Indianapolis & Cincinnati--"new" Utopia Attacks Midwest!

Review by Steve Girdler (Switch to

I wish I could catch every show on this tour!

I haven't felt so energized from a Todd show since Utopia days. (Please don't get me wrong. I believe that Todd has done many great & noteworthy projects since Utopia's break-up, with many unforgettable moments, but I haven't rocked out to a Todd concert like I have the past two shows since I can remember!)

These guys blew my face off!

Call it what you will, but this is the "new" Utopia! Catch them while you can!!!!

During the 1st set, John Ferenzik's guitar is set up through several effects gadgets that make him sound just like Roger Powell's Probe keyboard. Kaz has a 5-string bass and is playing & singing more powerfully than ever before. (Why isn't this guy a star with his own tours? God knows he deserves it!!) Todd & Jesse were taking turns--shredding away with some very enthusiastic leads. Jesse is one guitar player who really has his shit together. One of the best. And of course, Prairie Prince delivered the goods on the drums. Giving 110% like he always does. He has been one of my favorite drummers, & I'm glad to see that Todd has kept him in this exceptional lineup. I believe this is the strongest & tightest band that Todd has had in quite a while. During the Individualist Tour, the band sounded good. Now (after a couple of years experience with Todd), Jesse, Prairie & John are starting to be a tighter unit. The addition of Kaz this time around has made all the difference. I call this Utopia, & feel truly privileged to have seen & heard them on two nights. The 2nd set, of course, is the Tiki lounge set. Both nights, this set went very smoothly. Todd sang with alot of feeling. In Cincinnati, Mary Lou brought out a huge Birthday cake, during this set, while Jesse & the band jammed a little bit of the Beatles "Birthday"! There were tons of onstage antics among the guys both nights. In Indy, Todd had a hard time getting a "real" Martini ("There are no lemons or limes in a Martini!" he said). He also talked about Ricky Martin being gay! What a laff! In Cincinnati, he made Kasim go backstage after the 1st song of the Tiki set, to change into a purple shirt & a long white 'zoot suit" jacket. He came back out with it on, & gave Todd a kiss on the cheek before putting his bass back on. He was later heard to say "This is fucking hot!", & the jacket came off midway through the set. Later on, Todd wished that everyone would go home & get laid. He also said that he loved his audience, & called us his "second family". Many of us told Todd that we loved him too. He really seemed to enjoy himself, & his buzz was infectious! The best part of it all is that I managed to sneak in my tape recorder at both shows. The tapes came out better than I expected. What a treasured moment! If anyone has something to trade from this tour, contact me. I may break my piggy bank & head to Cleveland or Chicago with my video camera. Don't miss this tour! Peace!---Steve

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6/22/1999 - Electra - Cincinnati, OH

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