On a tip from a friend, we called WAY in advance to arrange for a dinner package which entitled us to two comfy stools and a yummy Canjun-style meal at the HOB restaurant. (Consider that a tip from a friend for next time!)
I wasn't sure whether to weigh in with a review this time, because it was a unique experience for me to see a Todd concert after an extremely emotional and difficult week in my personal life (long story), and I know that my reaction to the evening is being influenced by what is going on.
But I guess that's really the whole point, isn't it? I've read the reviews (so far) and I can see that the concert hit different people in vastly different ways. I can certainly understand that, because it was a different Todd up there: powerful, political, passionate, uncompromising, forceful, and very emotional. Todd is rising to the occasion, as he always has! And I like that his hair is now a reversal of what it was: light with dark "skunk" stripes instead of dark with light "skunk" stripes. Cool.
Todd is an Avatar, helping us make sense of an extraordinary time in human history. His heart and soul were completely exposed during the 2 1/2 hour show, and I think I've never felt a stronger connection with him as a person as I did on Saturday--and that's after over 30 years of seeing him practically every time he has come to Chicago.
Todd is fearless. He takes on the battles that need to be fought right now. He is probably not going to become a "people pleaser" anytime soon. Quite simply, his shows are just not feel-good musical experiences, but cathartic adventures in a very difficult world. He is talking about the unembellished truth: we are all liars and we have to admit that fact before things can possibly start to get better.
Sure, there were some technical challenges with the concert, but the band handled them in good humor and professionalism. Todd more than made up for any problems by giving us an incredible show. His voice was amazing, and solos on Foamy were transcendent.
Some have said that they would rather have heard more of Todd's older (aka "easier") pieces. I personally loved hearing many songs from Liars and would have liked to have heard every single one! And the addition of Just One Victory after so many years of not hearing it meant the world to me.
In my opinion, this concert was about Todd the Healer, Todd the Wizard and True Star, and Todd the Prophet. And when he did the Bunny Hop off the stage after the encore, wearing his floppy bunny ears, I knew everything was going to be okay.