I left work early to drive up from Richmond on I-95 with time to allow for D.C. traffic delays. Got off at the Springfield exit and pulled into Springfield Mall to use the restroom. Walking through the Mall I pass by this guy and think...he looks like Todd. I turned and saw the blond crest, and just then he turned around like he was trying to decide which way to go and he looked at me. I said Hi Todd and he smiled a big smile and said hi. Naturally, I had a bazillion things I wanted to say, but I didn't want to risk being a pest so I just said I was really looking forward to the show and see ya there, and he responded with an enthusiastic "alright". I've treasured the times when I got to meet Todd after a show, but getting that smile in an impromptu encounter will be a priceless memory for me, and I'm glad I respected his space. By the way, I think Todd has lost a little weight, so he's neither skinny nor puffy, but just right.
Jaxx has a small stage (although I think they've extended it out an extra two feet since I was there for the Tiki tour) with a dance floor about 20 by 30 feet. The stage is only a foot or so off the ground with a railing bolted to the stage floor along the front. The other three sides of the dance floor consist of a bar with the stools on the other side so that the seated customers face the stage. If you're not sitting at the bar, you're standing on the dance floor. That's all there is to Jaxx. I was near the head of the line when they let us in so I was able to secure front and center position at the rail. I made acquaintances with the front row freaks around me and we all swapped Todd stories while waiting for the show to start. I finally met Bill Bricker in person and enjoyed talking with him.
The lead act had been billed as the Michael Sheppard Group, but for some reason Michael's band was no show, so he did a solo act with acoustic guitar. His voice sounds like Al Jarreau only with more power and without the jazz stylistics, and the fast strumming of his Takemine guitar with rapid chord changes produced a rich sound that was cleaner than if he had a backup band. The crowd was in fine form and thoroughly enjoyed his performance.
I hadn't read any of the reviews so I didn't know what to expect. I had received the One Long Year CD just a week ago so I was guessing that some of those songs might be part of the show. When the band finally came on stage, Kasim had a cast on his foot. Apparently he had an accident during the previous show, so he did the whole show sitting on a stool. They started off with ISP and the volume was LOUD!, but since the speakers were on my far right and left facing outward, I was in a relatively comfortable zone and was able to hear the music in spite of the wash. As the show progressed, it became evident that Todd the guitar player is alive and still kicking ass. This show is light on banter and heavy on music. I mean, the hits just keep on coming! No intermission, just one long set. Every time Todd went into lead guitar he stepped front and center, just inches away from me, the guitar at eye level. I saw the fingers sliding and the strings stretching, the sweat dripping and the hair flying, the jumps, spins and kicks. I couldn't believe it, I had died and gone to heaven. If you're considering whether to see this show, IMO it's a no brainer, GO! or regret it.
Play List (approximate order)
ISP Play this game Love of the common man Fix Your Gaze Black and White Love in Action #1LCD There goes my inspration Ikon Couldn't I just tell you
Bang the ukelele daily Cliche
Trapped Temporary sanity Open my eyes Buffalo Grass One world Hammer in my heart World wide epiphany