Todd at Bimbo's, 11/18/03

Review by Ed Daranciang (Switch to

I Don't Want To Tie you Down
Love of The Common Man
Beloved Infidel
Lunatic Fringe (Red Rider cover)

Compassion Song of The Viking It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference Free, Male and 21 Kindness Bang The Drum All Day Black And White Hide Your Love Away I've Just Seen A Face/Endless Prarie (Lorne Greene song)

Born To Synthesize I Saw The Light Influenza Can We Still Be Friends? I Want You (Marvin Gaye cover) One World Hello, It's Me The Wheel/ What's Going On (MG cover) A Dream Goes On Forever

Todd's piano playing was the sloppiest I've ever seen at one of his shows; there were countless times where he actually stopped playing after fumbling through some chord changes, with a perplexed look on his face. He tried to joke his way through his mistakes, which would have been OK once or twice, but after a while, it was like watching your son at his 1st piano recital and being perched on the edge of your seat, holding your breath, waiting for his next wrong chord. Awkward and painful! When I saw Todd's last solo gig in SF a few years ago, he screwed up a bit then, too, but at Bimbo's it was at least twice as hard to sit through.

I can only guess it was a bit of laziness on Todd's part; he was messing up on stuff like "Compassion", "Hello, It's Me" -- stuff he's been playing for decades. I wonder if he's just neglected to keep up his chops for stuff he'd been able to play effortlessly before. But when playing some relatively newer stuff, like "Kindness" (a set highlight), he played beautifully.

On guitar, there was quite a bit of fumbling too, but his guitar mistakes sounded less painful. As far as his singing, after allowing the first few songs to warm up his voice, Todd delivered his trademark vocal throughout the rest of the show, in the style that made us all buy his records. Satisfying.

Based on the Bimbo's performance I saw, I decided to skip going to his Petaluma show, and wait for next year's "Liars" tour with a backing band, where Todd can concentrate more on his singing and lead guitar playing. I love Todd -- he's one of my heroes (and who I've seen about a dozen times in the past 27 years), but I just could not experience another solo sloppy show without feeling like one of my idols has lost his fastball and his curve.

Ed in S.F.

Other reviews for Miscellaneous Dates 2003
11/18/2003 - Bimbo's 365 Club - San Francisco, CA

Other reviews for overall Solo dates 2003

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