in and chug the disgusting soda while we kicked back and enjoyed the show. When informed that was against the rules of the venue, he argued for what felt like 15 minutes until they finally told him they would hold it for him and give it back after the show was over (never happened, of course, but that didn't deter him from chastising them for reneging on their promise. They must have been amused.) I don't recall the opening act, if there was one, but once the Cars took the stage the entire venue filled with the unmistakable and strong odor of cannabis. I didn't know what it was at the time, but looking back I'm surprised that there was so much of it, as I don't associate the Cars as a stoner band. I would expect that more at a Led Zeppelin or Grateful Dead show. Speed or cocaine seems more appropriate for a Cars show, but who am I to judge. Admittedly, the Spectrum was known for having bad sound and I'm sure that contributed to my judgment of the experience, but I thought they were boring. They looked like they didn't want to be there, they didn't engage the audience and even when they performed my favorite numbers they seemed lifeless. They weren't playing well, perhaps they were having an off night, but I preferred the records. It wasn't until later that I learned that many others had had a similar experience (sans old father and Fresca) in seeing the Cars live. There is an interview on the excellent Musikladen DVD in which all of the members reunited, including Ben Orr, who was very ill at the time and looked it, during which Elliot Easton and Ric Ocasek addressed their reputation as a less than stellar live band. They said something to the effect that they didn't want to engage in anything Pavlovian. I get that, and Roger Waters wrote an album of lyrics that specifically addressed how he despised it (The Wall). However, I think there's a difference between ignoring an audience, playing a show as if no one were there vs. perhaps sharing stories with them. There is a way to engage the audience without doing the Spinal Tap sort of "How are you doing Philadelphia? Are you ready to rock?" pap. For those of you who have seen them live, what was your experience?