Review 11-19-03 Mystic Theatre, Petaluma CA

Review by Guy Daugherty (Switch to

Ahhhhh. Two Todd nights in a row, like settling into a hot bath when there's ice outside.

I must start with a short personal note: last time I saw the "Mystic", it was The Plaza Theatre, and my pal Sam Guss was a projectionist there, while I was doing the same at the Liberty over in St. Helena.... of course, this was in '85 or so. Grains of sand, one by one; Before you know it, all gone.

At any rate, the former second-run movie house has made for a very nice music venue - intimate and casual. The biggest surprise for me, however, was how many folks in line and sitting around me hadn't seen Todd for years, and had some trepedation about what they might be in for. I assured them they'd be happy with what they were in for, and a few met me afterward to say I'd been right.

Seating was Samson chairs on the dance floor, and I had the good fortune to get one right up in the front row at the piano. Good crowd, I forgot to look around to see if it was full or not. A nice thing about The Mystic is that they're in with McNear's Restaurant next door, a good place to get in some stuffings to carry you through the show (Another trivia point: the empty lot just to the north of the restaurant was the "car lot" in Amercian Grafitti where the kids chained down the rear axle of the cop car).

At 8PM, PJ Loughran warmed up for us again- having known what to expect from seeing him last night, it was easier for me to appreciate this evening just how good this fellow is. He did about a 40-minute set, lining us up for Todd at 9.

Todd came out in fine fettle, fighting a bit of dreaded nasal drip (after musically blowing his nose, he apologized: "I forgot to take my antihistamine before the show"). The playlist began with "Lysistrata" and continued with this tour's set. Our Hero's voice was as strong as last night in SF, although he did less chatting between numbers. It didn't seem rushed at all, just a bit less frivolous. He did take some time to delve into politics a bit when he transferred over to the piano, but the Mystic crowd didn't get the Nair for Men story. And, in Petaluma, perhaps that's just as well. On the pianoforte, Todd did a much better job of keeping his fingers where they were supposed to be, other than an episode in "Hello, It's Me" when they strayed, and he reminded us, "Hey! There's a _lot_ of notes up here, you know!"

I tried to get some pics taken, but the house dicks were doing quite a job of keeping shutters shut. No wonder they call them that.

We did get another treat of double-encores, and I got to shake his hand. I said, "Thank you, Todd," and a bit to my surprise, he thanked me back... surely he can't know these are my reviews?

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11/19/2003 - Mystic Theatre - Petaluma, CA

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