When we got to Red Bank we hooked up with infamous Todd-fan, Tapeworm, for a preshow libation at a local Irish Pub. Who knew you could get such a good Bombay Saphire martini at an Irish Pub? Maybe it was just the excitement of the impending show.
We went into the theater and immediately ran into Julie, Shelle, and Julie's brother, Greg. Julie had won the right to watch the show from the wings via the Patronet VIP pass. There's an experience she won't soon forget.
The Count Basie is a nice old theater that also has a bar, so Kurt and I continued to wet our whistles before the show began. Kurt asked the bartender, "so was Count Basie born here or something?" She replies, "no, but I think he performed here once." Hmm.
Seemed the second we settled into our 7th row center seats, the lights went down and the show started. Right off the bat, the sound was like mud. All bottom, no top, and the vocals were barely audible. Things improved a bit pretty quickly, but only went from thick, sticky mud, to the thin, runny kind.
Here are the notes I took:
1. Truth (Kasim on keyboards) 2. Buffalo Grass (Todd took the 2nd guitar solo on Foamy) 3. Mammon 4. Facist Christ (Foamy solo) 5. I Hate My Freakin' ISP (Foamy) 6. Unloved Children (Foamy) 7. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Foamy) 8. God Said (Jesse on keys. Absolutely beautiful. My favorite off the new disc) 9. Liar (How can Todd's voice take this? Song smokes live) Todd solo 10. Beloved Infidel (What is this odd green guitar with the maple neck? Is it? Yes, I think it's an old Ovation solidbody) 11. Lunatic Fringe (Todd on Ovation) Band comes back, Todd leaves 12. Green Onions (Booker T & the MGs. No vocals) Todd comes back 13. Soul Brother (Jesse on keys) 14. Sweet (Jesse & Kas on keys) 15. PastAt this point, my 40-year-old bladder is mad at me for drinking the martini and beer without doing something about it. So I head to the men's room and find, much to my delight, that it smells exactly as a men's room at a rock concert should smell; like reefer! I tried, unsuccessfully, to find the source and returned to my seat. When walking back into the theater I realized, crap, it sounds REALLY good in the back of the room. That's when I realize that sitting 7th row center has its disadvantages. The sound just doesn't come together in the front the way it does in the back. It probably helps that the soundboard is in the very back of the theater too. Oh well, I might not be able to hear the sound at its best, but I get to see the spit fly!
16. Born to Synthesize(Jesse steps down for a killer guitar solo. Is he Todd? Is he Alice Cooper? No, he's Jesse! Then John completely jams on a piano solo. Holy crap, this dude can play. Kasim then farts around on the bass for 4 bars. I want the song to neatly transition into Death of Rock and Roll like it does on Initiation and for Kasim to scream out the lead vocals, but it doesn't happen.)
17. Feel It (Foamy solo) 18. Want of a Nail(Gets the joint on its feet. Two idiots get in a fight in the center of the pit right in front of Todd. Security has to come in and pull some people out. Ugh, Jersey!)
Encores 19. Hello It's Me 20. Just One Victory (Foamy solo)Overall, the show was great. Having the fight take place in the pit really sucked, but it couldn't take away from the great musicianship we witnessed. Todd's voice is raspy, but compared to earlier reviews, it sounds like it's on the mend. I can't say that Todd seemed to be having a whole lot of fun. But maybe it was just the night. That can certainly change.
My next show will be Letterman on Wednesday. Then Lancaster on Friday, and Philadelphia on the following Saturday. Can't wait!