I've seen every tour of Todd's (minus the Power Trio) since Faithful in 1976. As the years rolled on, I never knew what to expect from Todd live. But last night, he was nothing short of fantastic. Voice and guitar just as good as ever. And without him front and center, this band would not have had a leader.
But that is not to detract from the others. They were all excellent, including the three back-up musicians.
By the end of the show, it was better than what I could have imagined. Quite honestly, I didn't know what this line-up would deliver.
But I have to interject some personal thoughts here. First off, is the sound. I have seen Larry T. do Todd's sound for about 10 yrs now. And as soon as I walked in and saw him, I knew that the mix would/could be disappointing, My first experience was at the Utopia reunion in San Jose. Then came the TR-i show, then at Slim's for the tiki tour. Then came last night. All of these shows, including last night, are HARMONY oriented. Watching the talent on stage move their mouths and hear little, if ANYTHING, is nothing more than a downright shame and disappointment. In my own personal opinion, a change is badly needed in the sound department. And the bass guitar during Sailing almost KILLED me, it was so damned loud and very muddy all night. As a matter of fact, he struggled with the low end the entire show.
OK, that was harsh but I needed to say it. Others at the show agreed with me.
As for the boys themselves, they made me nervous at one point. After the intermission, they came back with stools and acoustics in hand. Starting off with Things We Said Today, they barely managed to hold it together. It was like watching a bunch of weekend warriors at a kegger struggle party relive the days when they first starting "jamming". I was starting to cringe and hoped that the second half wouldn' t take away from the first. But they soon kicked into gear and didn't disappoint.
I have great respect for Alan Parsons, but he seemed very shy and inexperienced at carrying the lead vocals live. When Chris Cross stepped in on Games People Play, it really lifted it another notch. This is not a show we should pay for where under rehearsed songs and timid vocals come with the ticket price.
Bottom line though is the show smoked. If they had billed this as Rundgren/Farner/Bruce/Cross/Parsons, and just traded each others material all night long, I believe that would have been even more amazing. Still, I pray for a CD compilation of this tour when all is said and done.