Arriving late, after the choice seating had been taken, I had to scout around for what was left. The stage set up was pretty much as expected for a solo show. The shiny black grand piano and a choice guitar. A black back-drop, speckled with star-like lights, completed the picture. I had barely gotten situated when our hero took the stage. (Darn, I wish I had gotten there earlier to get a sweet seat on the floor.)
Todd walked out there and immediately brought a sense of intimacy to the place. He seemed so genuinely happy to be there and in a jovial mood. As tinkerbelle so aptly put it (see other review) he was "very engaged". Initially, the sound system near where I was standing, to the left of the stage, was not working right. So I had difficulty discerning some of what he was saying early on in the night. The crowd was laughing but I was missing some of it. I did catch bits about the bad hair day experience and working up a good sweat to fix the frizz before he would remove his jacket. Finally, around the third song they got the sound fixed. Ahhh, much better thank you!
Opening Set (Acoustic Guitar): "Hammer in my Heart", "Clichť", "I Donít Want to Tie You Down", "Lysistrata", "LOTCM". What can I say. I fall short of adjectives. I just let my smile speak for itself J Todd had is heart into it and seemed very in touch and appreciative of the audience. The feelings were mutual. After a dive from the Ivory Tower it was on to the ivory keys.
Piano Set: "Song of the Viking", "Love is the Answer", "Compassion", "Wouldnít Have Made Any Difference", "Too Far Gone". Piano or Guitar? I donít know which I prefer. But probably whatever Todd happens to be playing at the moment. The Viking song is so much fun - you know, sing it in the shower or whenever - always enjoyed that lively number. I couldnít have asked for a better play list if I had hand picked the songs myself - so many of my favorites. (By the way, donít take my set list as complete, or in the right order. I tried to jot down notes, but Iím sure messed up a few in this review.)
Beetles Tribute: "Hide Your Love Away" was notable, with some audience participation. I didnít see a show from AWDAR tour, but I imagine this couldíve been one of the highlights. (after reading some reviews from this web site, I wish I had made a better effort to see an Abbey Road performance.)
Twisted Set: I also missed the "With a Twist" tour and havenít bought the album yet. I must admit, even though I consider my self a true through Todd fan I was a somewhat uncertain about bossanova-fying his music. The orchestra in a can is a compromise. Albeit a reasonable one when seeing Todd solo. But why was I fretting? It works! "Influenza" and "Can We Still be Friends?" were definitely cool that way. There was a least one other tune with a twist, but I canít recall which - "I Saw the Light", maybe? I will get around to adding this album to my collection eventually. But now it will probably be sooner, rather than later, that I get twisted.
Final Set: By now, I had migrated to the opposite side of the floor. The acoustics seemed a bit better there, even though I was further back. The performance was all I had expected. TR still has it! If there are any doubters out there, then they donít know what theyíre missing. We the faithful got to see Todd entertain us with his music, as only a wizard can. A different side of him from what I saw last time around with the Power Trio. Actually, we saw a number of sides to him tonight. He has so many different facets, and theyíre all brilliant. For twenty five years Iíve been seeing him perform whenever I can. Starting at Shaboo, just down the road from UConn back in í78. Since then Iíve lost count. Iím so glad that he seems to like playing in this area (NYC radius). I can just about count on him being somewhere nearby in July/August. But I digress.
The spirit was alive and well Thursday night at Toadís. "One World" had the house swinging to the right (right groove that is), dancing, hand-clapping and yelling. I also especially enjoyed "Hawking". No shortage of feeling put into that one. "The Wheel" was too awesome. It was one of the last selections - if not the Encore (kindaí lost track - the bliss just began to blur together). J ! What a great tune to end a great night with. In summary the Toadís venue was fine, the audience was considerate and appreciative, and our wizard was being his true star. Thanks for making another round Todd.