The venue was the venerable Allen Theater in Cleveland's Playhouse Square. I've seen this show in dingier theaters which seemed more appropriate for this stripped down tour. I thought The Allen may be a bit too sterile for a rock show like this but I was wrong. The band or fans didn't let the classic nature of the venue stand in the way of an awesome show.
Killer show right from the start. It was obvious that Todd was in great spirits and pumped for this show. Clad in his tight leather pants, a Spinal Tap pair of socks (at least I hope so. if not, Todd may have a future in porno if you know what I mean) and bulls-eye t-shirt, Todd and the boys worked their way through the same set list as we've seen throughout these mini-tours including the sporadically played "Trapped." Being the first show of this leg, I expected some rustiness but didn't see much at all. This was Prairie's first show on this tour but the transition was seamless. A solid, workmanlike performance from him. Kas was having a lot of fun too. He was flinging guitar picks at us all night. It became a game after a while. Jesse's "interior decorating" was spot-on as usual.
About a 3rd of the way into the show, Todd commented about making it this far without having any requests yelled out to him. He inadvertently opened a door by saying that. The requests started flying at that point. Todd chuckled at one fans "Seven Rays" request. The banter to and with the crowd was light and fun all night including the obligatory reference to Cleveland (or "the land of cleves" as he put it) as Todd's real musical home. It's great that Todd recognizes and appreciates this town's endearing love for him.
The show rocked hard all night. Todd's solos soured and you could tell by his facial expressions that he was putting everything he had into it. Lots of scissor kicks and spins too. I hope I can rock that hard when I'm 60. All the songs were great but if there was a highlight for me, it was "Trapped" during the encore. I think Kas had been waiting to play that song all night and gave it everything he had when it was his turn. The lead vocal trades between Todd and Kas gave me goose bumps.
I could go on and on about how great this show was. I think most fans understand that this is a must-see tour. With only a couple weeks of scheduled dates left, all we can do is hope for yet another leg. If not, I can walk away from this tour feeling completely satisfied. I don't know if there's anything that can top the bands performance last night.