Gruene Hall is Texas' oldest dance hall, sitting 45 miles south of Austin and just north of New Braunfels. It's all wood with a tin roof. There's no heat or air conditioning--to control the temperature the large windows on one side are shuttered or un-shuttered. Old advertising rings the upper walls and thestage proscenium. The floor rolls in gentle ripples, and you can look at the stage and see that it sits crooked from the floor. There's no dressing room--TR entered through a hanging sheet that wen outside... I hope someone posts pics from this show, and not just of Todd! This is a location you would least expect to see Todd at.
The show sold out--500 seats, general admission. Tell me, is anyone else ready to see Todd again at a place with all reserved seating? The back half of the hall was filled with people chattering through every damn song. Who did they pay to listen to? There were even two yakkers right up near the stage that Todd first heckled, then yelled "Shut up!" to in the middle of a song, then scolded once again before they got the message.
Todd was wearing a brown sharkskin suit, his cheap black slip-ons, and a lei. He seemed a little tight the first couple songs, but pretty relaxed and friendly (except for the yakkers) for the duration. His voice was magnificent, maybe the best I've heard him sing in the two dozen times I've seen him over the decades. So much strength and clarity!.. Sound quality was outstanding all night--except for the first number, when the sound man forgot to turn the main speakers on, and the only sound came from the monitors... Here's what he played, pretty much in order:
Lysistrada I Don't Want to Tie You down Love of the Common Man Cliche Black and White Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference Compassion Song of the Viking Free Male and 21 Can We Still Be Friends Hammer in My Heart I Saw the Light/twist Influenza/twist I Want You/twist Beloved Infidel! Tiny Demons You've Got to Hide Your Love Away The Wheel/What's Going On medley One World Hello It's Me (another song-damn, can't remember!) Dream Goes on ForeverAs I said in a review last year, I love the man, and his performance was wonderful tonight. But I'm REALLY ready to start hearing some new stuff, or some radical reworkings of the old stuff. Our Hero needs some more creative fire lit in his belly... Enjoy the tour, everyone!