Coach House Review

Review by Guitar Whiskey (Switch to

The opening band was (I believe) Freeman who did a convincing job winning over the crowd. Very minimalist equipment; keyboardist and drummer on tiny digital drum kit and Paul Freeman on lead vocals and a nice looking Casino. Great vocals.

Todd and band hit the stage and started work firing on all cylinders. We sat directly in front of Rachel. I liked her stage presence and she seemed to connect well with Todd. Very capable in her position.

Onto the main reason I went to the show. Todd is still the man. I haven't seen him much in the last 10 years; only twice with the Cars. I've seen him a dozen times before beginning with Opps. Honestly I kind on lost interest in the No World Order and Liars direction. It's not that I ever thought he was no longer a great singer or musician, but couldn't connect with the musical direction. The anticipation for this show was that he would be redirecting himself in music I could relate to. Has he done it? Well the answer is I think so. I always reserve the right to make judgment until I've heard something several times. I remember every time a new Beatles album came out I thought it sounded odd. Later on I realized they were making continuous steps ahead and loved the adventure. I think Todd may be heading in the right direction. From where we were sitting the sound was very good but not great. This is the Coach House though; the ceiling is low and the room is definitely not ideal for loud music. Overall I left with a feeling that there has been valuable growth in Todd as a musician; once again.

Todd's singing was great and the man can still play guitar. His ability to sing and support complex chord work at the same time has always amazed me. I particularly loved Black Maria and Courage. Lunatic Fringe has got to go.

My wife and I were surrounded by very nice people that we met and the energy was as expected; very positive. Looking forward to Agoura and the new music once it becomes available.

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7/03/2008 - The Coach House - San Juan Capistrano, CA

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