Sing, shout it, tell the world about it... La Zona Rosa, Austin,

Review by Keith Tuxhorn (Switch to

La Zona Rosa is a bare-bones club with a really good sound system in downtown Austin. I think capacity is around 750, and it was pretty close to full at showtime.

My God, was this ever a great show! I've seen tours since '74, and this is as tight as I've ever seen Ted onstage. It was completely satifying from start to finish. I'll skip the songlist/review format, and share the notable moments for me...

-The otherwise-standard set did not include "Wondering", "Love Science", "Unloved Children", or "WWE"... and it didn't make any difference! The show ran just over two hours, with nary a dull moment. The sound mix was a bit muddy for the "Truth" opener, and the keyboards were a wee bit low/lost several times; otherwise the sound was A+. And I can't say enough about how pleasing the lighting was...

-Ted didn't forget any lyrics; he only got to the mike late once, during "Fascist Christ". He hit a hoarse spot at the start of "Just One Victory", and laughed at himself. Other than a 3-4 other voice scrapes, he sounded wonderful.

-As many of you have noted, Ted is completely energized by having a band behind him. It's like he's a different person from the one who did all the soloing the past few years, sending out an enthusiasm and confidence I haven't seen in a long time. And I actually think a little less joking around is a good thing from Ted. The 3 or 4 funny remarks he made had much more impact than the wayward ramblings from the solo shows.

-Funniest event: During the band's "Synthesize" solos, Kasim played a couple minutes, then abruptly stopped, came to the mike, and said "I'm sorry, I just can't get with it..." Ted came out a few seconds later, Jesse told him what happened, and he smiled at Kasim. He walked to the mike and said, "Am I going to have to pull this car over?... We're not to Grandma's house yet..."

-The crowd was wonderfully cooperative and respectful! They sang along just enough, to both old and new songs, the right words at the right times. During Ted's two solo songs, the crowd SHUT UP AND LISTENED! Yay! (Well, they did sing a little of the "Lunatic Fringe" chorus...) Plus, from what I heard, there was very little hollering for old and/or "traditional" songs... Either they've been reading our reviews, or they were willing to get with the program quickly.

-After the show, Ted snuck out the back way, but Jesse and Kasim were lovely to the fans that hung out, probably 25-30. Kas was rushing to meet someone, but he had at least a kind word for everyone. Jesse did likewise. (Hardly anyone saw Prarie or John, they jumped on the bus quickly. And I'm not dissing them, cuz I've met 'em both, and they're great, too.)

-I'd forgotten how goooood "Feel It", "Want of a Nail", and "JOV" sound live... pretty much lost myself in the love at those points.

-One visual "oddity" at our show. A woman at the front wore a sari-type wrap top. The wrap seemed to be progressively less "on" as the show progressed, and by about halfway through the woman was basically topless. Quite a visual for the band, since she was right at the stage...

-I'm still a bit new to the area, had met hardly any Tedheads here--well, I've met plenty now, and it was a complete pleasure to have such fun with all of you! Can't wait to do it again... And I just might, in Houston on Friday if things work out!

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