It was so painful to see Todd just phone it in, even for a diehard fan who generally enjoys the intimacy of the solo shows - flub-ups and all. The worst part for me was that I dragged friends along - people seriously into music but who had not seen Todd ever or at least not for many years. I feel I should give them their ticket money back because my man seriously let them down. Let all of us down.
The third set with Todd and Joe and Ethel was about the lone bright point from the Todd part of the night, and even that was less than stellar. Pretending To Care with the backing strings was very good, and Todd thankfully put in a strong vocal performance on that one. But broken strings, tepid vocal performances, and accidentally unplugged guitars seriously marred both the Gently Weeps cover and also what should have been a memorable Black Mariah with Joe Jackson and Ethel both contributing. Why Todd didn't wait to do Free, Male and 21 with Joe Jackson in the last set is beyond me, since the Up Against It revival benefit performance is what got the two of them together in the first place.
I know they're trying to squeeze an album out of this tour, but with the possible exception of Pretending To Care there was not a single number from Todd's part of the show last night worthy of listening to again. I had such high hopes for the show, and now I'm just thoroughly depressed.