Warm-up performer at 8 was PJ Loughran, a seemingly nice kid from New York -as he was happy, but not overbearing in telling us- with an interesting style. Playing acoustic guitar, his songs are pleasingly melodic with many lyrics possibly devised shortly before he became old enough to speak. Their source notwithstanding -and scat jazz fans' disapproving looks at me ignored- it's a sound you may at first find amusing, and then oddly prescient of some of Todd's own lyrical stylings. Regardless his popularity or acceptance, he was a terrific spirit whose confidently relaxed style got the crowd ready for Todd's appearance right about 9 PM.
Play list was similar (we also got an acoustic "Born to Synthesize") to that reported by Marty Hump from Boulder, 11/12/03..... excepting for an odd and engaging riff that Todd got himself hooked into doing with "Tonight at Bimbo's" being the recurring theme, along with a Sinatra-like attitude about just moving into the place to stay. The club dates from the twenties, and on entering you do wonder if Joe Peschi is in the wings getting direction from Scorcese for the next scene. Seating is at tables, six per, and the capacity sign was just a bit over 600. The house has a feel of not-oppressive class, and the crowd that was there conducted itself in that style. The sound system was good, and visibility seems about the same from anywhere in the room.
My only carp was the continually-mingling cocktail waitresses sometimes causing small interruptions, but they work for money just like the rest of us do.
Todd is in great voice, more relaxed than I've seen him in years, and the play list is strong. I'm not sure that I'd heard him do "I Don't Want to Tie You Down" in concert before, but it was very greatly appreciated. The set doesn't have a weak link -well, yeah, "Bang the Uke" is there, but I'm easy- and despite the inevitable piano errors, they weren't disasters.
For those of us who long for the simple days of Todd and us down at The Old Waldorf, or Wolfgang's before the fire, this is the tour for you. We got the two encores, with an added bit of "What's Going On?" laced in through "The Wheel" during the final finale. Todd's exits were leisurely and pleasant, with much hand-shaking and autograph inscribing.
It was great to see him back.