Todd/Joe Jackson - The Beacon NY, NY 4/27/05

Review by Frank Caponegro (Switch to

Excellent show last night. Joe Jackson was amazing. Very polished, no flaws - very British. Which made me start thinking about what we love about Todd. My friend George said Joe was so smooth because he started out humbly playing the piano bars night after night. Todd grew up a wunderkind - the shy genius, who was outwardly cocky and could get away on his sheer talent. The Todd we worship 30 years later is a self-deprecating, still flawed genius - which leads back to the differences between the nations. Todd's perfomances personifies the American way of life: we can see the depths of poor enactment and preparation, or we can witness an epiphany of talented greatness. He's part of who we are, this cult of personality - through the good and bad. Todd's portion of the evening was pretty dead on. No broken strings, few flubs, even an excellent Viking Song. A nice haunting Tiny Demons. TR was really setting up the audience for some dangerous piano playing, but it didn't come to pass - even a rousing Hello It's Me. Todd was pretty upbeat actually, and said he wanted to save his most "loopy" performance for NY. But interestingly enough, TR seems to really "lock in" when he's doing someone else's materal or playing with others. His version of "Hide Your Love Away" was as soulful as has ever come out of a Beatle's mouth. Todd's encore, "Pretending To Care", backed by the strings of Ethel. was as touching and meaningful, as I've ever heard him. And the true selflessness came on the first 3 way encore. Todd's guitar on "While My Guitar..." wasn't working. It didn't seem to be even live at all. If Todd was solo, he would've stopped, ranted, restarted 3 or 4 times and mocked himself. But here, for the good of those on stage and in the audience, he sacrificed what I've witnessed as one of his great command solos, and let Joe's piano and Ethel's strings bring home a great version nonetheless. It's too bad the crowd from Melbourne, FL couldn't have come up fo this one.

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04/27/2005 - Beacon Theater - New York, NY

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