Todd in Houston

Review by Ian Bui (Switch to

I live in Melbourne, FL. My original plan for the Memorial weekend was simply to go to Dallas to visit some friends and hang out. But Alyn, one of the new friends I’d met just a couple of weeks earlier in Dallas, convinced me (without much effort) to change my itinerary to arrive earlier in the day and drive down to Houston together to catch the show there. Shockingly, the airline gods kindly complied, thus off we went to see the Wizard.

For me this would be my ninth show (the previous one was actually less than two weeks earlier at the House of Blues in Orlando), but for Alyn it’d be only her second (the first one being just two nights before at the Gypsie Tea Room in Dallas). What’s more, being a country music lover and a huge Garth Brooks fan, she’d never heard any Todd music before. She decided to go see OH in Dallas at the last minute only after reading all the reviews and listening to me wax endlessly on what a Real Man Todd was. After that concert Alyn in fact bought the new CD and, according to her, blasted the song “Liar” repeatedly ALL the way home!

So during our drive to Houston I gave Alyn her first taste of everything from Hermit to Faithful to Todd , even A Capella which, surprisingly, impressed her the most. By the time we pulled into the parking lot, Hello It’s Me was wafting from our stereo in perfect timing. At the door I had to pull a quick one, using my cowboy hat as cover, in order to get the camera through; this turned out to be a brilliant move (see photos.) We barely made it inside the theatre with just enough time to order our drinks before the Truth hit us. And hard!

Compared to the Orlando show, this one was for me ten times better. The sound was excellent; the place was spacious; the band was tight. Of course, it helped that we found a nice spot in center front where the view and the sound were simply heavenly. Thanks to some gracious fans who gave up their front row spots for us, I was able to really get the camera ‘rolling’, digitalling speaking that is. (Paul Crouch, if you’re reading this, here’s one to you my friend, and thanks for the smoke too – God knows I needed that!)

I won’t go much into the show’s technical details since everybody should know the set list by now. At one point Todd broke a string playing “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” but went right on ripping the solo part. And then, something totally unexpected happened. During the hauntingly beautiful Beloved Infidel, Alyn and I somehow found ourselves in each other’s arms, and before we realized what’d occurred… we fell in love!! It was for us a moment so magical no storybook could ever truly tell. If we ever make it to that happy day, my friends, this song we’ll play for our first dance. And that’s a promise. “Sing and shout it, tell the world about it! The truth is sweet! Yea…”

Afterwards we waited by the bus for what seemed like an eternity, and exchanged our personal adventures in Toddom with other die-hards (the newest one being Alyn, of course.) By the time OH came out I was literally dying for a beer, but it was well worth the wait. After all these years, this was my first time meeting Todd. Cool guy! Too bad our picture taken with him didn’t turn out well because the flash didn’t work. But that’s OK, there’ll be other times I’m sure. As long as he continues his musical journey, we’ll go wherever that road may lead us. Sing on, Todd. And God bless you, man!

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