review for the 9/15/07 Bellingham show

Review by Tom (Switch to

Some random thoughts on the Bellingham concert:

Casinos are depressing places. Greed..desperation..smoke...headaches.

The show venue was actually just a large meeting room off the main gaming room - the kind of room where corporate events or meetings take place. Thankfully there's no smoking allowed in there.

I walked up to the front of the room before the show to have a look at the crowd. I was wondering if it was entirely made up of 50 somethings like was. A smattering of folks in their 60's too. We all wear that familiar look of anticipation...

8:00.Buffalo Grass..

Holy shit but Kaz and Prairie have got to be the best rhythm section ever. Solid, subtle, tight, finesse, it's all there. Do they even break a sweat?

How in the world does Jesse coax those sounds out of a guitar? Amazing textures and layers coming from a master guitarist. Another wizard in our midst.

Todd truly rocks. I know that's a cliché but there's really no other way to state it. This is the kind of rock that rattles the bone marrow.

The nice folks that sat next to me, Woody and Eileen, mentioned that Todd is 59. I guess the math works out, but I never ever would've guessed it from the way Todd rocked the place. They guy doesn't stop moving. Do his knees hurt? What an awesome voice.

Well rehearsed. Todd had total command.

Dynamic! These guys can play soft and HARD. Fast or slow.

Mammon, Fascist Christ..AMEN! (Loved the analog special effect of TR pinching his nostrils shut on "Come to the rescue".)

Number One Lowest Common Denominator. In a loose sort of way, this was one of the tightest performances of the night - a highlight. The band moved in and out of the layers of this song as one. Sometimes they would seem to totally drop meter only to eventually bring it back home on a crashing downbeat. They must even breathe the same. THIS BAND IS INCREDIBLE.

Hawking - Todd hangs it out there ALL THE WAY when he hits the a cappella opening line. He completely and indisputably nails it. Strong.pure.Breathtaking vocal performance. I think I was hypnotized. I think my wife was too. Hawking connected to my core.

They could have / should have done Death of R & R.

No opening act - who needs it when you have this band?

Done by 9:30. OK. I admit it. That's my normal bedtime.

Someone please put a finger nail clipper on their Christmas list for Todd.

To Kaz: Dump the Fender Tele bass. Cool retro look and all but its muddy sounding. Stick with that 5 banger - what ever brand it is. Much cleaner and punchier. Fits your awesome abilities way better.

Todd was totally on his game. Guitar, voice, moves, banter (thankfully kept to a minimum). I've seen him 5 times, going back to the '70's. He's lost no vitality or conviction at all.

Did the New Cars Tour inspire Todd to come out and rock us with this tour? If so, it was worth it for that. But probably for no other reason.excepting the need for a paycheck.

This tour is where Todd is supposed to be now - with an incredible rock band playing a sampling of his stunning repertoire.

Where will he take us next? I can't wait.

Go see this tour if you can.

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9/15/2007 - Silver Reef Casino - Bellingham, WA

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