Todd doing a 5-minute monologue about prophylactics. Check.
Todd calling home to the island in the middle of the set. Check.
Todd recycling a bad, 7-minute Mark Fahrner joke. Check.
Drunken crowd signing Todd "Happy Birthday." Check.
Todd sings karaoke! Check.
To open, I am EXTREMELY unhappy about the fact that AWDAR is not coming to Texas or anywhere near Dixie this year. My wife and I flew to Anaheim last year to see it, and it was one of the best shows I have ever seen. A shame that promoters, if that's the reason, don't let same acts into a town twice a year - highly recommend getting to this show if it's coming to your town. I am grateful to Todd that he took the time to hike 3 hours north to do this "one-off" solo gig, and though I wished he had a band and full backing, we were still very excited to see him. Crowd was the usual Todd drawing, and he packed in about 800 at the venue. Spartan set with the worst possible sound thanks to rec center-like acoustics. Mix was way too hot as everything Todd touched screamed and squealed, and the lighting situation visibly upset him as he was hollering at the board op through most of the show. Who is the wizard here? Flubs o'plenty on the keyboards, which he still refers to as "the ugly part," but they were not glaring and I thought his best work of the night was at the piano. Vocals were extremely strong - especially at the piano. Obviously in a great mood, Todd regaled the crowd with hotel and gas station bathroom anecdotes, opened birthday presents on stage, and told an old chestnut that he blamed on Mark Farhner (of GFR fame) while killing time waiting for the MP3-karaoke machine to fire up, and played a lot of great songs. A tattoo of TweetyBird on your dong? False starting LOCM on the first note? These are examples that, yes, he's human, and still the true star of years gone by. I was proud of the way he overcame seemingly every spiritual obstacle that seemed to present itself in technical form at this show. Everything that could go wrong did (no fault of his), and early on, he resigned himself to "that's how it's going to be" and gave a great performance despite the trouble. Lots of bar noise and the discotheque across the hall filled the back half of the house with a steady Mexican Donna Summer beat for most of the show. What is the deal? I had read earlier where these technical issues got him pretty riled, and I know he's detail-oriented (they called him "persnickety" in the local paper and bet, correctly, that he wouldn't play We Gotta Get You a Woman or Hello It's Me), so for him to fight through that was telling of his professionalism. Highlights were "I Don't Want to Tie You Down" on guitar, and "Too Far Gone" on piano, neither of which I have ever heard him do solo. The rest of the set were the standards, with Todd alternating between guitar, piano, karaoke machine (and ukulele???). After a great show, 2 encores, and a phallic balloon arrangement, Todd left the stage with a cool sentiment: "you've warmed an old man's heart tonight." Happy Birthday.