I was an hour late, due primarily to the insanity surrounding the security preparations for the Republican convention. . . they were stopping all trucks inbound to the city on I-95, and had reduced the inbound lanes to two. There was a 45-minute backup there, primarily because the truck inspection area was right next to the highway, and all the motorists were rubbernecking. I was so late I got a $115.00 parking ticket for parking in a city bus pull-out. Bottom line, I missed ALL of the "Ethel" set, a string quartet (violins, violas and a cello). I think I wish I had heard Ethel, because of the night's BIG FINISH.
The "BIG FINISH" as Ellen Degeneres says. . . It was SO BIG that the universe as we know it would rattle around inside this big finish. . .
Todd, Joe Jackson and Ethel performed two songs at the encore:
 While My Guitar Gently Weeps, with most of the lead guitar
parts played by violins and violas, and
 Black Maria, with Joe Jackson singing the harmony part and once again, many of the lead guitar parts taken over by the string ensemble.
WOW! A once-in-a-lifetime event!
I've always had lots of respect for Joe Jackson, and really love many of his hits, but had never seen him live until tonight. He was quite good, and had my tear ducts working on a couple of numbers, including:
"Will you be my number two. . . Me and number one are through."
OK, here's the deal with Todd's performance. . .
It was the best solo show I've ever seen him do. He's obviously been woodshedding with his keyboard, 'cause he nailed all the piano parts except the modulation on Hello It's Me.
His voice was in the best shape I've ever heard for a solo show, and the nuances in his vocal delivery were exceptional.
(starts on acoustic guitar with internal mic and processing)
Lysistrata I Don't Want To Tie You Down Love Of The Common Man"I'm feeling great tonight, this is a fine place we've gathered in, if feels like we have our own cult thing goin' on." (Someone shouts "Todd Is Godd" from the back of the audience) "Yeah, like that! Now, go out and slay lots of babies!" (3 second pause) "Wrong cult"
Cliche Black and White (moves to piano)_ It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference"Alright, who farted?" (in response to a jet flying over)
Viking Song Compassion (best solo performance I've ever heard him do)"LOUDER! LOUDER!" he shouts at the jets flying overhead.
Free, Male and 21
"JESUS!" he says about the jets. "There's two there, and there's one more over there!"
Hello It's Me (vocal and piano are quite well done until the modulation, then it falls apart badly)
(moves to ukulele, talks about the smallest ukulele ever, a gift from a fan, now it has a hole in the side of it, and all the wonderful roundness in the sound is gone)
Bang The Drum
"As I slip in to -- Irrelevance"
(back to guitar)
Hide Your Love Away Beloved Infidel Lunatic Fringe One World(Ethel and Joe Jackson return, Joe on piano, Todd on guitar)
While My guitar Gently Weeps Black Maria (AS YOU'VE NEVER HEARD IT BEFORE!)A Sparkling 68 degree night under clear skies in a beautiful outdoor amphitheatre. I am SO GLAD I went!