Only knowing JJ's hits from the radio, I must say he completely blew me away. His voice was crystal clear and his performance on the piano, except for a couple stumbles(which he humorlessly got through), was very impressive. He seemed to really be enjoying himself and I loved it when he stopped and gazed at the "gorgeous" backdrop of stars behind him! The guy had a blinding white spotlight on him the whole time,and at one point said how he couldn't see us. The house lights came on, and everyone rose to their feet clapping for him. I thought it was a nice moment, and one he seemed to really dig.
After the intermission, OH took the stage. He looked real good! and sounded real good (though not great ). I have never seen a TR solo show live before, but during the encore, I immediately noticed something. I thought his voice came alive when he no longer was playing an instrument. I think Todd has said that given the choice, he would rather perform with a band, as opposed to a solo performance so he can concentrate on his singing. I have to agree with his statement. He writes beautiful music & lyrics, but it's always been his voice and the passion in that voice that moves me. Did one of the reviews say that Todd was recovering from a cold or something? I'm wondering if that was why his voice sounded so grovelly in the first couple songs. On the other hand, I thought his guitar and piano performances were flawless, unlike what I've read about other shows from this tour. I heard that in NJ, he barely made it through (or did he make it at all?) Song of the Viking, but he nailed it last night. Awesome.
I Saw the Light (the nice"Twisted" version)
Hello It's Me (real nice - thought I would NEVER hear that whole song live!)
Afterlife (an absolutely beautiful song from LIARS)
Pretending to Care (where's a tissue when you need one?)
I was bummed that we missed out on a couple songs. Ethel took the stage 15 mins. late, so that may have been why they gave Todd the 'ole cutoff cue. The accoustics were excellent, though awefully loud at times. I think Todd even made a little "public service announcement" at one of these shows about "saving our ears". Though my friend dissagrees with me, I still think Ethel was a bit overpowering on WMGGW. I would have liked to have heard a more balanced mix between them and Todd, but still think it sounded great. And Black Maria, was truly awesome.
Because I live near Foxwoods, my friend and I got there around 12:30 that afternoon, hoping to "hang out" and maybe catch Todd wandering about before the show. I wasn't sure if there would be a meet & greet. The place is so big though, that it seemed a near impossible hope. As luck would turn out, we could have waited till 8:00!. While many people were already in line, my friend and I decided to sit and wait to go in. All of a sudden we spotted Todd walking by right in front of us. I don't think anyone even noticed him - he seemed like he was in a hurry. I got his attention and tried to catch a quick "Todd Hancock" for my recipe in the Cookbook, but he was a man on a mission, and running late, I think. That's Todd, last 2 times I've seen him, running somewhere! I'm happy, though, that I at least got that close to meeting him again,and maybe next time, I'll get that book signed yet!
All in all, it was a great show. Todd seemed to be in a great mood and playful with his comments and humor. This tour seems like an unusual melding of talent, but it really seems to work. Ever true to his form ,Todd is trying something new (and "expanding himself culturally on this tour" I think he said last night?!), I highly recommend this show to anyone who can catch it!