Let's examine the venue. It was an outside stage and except for some VIP seats fenced off up at the front of the stage it was strictly lawn seating, which is fine. Unfortunately, the Parks department positioned the sound booth close in front of the stage area as well which resulted in a huge area in the middle where you could not see the stage.The VIP area also took up the entire front of the stage area. People either had to sit on the left or right of the sound booth if they had any hope of seeing Todd. In addition, this is all taking place during a huge Regatta festival so there were literally thousands milling about. The smells..................mixed in with the pleasant aromas coming from the multitude of vendors cooking their festival foods was this odor which can only be described as something close to vomit. I wasn't the only one who smelled it and I haven't a clue where it was coming from, but it was there, it was everywhere and it was bad. But, I still had hope.
We arrived early enough to catch the whole set of the opening act, B.E.Taylor & his band. They're apparently a local group that has charted some minor success over the years since the early 80's. Their sound was very good. You could hear all the instruments, vocals, good clear bass etc. etc., very crisp and so I figured this was a good omen. The sound was gonna be great! I couldn't have been more wrong. Whoever, or is it whomever, is running the boards for Todd apparently wasn't as "seasoned" as the previous technician 'cause he or she really botched it.(who knows, maybe it was the same person) The sound was muddy at best and the cymbal's levels were way too high resulting in a most shrill sound when being played. The only vocal I could hear was Todd, Kasim's mic was either off or mixed way too low. So harmonies were non-existent and the month long hiatus they took must have taken a toll on their chops as well. I don't know if it was the poor sound quality or a combination of sound and time off or just that the venue wasn't taken seriously by the band, but they were sloppy sounding at times.
Todd seemed in good spirits though. He was cracking on the VIPs and how was it that with half a million people milling around the whole area they apparently were able to keep everyone from in front of the stage. (The VIP section was pretty empty.) Also made comments referring to the sausage stand visible from the stage. So I can't fault him on personality, he was making the concert fun. Did I mention that the lighting was failing too. There were times when there were no lights, he sang tiny demons in the dark. Other times they had to turn on the plain ol' overhead ceiling fixtures. I'm sure the band wasn't too happy with the snafu's ,but being troopers they kept on a playin'.
The play list was pretty much the same with them opening with IHMFISP. I was looking forward to #1LCD and wasn't disappointed, though if Kasim's mic had been working background vocals would have made it sound so much better. We left during the whole ukelele routine so anything after that will have to covered by someone else.
All in all our group left early due more to the venue than anything else. Hopefully the soundman got things straightened out later in the set and the stage lights started working. The next time I'll spring for the club date rather then wait for the free outside concert.