Tower Theater 5/8

Review by Kleingeld (Switch to

Last night's show at the Tower was the best of the 3 I've seen so far this tour. And why wouldn't be? Todd was back in his home town, John was home, and Jesse was just down the Northeast extension of the PA turnpike from home. Ran into Michele in the lobby who was very gracious and sweet. I'd hoped she would jump on stage for a background vocal or two, but it didn't happen. Walked down to our seats with Ruth R. who was sitting in the same row. It was a mini family reunion for TR and family.

Somewhere along the line the Tower got a facelift. It's now a beautiful theater with glowing planets and pyramids on the walls and stars on the ceiling. The sound was spectacular. Crisp, clear highs, lots of bottom. Somehow the keyboards were all but missing from the mix for the first 1/2. During Green Onions someone thought to turn them up and the mix was very good from there on out. Todd was on guitar-fire again last night and ripped out some beauties. The rest of the band is so tight at this point that there was barely a single flub.

The set list:

1) Truth
2) Buffalo Grass
3) Mammon
4) Fascist Christ (this is so good live)
At this point Todd said, "we're going to do a rock & roll song now. This shouldn't suggest I have any interest in being in the R & R Hall of Fame. If nominated, I will not run. If elected, I will not serve."
5) ISP
6) While My Guitar Gently Weeps
7) God Said
8) Liar
9) Beloved Infidel (orange Yamaha)
Todd said, "That was for all you Nader supporters. Next time don't be such a jerk. There's no way the friggin' guy is ever going to win!"
10) Lunatic Fringe
11) Green Onions
12) Soul Brother
13) Sweet (so sweet.  Audience got into with big smiles from TR)
14) Past (sweeter than Sweet?  It's close)
15) Born to Synthesize (heavy Simpson's theme variations from Jesse & John with
Marriage of Heaven & Hell and Seven rays being thrown in by Jesse & Kasim.)
When Todd returned to the stage to finish off the song he said, "Wow, that was a veritable shit-storm! Perhaps you would like to know the perpetrators of such a shit-storm" and did the usual Jetson's intros. As Kasim did the wake-up from the sleep schtick, Todd said, "Father Alawishous, is that you? I don't like it when you touch me like that!"
16) Feel It
17) Want of a Nail
18) Hello It's Me
19) Just One Victory

No WWE. 8^(

The two women next to me were SO excited for the show they nearly fainted when Todd first came out. Why then, did the not stop talking the entire show?!? They spent 2 hours reminiscing about great shows past and missed last night entirely. Talk outside/listen inside. It's oh so easy!

If you're the kind of Todd fan who will lament the fact that he's not doing Bang on the Drum, then this isn't the tour for you. If you're a fan who marvels at Todd's incredible skill in orchestration and clever mix of musical styles and instruments, you're going to love this. This is thinking Todd music versus straight ahead pop/rock Todd. This is a musical flexing of Todd's considerable creative muscle, not a recap of his former hits. I was genuinely concerned that he was played out a few years ago. Not so! Folks, creative, inspired Todd is back!!!

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5/08/2004 - Tower Theater - Philadelphia, PA

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