The Pageant is the ultimate intimate venue and was a perfect choice. I'm not for certain what the occupancy limit is, but the place was packed. I'm guessing perhaps a crowd of 1200 - 1500. The show was general admission and balcony reserved seating was not offered at the time of ticket sales, however, due to the number of tickets sold, the balcony was opened to accommodate the masses. Lots of Todd Heads out there. I really believe that the turnout might have been influenced by last years Hall and Oates tour...there were a lot of converts that night.
Todd arrived shortly before he went onstage. Having snagged some passes, we were waiting to greet him and wish him well. Due to time restraints, we were unable to see him although he was very gracious to sign some items that the venue sent up to his dressing room before the show. I was hoping to personally give him a hand-made gift, a "good karma bead lei" to start off the tour with. Rats. Hopefully he got it. See it at http://forums.trconnection.com/viewthread.php?tid=1303 In any event, I had fun making it for him and with his sense of humor, I hopeful that he got a kick out of it.
Todd came out dressed in a nice suit, strapped on a guitar and the first song out of the box was Lysistrata. I had the feeling that he was somewhat surprised by the number of people and that the balcony was full. Vocals were strong and clear. From the first song you just knew that it was going to be a great evening...the man was "in his element". You could just feel it in the air. The crowd was hanging on his every word. Being that this was his third evening in a row, I thought that the vocal chords might have been a little cooked, but that just wasn't the case. I really believe that the response of the crowd and the intimate atmosphere of the club gave him a lot of energy tonight. It was so thick you could almost SEE it. A companion offered up to me that "It's just like being there for Back To The Bars" and that's the honest truth. It WAS like being there. We were just dumbfounded, speechless.
Last years "Have Gun Will Travel" T-shirts were on sale. Those of you hoping to add yet another to your collection are simply out of luck. Puzzling over that slogan for a year now, I was finally able to extract a clue as to why it's on the T. I've just been told by Hubby that it refers to an old TV show which starred Richard Boone as "Paladin" which ran from 1957 to 1963, where the star was a hired gun. For the payment of $1,000, Paladin would leave his well-appointed suite in San Francisco's Hotel Carlton to pursue whatever mission of mercy or justice a well-heeled client commissioned. The show's identifying graphic was Paladin's calling card--bearing an image of the white knight chess piece and the inscription, "Have Gun, Will Travel . . . Wire Paladin, San Francisco." I've been to a few performances where it appeared that Todd/Paladin was simply going through the motions, a musical genius/ Gunslinger with a guitar/gun for hire...pay me enough and I'll perform for you..."I'm changing the name of the album to "THROW MONEY", I don't want to play for a living, but I'll do it if I have to type thing. Perhaps Todd does see himself as a hired gun, but we saw a youthful exuberance in this performance. It was "the old Todd", not "an old Todd" with a spring in his step and the fingers flying. There was the usual bantering with the audience, witticisms, a couple of political pokes with reference to Ashcroft and the War, pretending to fall asleep at the piano with loud snoring, but there's no doubt in my mind that he ENJOYED himself tonight and knew he was surrounded by his faithful.
The show is pretty much split up into 3 different parts: guitar, piano and MP3 backgrounds, most of which are performed in sets and in that order, although towards the end he started mixing it up. I started keeping track, writing stuff down on a wet cocktail napkin since my memory sucks. After Beloved Infidel about halfway through the show, I truly can't read my notes as to if it was guitar, piano or MP3, so I'm guessing. Not that it matters, it was all good. At the end I went down towards the stage, stopped taking set list notes and just enjoyed myself. I might have missed a song or two in the set list, but it's pretty complete. Two Beatle covers, Two Marvin Gaye covers, "Lunatic Fringe" Red Rider cover, a fantastic new version of Bang The Drum on the Uke with a little "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" thrown in that really got the house rockin', 2 encores.
GUITAR: Lysistrata Love Of The Common Man I Don't Want To Tie You Down Black and White Clich/ Lunatic Fringe (Red Rider w/John Ashcroft reference)Opening for Todd tonight was Gary Jules from L.A. Gary is a Folk-Music singer/songwriter with heartfelt prose and an acoustic guitar. The crowd responded warmly. Great talent. Be on the watch for him in the future. http://www.garyjules.com has music clips to sample and his CD is available for purchase on tour as well as on his website. I think Gary was a great choice for an opener and that you'll be pleased --- he's very entertaining. He came out after the show, mixed with the crowd and signed CD's for everybody.
PIANO: Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference Song of The Viking Compassion Male, Free and 21 Too Far Gone
UKE: Bang On The Drum (Lion Sleeps Tonight)
MP3: Beloved Infidel Hide Your Love Away (Beatles) Falling (Beatles) Mercy, Mercy Me (Marvin Gaye) What's Going On (Marvin Gaye) Can We Still Be Friends
PIANO: Too Far Gone Born To Synthesize I Saw The Light
GUITAR: One World Hello It's Me The Wheel
The bottom line is that if you don't have tickets yet, RUN to the nearest ticket outlet. You won't be disappointed.
JUST ANOTHER ONIONHEAD