There was no opening act, so the band hit the stage right at 8:00. It was a bit unfair, having Terry Z in the front row, cause, at the aforementioned seven foot mark, it made for a difficult sight line from behind him. We all had to stand anyway, cause the “dance floor” area filled up quickly. The band (Jesse Gress on guitar, Kasim Sulton on bass, Prairie Prince on drums) started with “Buffalo Grass” and didn’t let up for over an hour and a half.
Jesse coaxed some wonderfully intricate sounds from his guitar all night long. In the shadows, off to one side, he pulled the sweet sounds from his instrument effortlessly. His and Kasim’s backing vocals were tight, understated and dead spot on. It bears noting that the rhythm section of Kasim and Prairie is nothing short of amazing. Their interplay layered a background that Todd ate up.
Todd had a great rapport with the audience. He joked about our wireless city after his rant song, “I Hate My Friggin ISP”. He worried about offending anyone’s religious beliefs before “Mammon, Fascist Christ”. He cautioned parents to take their kids out of the hall before “Slut”. Told a great story about being in the middle of a bill including 38 Special and Ted Nugent (“. . . apparently, Ted thinks he and I are the best of friends”). But the banter didn’t slow down the rock.
Personal favorites tonight:
“Hawking” – Todd kicked it up a notch for this one. “Tiny Demons” – Always one of my favorite T.R. tunes. “Black & White” - Killer when done right (tonight it WAS) “Mammon, Fascist Christ” - Todd did a great vocal effect by pinching his nose.Now, I know we are no longer the spring chickens we once were, but Todd is fifty nine! He rocked for every minute of this show. He hit high notes, bent strings like the pro that he is and worked the front of the stage with guitar licks as sharp as a razor. This band flat out RAWKS ! A case could be made that touring with The New Cars revitalized Todd, bringing out the rocker again. They played the obligatory hit single, “I Saw The Light” about mid set (they DIDN’T play “Bang the Drum” to my chagrin) and opened up on a few blusier tunes. If you missed this one, you missed a good one, trust me.