I Hate My Fricking ISP Couldn't I Just Tell You Love of the Common Man Black and White Secret Society There Goes My Insperation Yer Fast (But I Like It) Love In Action Cliché Bang the Ukelele All Day Number 1 Lowest Common Denominator Trapped The Ikon Open My Eyes Fix Your Gaze Temporary Sanity Buffalo Grass One World First Encore: Hammer In My Heart Surf Talks Second Encore: Worldwide Epiphany
I was able to get standby Tickets for Conan on 6/21. It actually quite easy - just go to the GE building between 7:30-8:00 a.m. (49th street entrance). NBC gives out the standby tickets at 9:00. I was standby number 8. You then have to go back to NBC at 4:00 to wait in line again until 5:00 when you find out if your standby ticket gets you in. Todd was the last act on the show and played ISP. The sound was excellent and it was performed perfectly. I think they have this one down to a science. Todd then goes over and sit on the coach and then after a 2 minute break Conan announces that the show is over. No Todd interview. Urghh!
I had never been to Westbury Music Fair so I wasn't sure what to expect. Turns out that its a pretty nice venue to see a show. Its a nice size venue that doesn't seem to feel as large as it is. The big negatives are the traffic to get there on a Friday night and that it is a SFX owned venue.
The sound quality was very good - my biggest complaint was that while you felt Kasim's bass playing at times it was hard to make out the what he was playing. The bottom was there but its seemed to get muffled somewhat. The mix overall seemed to be good.
ISP is a solid opener, although it seemed most in the crowd still don't know it. I prefer the live version better than the studio version. I get a good chuckle when I listen to the lyric - it screams of AOL. (The opening act was a stand up comic who passed a comment that he had recently heard that Mr. Rundgren was having some Internet problems.)
CITJY / Love of the Common Man / Black and White - CIJTY and Black and White were great and it was nice change to hear LOTCM played similarly to the "Faithful" version. Todd uses a beautiful Rickenbacker guitar on LOTCM. As beautiful as LOTCM was, I couldn't help think that I had better performances of it in the past. The bar is very high for that one Todd does a great job of playing both the rhythm guitar parts and the leads switching back and forth between the two.
Secret Society - It's interesting how different of a song it is depending on if Larry Tag or Kasim is playing bass. Kasim does a great job on the back up vocals. The prerecorded keyboards part probably could of been louder in the mix.
Yer Fast - Wow! this was not what I was expecting from this one as it was first time hearing it - after the first listen I liked Buffulo Grass better.
Love in Action was very solid - the break lasted about 50 seconds during which Todd commented that the stage was the whitest stage he had ever seen! Love in Action is another track which imo is so much more powerful live than the studio version
Cliché was performed on the acoustic followed by the Bang the Ukulele All Day. Similar to the TR TV tour, Todd explains if you want to reside in Hawaii, you must learn to play the ukulele as you are issued one after you exit the airplane. He further explains that once your in Hawaii, at any point in time you may be asked to prove your abilities to play an old Hawaiian War Chant on the ukulele. Of course OH knows how to play the "Bang on the Drum" chant.
Number 1 Lowest Common Denominator, Trapped, The Ikon - This was the best part of the show by far. LCD, as always, is killer, the only thing that was missing was the 2nd guitar during the middle section. Todd's guitar work in the song is fantastic. Trapped was perfectly executed, everyone in the crowd seemed to be singing, and Kasim‚s voice is nothing short of amazing. One of my favorite Utopia songs. The Ikon - I heard someone behind me comment mention that The Ikon is like Todd's YYZ. It's not a bad comparison considering this version is now about 6 minutes (not the original 30 minutes), except that YYZ was written about 7-8 years after the Ikon. The Ikon was executed almost perfectly, which is impressive. Kasim had a nice bass solo and Trey had a solo as well. The highlight of Trey's solo was toward the end when his mimics the rhythm of the main Ikon riff. The three songs in this order - WOW!!
Open My Eyes was solid. It hard to believe how old that song is now. It was nice to hear.
Fix Your Gaze - Some please call Roger - FYG sound somewhat thin due to the absent of the keyboard parts. I also thought is had somewhat of stiff feel to it.
Temporary Sanity - I am big fan of "The I." I think TS are some of the Todd's best lyrics - its a strong message. I enjoyed hearing live but its a tough track for 3 people to play. I prefer the studio version over any live performance I have heard. Its hard to believe that something so powerful may have originated from "We Understand Each Other."
Buffalo Grass - This was my first time hearing it and I give it the thumbs up. Very nice tune.
One World. - Killer - Todd remembered all three verses. Such a great song - performed perfectly.
Hammer - I think Trey was made to play this one. He is such a tight drummer and plays with so much force, the opening drum riff sounds amazing.
The Surf Talks - The studio version of this is excellent. I was not that impressed with the version I had heard from the Half Twisted tour. However the version on this tour is a lot better imo. The band syncs to the pre-recorded components of the track almost perfectly. I think having those parts ( even if they are not being played live) is a good move as it adds to the fullness of the track. The chorus sounds great but the verse still has a weird feel to it.
WWE - Great - Considering how often this one has been played live since its release and I never tire of it. The only bad thing is that is signals that the show is coming to an end.
People always comment (and rightfully so) how each Todd album is different from the pervious. I feel the same way about his tours especially since the Big Band era of Nearly Human and 2nd Wind. We have since had the Todd Pod during The NWO tour, the 2 and sometimes 3 guitar assault of Todd, Jesse and sometimes John during The I, the Tiki Lounge of Without a Twist, and various solo performances. All have been impressive. One of the nicest things of this tour is that you get to see Todd perform so much fine guitar work. His voice was in very good form. Trey and Kasim play very well together and great to watch. You could tell they were enjoying it. Kasim has such a great voice that is almost required for the tracks that I have grown accustomed of hearing him on. The only complaint about the show was I was hoping to hear Play this Game which was absent from the set. Overall - It was a great show - if you haven't seen it - I would recommend that you SEE IT!!!! See ya in Philadelphia on July 7th.