The Foxwoods Performance Space is among the best environments in which I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing Todd in his many and myriad forms. This is The New Cars show #5 for me, and I was REALLY UP for it!
With memories of Todd and Joe floating in my head (T&J did a show here during that tour), I took three friends to the The New Cars show at Foxwoods on Friday night: a radio station programmer, another radio station engineer (I'm one, too) and a sound engineer in the motion picture industry. It was my goal to change their lives just a little bit. One of the guys put a dollar in a nickel slot machine and won $600.00.
We greased the appropriate maître d' palm with a paltry sum of shekels for four seats and got second row, directly in front of and between Kasim and Todd, and awaited epiphany. There were two really nice 3-way speaker cabinets on the lip of the stage directly in front of us, and we got a great mix all night.
We were close enough to see the individual fibers of Persephone's Bees' lead singer Angelina Moysov's pantyhose. Interesting songs, interestingly arranged and nicely performed about sums it up. Guitarist and bassist were both quite facile with their instruments. I didn't get much emotion, but that may be my problem. . . once again, when you're all keyed up for a TR explosion, everything else is merely foreplay. Near the end of their set, however, the bass player and the guitarist swapped instruments and sides of the stage, and each showed remarkable fluency with the other's instruments. One of my friends, who was married for a time to a beautiful Russian woman, shouted things at Angelina several times between songs and got a couple of smiles and cute comebacks.
Then came the main course. Excellent sound, excellent view, excellent performance, full audience participation. Same song list as the other Winter shows. Dancing in the aisles was a common occurrence, and the 3/4 full venue nearly came apart at the seams. The new songs "Warm" and "More" were received well, although not as enthusiastically as we might have hoped. They still don't have the guitar swell in the stop-down just before the final chorus of "More" working right, and I'd have liked TR's vocal just a little louder but other than that it's great.
There was a problem at the beginning of Black Maria, when the wireless guitar transmitter was malfing. The song began, and Todd got absolutely nothing out of the thing, tried and failed to get a stage tech's attention, then tried to go on, and finally just stopped everything and in a sardonic tone of voice said something like, "I just can't go on. . . I need to play some screaming guitar leads now." So, they took about 60 secs and pulled the wireless off another guitar to get going.
The place may not have been full, but the attendees were completely absorbed. Later in the show, Elliot was very complimentary to the audience, and it was obvious that the fellas were having a great time.
It became so intense at a couple of points that I think I shredded my clothing. Anyway, there are holes in the legs of my jeans that weren't there before. The guys I had with me were totally mesmerized. Slack- jawed. I've seen this kinda thing before when I've force-fed TR shows to unsuspecting friends, and I knew it would happen with these three, but it's still gratifying to see it again. They can't contain it all, and after it's over they have a dim memory of various orgasmic explosions just beyond arm's length, and feel like they've skimmed the surface of a very deep experience. I think that's what epiphany is all about -- "A sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something" clearly applies to this show.
But then, that's why I'm doing seven of these TNC shows. I'm freekin' 59 now, and I want all the candy I can get. TR with the new cars is the finest candy in the universe.
Two more to go. I think my head's about to explode.
==== personal junk, tune out now if you're easily offended ====
I can only attend this many shows by forcing my work schedule to fit around TR's tour schedule. After the Penn's Peak show, I continued on a grueling trip that included eleven flights in six days, only 3 or 4 hours of sleep at odd moments, a couple of in-the-air naps, an unexpected return trip to a city I'd just left, being called 'McGyver' more than once, and lots of TR-style Gibsons to keep me sane -- Wait, that'd be state more accurately stated as 'keeping me from becoming too insane to function'. By the time I got back into seats in front of a TNC stage, I was FREEKIN' READY FOR IT!! So excuse me if I think this line-up of musicians, playing this catalog of material, is about the best thing on stage right now.
So-o-o. . . WHERE IS THE REST OF THE WORLD? WTF is wrong with these promoters that they book a show and DON'T TELL ANYONE ABOUT IT, and then wait in vain for the crowds to appear? Didn't anyone ever tell these folks that "promoter" means, "One who promotes, especially an active supporter or advocate. A financial and publicity organizer, as of a boxing match or an artistic performance" (thanks again, "Answers.com"). Some of these folks couldn't promote their way out of a wet paper sack (every now and again, I like to include a cliché, as a tip of my hat to yet another TR song I love). I think you have to actively DO something to promote. . . like hold a sign by the side of the road, or make ten thousand phone calls, or shout from the rooftops, or stand on a wooden crate on a streetcorner with a bullhorn, or FREEKIN' BUY SOME TODD-DAMNED ADVERTISING!! People can't attend an event they know nothing about. LAZY FAT BASTARDS! DO YOUR JOB!! Spend a little of your projected profits on GETTING THE WORD OUT and you MIGHT just MAKE MORE MONEY!! Hell, even _I_ could do a better job.
Are you getting the fact that I'm P*SS*D *FF about the Maine show being cancelled?