Review of Felix's Landing show in Spanish Fort, AL on May 8, 2007

Review by Paul Bellocq (Switch to

I first saw Todd back in December of 1972 with the original Utopia, and have been a fan since, through good and bad. I don't consider myself a fanatic, but I do try and catch as many of his shows as I can. My two friends are both fanatics, but it turns out one only likes his ballads, which I warned her ahead of time that he would not play. I was the one that convinced them that we should drive two hours on a week night to see him play out in the middle of Mobile Bay. This had all the makings of being a truly unforgetable show, or inspiration for Spinal Tap. With a name like Felix's Fish Camp, that would be easy to assume. Well, Todd must have been thinking Spinal Tap, because his T-shirt had a large volume knob cranked up to "11" (one louder). I have always loved Todd's sense of humor!

Well, we arrived with our folding chairs to an absolutely wonderful beach bar, complete with thick sandy floor, tiki torches, and cool breezes blowing off the water. This would have been absolutely ideal for his With A Twist tour. Many of us took off our shoes and went barefoot. The atmosphere was so laid back that we could sit down for our not-so-favorite songs, and then get within only a few feet away for our favorites. My friend who liked his ballads preferred Hawking, Tiny Demons, and I Saw The Light. I preferred Number One Lowest CD, Black And White, I Hate My Frickin' ISP, Slut, I Saw The Light, One World, and The Walls Came Down (by The Call). The lowest spots for my friend and I were the rapping Fascist C and the quasi-blues Mystified. My other fanatic friend stayed in the front the whole time and liked the whole show. For me this was far better than the No World Order tour, but quite a letdown from Abbey Road (nothing will ever top that night in 1972!!!). I had also psyched myself up over the past few weeks expecting this one to really rock, which it did not for me. In all fairness, I had just attended the New Orleans Jazz Fest two days before and was treated to a stellar lineup of five guitarists (Jimmy Robinson, Cranston Clements, Phil Degruy - aka Twangorama; and Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks playing for the Allman Brothers Band). I never got any goosebumps at Todd's show as I did at Jazz Fest. After literally seeing more than a thousand live shows in 35 years, I measure great shows with goosebumps. This one was just slightly above average for me, but I will always remember the atmosphere of Felix's more than the set list.

In hindsight, this tour struck me as Todd getting his bad boy side out of his system before going on tour with The New Cars. One fan sitting near us yelled, "Play something we know". I had to break the news to one lady that he would not play Carousel and to not bother asking for it. I had to tell my ballad-loving friend that he would not play Victory and don't ask for it. Many thought this was terrible, but I had to explain that this band only had time to rehearse this one set list, and that playing requests is not fair to the band.

Still in all, all of us love and respect him for doing what the heck he wants when the heck he wants. Anything else would not be Todd. We will continue to take road trips to see him.

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5/08/2007 - Mobile Civic Center - Mobile, AL

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