After Jay, the owner of the club (and drummer for The Road Ducks) did his usual, cheers and promos; the faithful were presented with our Icon. Todd's reaction was a cackled "It seems that all I have to do is show up for you!" That comment would ring throughout the evening...Todd made it clear what his latest excursion was about, stating that "the airport security must have known that the rolled up plastic bag didn't have Anthrax " leaving the crowd to surmise he was carting around another white substance for personal use. One look at Todd, and a number of us commented that no guessing as to what that could be (hmmmm). A very disjointed performance followed the announcement, though the song selection was the wonderful collection that the diehards crave; the follow through was missing. Todd was seemingly uncomfortable playing his standards, missing chords and losing his place throughout the evening. His focus was missing, even asking the audience the time, as if he was ready to leave. When told it was 11:30, he shrugged and resigned to finish out his set. There were some high points in the form of songs performed that this fan had never seen. "Slut" was full of energy that the show was missing, and the back half of the audience seemed to know the appropriate response making this personal rarity all the better. "I Don't Wanna Tie You Down" was also very sweet, both in the song's demeanor and its' performance. The 2nd encore, "Hawking", was also very appropriate in relation to Washington DC being in this chaotic state and Todd having trouble getting through every one his sings. "Have pity on each other" would be easier if we weren't told that the IRS was getting the proceeds of the show, and if we had seen the type of glorious performance witnessed on this same stage over the last few years w/ the OLY & WAT tours. In retrospect, seeing Todd & Jesse joke around with canned music was plain boring and left a lot of us feeling that we were taken for a long taxi ride, stuck in traffic, and finally let out 4 blocks and 2 hours later!
Sorry Todd fans, after 20 years and umpteen TR shows of new material, performance concepts, musical inspiration, and excitement, Todd may have been straightforward with us when he last said "looks like the end of a fine career..."
Marc Israel 10/22/01