We got to the theatre about 2 hours before the show started, and there was one fan already there - Gavin was one of those choice fans that saw the original Atlanta show at the Fox where they recorded Utopia Theme for the first Utopia album. Soon afterwards, I got meet some of the greatest TR/Utopia fans at any show, including Lee & Anna (some of you know her as Southpaw - I am very indebted to you both for the ride to the TRain station), Bill Bricker, and Carolyn who sat right behind me. I talked with so many fans who had seen Todd at that Fox show, I could tell that this was one "Faithful" set of fans.
The theater was 90% full by the time Royston came out, and probably 98% full by the time Todd got there. The enthusiastic crowd applauded and whistled, and showed us that Todd can still pack 'em in and keep 'em entertained.
Royston's set started at 9pm sharp, and he is young, energetic, very talented and entertaining on both guitar and piano. He is a rising star, no doubt about it. During his set, which included Now I'm Only Dreaming, You Can't Go Home Again and I Believe Your Day Will Come, He broke a string twice (different guitars), but kept his professionalism and it didn't even phase him.
He also referred to Todd as a "musical genius" and "an influence in one way or another."
He mentioned that his first album, yet untitled, will be out around September.
Todd's voice was good and strong, with that soulfulness he's famous for. As it's been mentioned, the sound setup was terrible, referring to the keyboards as "beating a sick dog" and that the "F&%*ing stage is haunted." AFter the break, he felt better about it, but you could tell he wasn't a happy camper.
After the show, many of us waited behind the venue, where security eventually told us to expect Todd a half hour from then (about 12:30am). The handful of faithful waited around past 1:00am, watching as they loaded up the vehicles and eventually they drove off around the corner, and wisked away - soon after which we were told that Todd left through a side door, and that we were out of luck. Even though I got a ride from Lee and Anna to the train station, I missed the last train by ten minutes, and my $1.75 train ride became a $56 cab ride. If only security had been truthful that we weren't going to get the usual Todd chat. Fortunately, I don't remember seeing anyone I told to wait outside standing there with me. At least Ed got an autograph BEFORE the show, as he went around the back while we waited on line.
Despite the inconvenience and lack of autograph/photo opportunites, I had a marvelous time meeting new faces and hearing more stories from all of you fans that shared with me.
As many of you know, I made this trip also to visit with family I never met before, and this trip was worth every penny I spent. Although I heard about the shuttle disaster as I was getting ready to board my plane to Savannah the next morning, the memories of the show kept me going.
My uncle and cousins have treated me like royalty (I'm posting this from their computer), and I'll return with even more memories shared on a deeply personal level as well. I hope you all get a great show (despite the flubs and tech difficulties) as we did. I love seeing you all here, at the shows, and on the road...to Utopia.
The setlist goes as follows:
Guitar: Love Of The Common Man I Don't Want To Tie You Down Lysistrata Cliche Hammer In My Heart Tiny DemonsIt wasn't perfect, but it was Todd...and that's enough for the fans, who gave him a rousing ovation all through and at the end of the show.
Piano: Song Of The Viking Compassion Free, Male, And 21 It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference Too Far Gone
back to acoustic guitar: Bang On The Drum All Day You've Got To Hide Your Love Away I've Just Seen A Face
Twist mp3s: I Saw The Light Influenza Can We Still Be Friends I Want You One World
First encore: Hello It's Me The Wheel
Second encore: Love In Action A Dream Goes On Forever