Let the good times roll

Two bands that dominated the MTV airwaves in the early 1980s bring their Road Rage Tour to Reno this weekend for an evening of New Wave-era music. The New Cars features original Cars members Elliot Easton on guitar and Greg Hawkes on keyboards. The Cars broke out of Boston in 1978 with their single “Just What I Needed” and their self-titled debut, which reached #3 on the Billboard charts. The group released several hits during the late ’70s and early ’80s including “Let’s Go,” “Touch and Go,” “Shake It Up” and “Since You’re Gone.” The band’s videos for “Drive” and “You Might Think” off the Heartbeat City album also received a lot of airplay on MTV in 1984. But the good times for the Cars ended in 1988 after the release of their last album Door to Door. There have been ups and downs for some members of the Cars in the 18 years since their parting: Singer Ric Ocasek went on to produce albums by bands such as Weezer and Bad Religion, and bassist Benjamin Orr lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in 2000. Ocasek and drummer David Robinson declined to participate in this reunion tour, but songwriter/producer Todd Rundgren will assume singing duties, while Kasim Sulton and Prairie Prince will perform on bass and drums, respectively. New York art punks and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Blondie will share the stage with The New Cars this Friday, May 26 at the Reno Events Center, 400 N. Center St. The show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $45 and $85. Call 335-8840.