Ringo Starr and his All-Star Band, including Cleveland's favorite son, ex-Raspberry Eric Carmen, had played on this same stage two nights prior, but Todd is a Cleveland favorite too, and the turnout today was greater than for Ringo.
Todd and his "power trio" leaped onstage, all wearing shades and all dressed in black (Todd w/long black trenchcoat). First up was "I Hate My Freakin' ISP," followed by "Play This Game." It was clear that this was going to be a rockin' set.
NOTE: Has Todd ever toured with just a 3-piece band? Maybe not since the Tony & Hunt Sales days!
Two of the highlights of the evening were early on (and back-to-back I might add). The new song "Yer Fast" (is that what it's called?), and the old Nazz song "Open My Eyes." I almost thought that one was The Who's "I Can't Explain" - the intros are quite similar.
However, the night was not a smooth one for TR. After struggling through "Temporary Sanity" (We Must Be Crazy), Todd remarked, "We must be crazy to try that one." He broke a couple strings too. And he was struggling with his voice. But he sounded great on a solo "Cliché."
He also did a solo "Bang On The Drum/Hawaiian War Chant," playing the ukelele on this one. I'm probably in the minority, but I never liked this song in any form (hey, I'm even a drummer). When I hear it at the ballpark or on the radio at 5:00PM, I cringe and feel a bit embarrassed for Todd, 'cause I know he's got so many better songs. Todd, you can drop this one from the set.
The closer was one of Todd's all-time great rockers, "Couldn't I Just Tell You," and the encore was "World Wide Epiphany."
All in all, I was a bit disappointed with the show. I guess I was comparing it with the killer first set I witnessed on last year's tour. An unfair comparison maybe, considering there were two more guitarists onstage. The outdoor venue didn't help the sound either.
But it was great to see Todd rockin' out, and nice to hear some new songs. I might note that Kasim and new drummer Trey were both excellent, and both seemed to really be enjoying themselves.
Catch a show on this tour later in the summer at an indoor venue, cross your fingers that Todd's voice is rested, and you'll see a killer show.
atmosphere--------------rib-smoked and sun-soaked
the crowd----------------lots of 40-ish fans, well-behaved
Todd's look---------------all in black, w/blond streaks, blue, orange, and black guitar, brown uke
Todd's voice--------------on a scale of 1-10, about a "5"
Best new song------------"Yer Fast"
Best old song-------------"Open My Eyes"
second best old song------"Couldn't I Just Tell You"
new song missing from set-------"Surf Talks"
old song missing from set---------"Black Maria"