Barcelona review

Review by Dave Stainton (Switch to

Before the gig review; a sad story. Myself and the missus got to the venue (an unpromising looking sports hall a couple of k's out of the city) some three hours before doors to see if the box office was open. It wasn't, and nor did it look like anything resembling a rock concert was taking place there that evening. Anyway, we did a circuit of the place and were just above the artist's entrance when we spotted the tour bus. Then I spotted Todd's guitar tech. "That's Todd's guitar tech!" I proclaimed confidently. "Er, isn't that Todd?" asked my wife (a non-Toddhead). And you know what gentle reader? She was only right. Before I could traverse the twenty steps down to meet and possibly be photographed with my hero, he'd disappeared into the bowels of the venue, leaving me banging my head and weeping softly as a security guard looked on, slightly frightened.

I got over the disappointment with a mountain of paella and a couple of beers, then we returned to find the box office open to collect my tickets, and a very polite tout. We opted to miss out Ethel (sorry guys) and had another beer, then entered the auditorium in time for Joe strolling on. Unfortunately, the venue was the darkest I've ever been in so we couldn't locate our seats, settling for two unoccupied seats near the back, which still afforded a good view. JJ performed another great set, highlights being "Different For Girls" and a poignant "Love At First Light", with possibly us two being the only ones to fully understand his explanation. He ended as ever, with "Is She Really Going Out With Him", chuckling over myself and somone else yelling out 'where?!' at the requisite time.

A twenty minute interval allowed us to find our correct seats and for me to await TR with mounting excitement. Eventually, he ambled out (in light green suit and lime green shirt fashion fans) and peeled into "Love Of The Common Man". I apologise for not having all the set list in my head as I didn't have any paper, and it's nearly been a week past but the next song was "I Don't Want To Tie You Down", a song I thought I'd never hear live. Then the inevitable lounge reading of "Saw The Light" before Todd declared "does anyone feel like rocking out?" and launched into "Black & White", a version so incendiary the Spanish guy next to Keris shouted out "Zat was EXCELLENT!" in such an excitable manner, we laughed about it all the rest of the trip. The piano section followed; "Song of the Viking", "HiM" and "Can We Still Be Friends", all excellent, although Todd chuckled as he hit a couple of bum notes during "Can we...". Then it was back to the guitar for: Beloved Infidel Tiny Demons You've Got Hide Your Love Away

before the ukelele ŒHawaian tribal chant' of "Bang The Drum..." which had the audience laughing. TR genuinely seemed to be enjoying himself and remarked that he'd doubled his audience since last appearing in Barcelona. He finished the set proper with "Lysistrata" before inviting Ethel back on for a hairs-on-neck-up version of "Pretending To Care" JJ came back on for his solo encore with Ethel, before all three acts came together for "Stood Up" (Brilliant) and "Got The Time" (frenetic - thought the violinist was going to saw through his instrument!). Then back on after the crowd stamped and clapped for more for "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and then they were gone, to a standing ovation.

A fantastic night, even my wife loved it and she doesn't overly like Todd, although she commented on how strong his voice was. If this is the future of Todd tours, I say bring them on, with Liverpool these were definitely the two best gigs I've been to in a long time. Most muchos of gracias as Todd would say!!

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07/04/2005 - Musical Theater - Barcelona, Spain

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