Tempe review

Review by Pat Moreno (Switch to

Arizona fans made a pitiful showing at the Marquee Theater on July 11. I have no idea if the event was well promoted in the Phoenix area press. I live at the other end of the state and knew about the tour through this web site and Todd's MySpace page. Hopefully Todd will continue to grace Arizona fans with his talents on future tour. It would be great to see him play Tucson for a change. The Rialto always draws good crowds and the magnificent Fox Theatre is now restored and booking rock acts. We'll continue to drive the 250 miles to Phoenix to see Todd, but it would be great to see him in Southern Arizona, too. In perfect world, there would be TWO Arizona venues!

Those that did attend were well-behaved as usual perhaps with the exception of one over-enamored Jesse Gress fan who was a bit over the top in demonstrating his love. It was great to see parents bringing young children to their first Todd event, to meet new fans of who had “just discovered” Todd, and to run into other die-hards in aging Utopia T-shirts (all of us with the same big, goofy smiles to finally be together again!).

Todd's monster talents prevailed over and above anything else I have to say. The spirit was raw and dirty rock. Todd looks healthy and sings and plays hard and strong. Jesse, Prairie and Matt, and Rachel were “technically proficient” backup for Our Man even if not personally showcased. I assume that the tour will “un-shy” Rachel as she matures with the group. I am not sure that the crowd understood the significance of the toga-ed roadie but props to him for delivering a well-tuned Foamy!

Few technical glitches to speak of, just a broken guitar strap, one drum miscue, and a thrown water bottle that unfortunately boomeranged from the back of the stage dangerously close to the audience. The new material was all very accessible, catchy, and fun, but continues to run deep and true on the philosophical / political side. This collection should bring tons of positive critical attention to Todd. Maybe this gets us to Cleveland!

We also had the benefit of a well chosen array of oldies that supplemented the set list from his last appearance in Arizona. Face it, Todd could play all night and not make a dent.....

Next time, please come to Tucson, Todd!

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7/11/2008 - Marquee Theater - Tempe, AZ

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