Setlist first seems to be accepted protocol here, so who am I to break it?
Friggin' ISP Couldn't I Just Tell You LOTCM Love in Action Fix Yr Gaze #1 LCD Trapped Secret Society There Goes My Inspiration Play This Game Cliche Bang the Uke B & W Ikon Open My Eyes Yer Fast (...) Buffalo Grass One World Encore #1: Hammer in My Heart Surf Talks Encore #2: WW Ephiphany
Let me begin by saying this show was a first for me... not my first Todd show by any means, but the first time I've seen two shows on the same tour. I also went to the Indy show at the 8 Second Saloon, so I'd like to compare the performances a bit. This was also the first time I'd seem Todd in the northern Indiana "region" where I grew up... so it was a must see show for me. Parking lot or no. On with the comparison...
The crowds were decidedly different. In Indy there was maybe a few hundred attentive and seated people; whereas Hobart was a huge (1000?) and highly sociable bunch. This difference in attitudes contributed to what I thought was a different performance. I would say that Todd surely knows how to play to a crowd. The Indy show was filled with a ton of Todd's witty banter. Early on in the Hobart show, it was obvious that Todd wouldn't get a word in over the fans' shouting. I tend to think he made up for it with more over-the-top blistering solos. I'd say it was a pretty good trade, especially given the circumstances. I'm sorry if I ever thought Todd was past his guitar-playing prime and just filling in with all those young hotshots in the past. He has definitely still got his chops!
The enthusiasm of the show was just phenomenal... it was as if the performers just kept upping the ante, so the crowd had to follow... halfway through the set only a handful of people were left seated. In Indy the spectators barely rose until the encore. I believe this is why a the Hobart show got the two encores. Not so attentive, but damn they were enthusiastic!
Some statements by a concert-going companion who was integral in my early Utopian tutelage: (I'm not sure I agree with these, but thought I'd pass 'em along) * About the quotient of Utopia songs (about 1/2): "I don't even miss the keyboards." * After we had only heard two new tunes 3/4 of the way through the set (ISP & Yer Fast), he asks "Is the whole album like this?" I assured him that it was not & was happy to hear "Buffalo Grass"
Another prior review suggested that Todd was singing in a lower register which may be the case, but I don't think it's to cover any vocal inadequacies. I think it just fits the songs better... I mean the set IS a rock set. He hits those higher notes on the "whimowhaeeys" in Bang the Uke which is admittedly grating, but I think its intentionally so. Maybe not. Who am I to say what is going on in OH's head?
A couple of witticisms that Todd got in: Some words I never thought I'd hear: "Rock on, Hobart!" As bows were taken, he quipped that he would see us again at "Persimmons Fest"
In closing I'd like to reiterate a prior reviewers sentiment that this IS the Todd tour to see. (Admittedly, I missed the Twist tours due to being un-netted.) Kas is back ('nuff said)... and Trey kicks high hat! (a machine of the drumming type, I tellya)... And Todd, well, there are no words... One is compelled to compare recent shows to past shows, whether it was a week ago or years. And for me this ranks up with the A Capella and NWO tours... as high praise as I know.
Mystified & misty-eyed,