Ann Arbor concert

Review by Heidi Salter-Ferris (Switch to

I came to this concert as a fan of Todd's older work. I am not a musician or a connoisseur of music - just an average listener who knows what I like.

I will start with the good part of this concert. Todd's voice can be beautifully haunting. The first song he sang after the encore (Pretending to Care) was one of the best I have ever heard in concert.

The frustration with this concert for me is that there was this extremely high peak of brilliance, but it was fleeting. Other songs he sang sounded muted - I couldn't understand the words. This did not appear to me to be due to technical glitches because I could hear them on select few other songs. He did not connect very well with the audience in my opinion. He made mistakes that should have been ironed out by now.

Many in the audience came to hear old favorites, such as "Hello It's Me" and "I Saw the Light", and it almost appeared as if he was punishing the audience by purposely putting such a different spin on these songs so the audience could not follow/sing along with them. As James Taylor once wrote, the audience pays good money to hear "Fire and Rain". Many in Todd's audience paid good money to hear these songs the way they grew up hearing them, and he made them somewhat unrecognizable. Often artists will add slight variations to old songs when sung in concert just for interest, but this was much more than that.

Other reviews have described the Ann Arbor audience as polite. I clapped politely, but would have been hand hammering if I was inspired to be. I was inspired, along with others, after "Pretending to Care". Listen to a tape of this concert and I believe you will hear much greater audience appreciation for this song in the applause. You will hear polite clapping after others. "Pretending to Care" is what the entire concert should strive to be.

I thought Joe Jackson had a much better connection with the audience, and seemed like he was enjoying himself more on stage. I enjoyed his entire set. Even the old 1913 song was interesting to me in that it proved that no matter what era Joe Jackson would have been born in, he would have been a musician.

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05/04/2005 - Michigan Theater - Ann Arbor, MI

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