Review of TR 10/20, Jaxx

Review by Brian Leonard (Switch to

I understand the criticisms leveled at Todd for this mini-tour, but as someone who hasn't seen TR live since the 2nd Wind tour, I enjoyed this performance in an intimate setting. It was far better than the only other solo Todd show I've seen, circa 1983 at The Savoy in NYC, which seemed to be nothing BUT flubs and awkward moments, with Todd's voice in bad shape.

He started out shakily--maybe that's why he plays the same standbys to open with--but his voice got stronger as the night went on. Early highlights for me were "I Don't Want To Tie You Down", which I don't think I'd ever heard live, "Hammer In My Heart", with the Tommy detour, and "Free, Male and 21". I enjoyed most of the WAT songs, especially Jesse's playing on them, but I agree that a little of this goes a long way. I wouldn't want to see this tour after tour, as apparently many of you have.

I also appreciated that he covered most phases of his career from S/A through Up Against It, although it'd have been great to hear earlier songs like "Chain Letter" or newer ones like "Buffalo Grass".

Should he not play piano live? When he's completely screwing up, like on "Viking Song", the answer seems obvious. But the final encore, "Hawking", was downright transcendent. I had no idea if he was flubbing the accompaniment much, because his voice was so strong and passionate it overshadowed the piano completely, but I say: if the only way we'll get to hear him do gems like this is to tolerate his piano playing, then so be it.

But, yes, I hope future solo appearances minimize or do away with the MP3/Bosa Nova stuff. And, yes, it'd be terrific if he were to dust off more little-heard gems from the closet. Nevertheless, of the 12 or so times I've seen Todd and/or Utopia, I'd rank this right about in the middle, and that ain't too shabby.

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10/20/2001 - Jaxx - Springfield, VA

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