San Diego Show Review

Review by Steve Krane (Switch to

It was the first full moon night of the tour and it was guuuhhh..uuuhhhd. The band was much more confident, relaxed, and well... good than they were in San Juan Capistrano. Todd's voice was on and the overall sound quality at the venue was much better. The crowd was a little bit younger which was nice to see. It wasn't sold out (marketing... is there any?) and I would guess about 500 of us were there. It was nice to see some younger people with the Class of '75. There would be a large audience of younger people for the Arena music if they knew about it. And, there's just something better, for me, about the San Diego vibe than OC, but, still it was not as aromatic as concerts used to be. Todd seemed to be in really good spirits. I know he's "mad", but its good to see such a deserving soul enjoy what he's doing. Overall, if the SD show was a 9.7, the SJC show was a 7.5. There were a couple of guitar flubs by Todd which he (and I) laughed off - nothing to take away from the song. Overall Todd's guitar playing was excellent. Jesse's playing was very good also, but jeez could we have a little less treble. I like Stratocasters but I'm not a big fan of the tone of Jesse's guitar, it lacks the tubular? quality that mellows out the trebly attack. Prairie was great and Rachel was pounding out the bass with precision. The endings of the songs were more polished this time. At SJC, some of the songs would just sort of stop. Todd had a master foot switch to cut audio and he would just cut it off. The set list was the same. Black Maria was about as good as I've ever heard it played. Todd even played I saw the Light like he meant it.

The new material is, like all other Todd albums, not like any other Todd album. There are familiar elements. I don't know much about music theory but Todd's music, the new album included, always has pleasant surprises - the note you guessed you were going to hear doesn't come but a much better one does. This album I have been wanting him to make for, oh, about 30 years. I like the range of stuff he has done but always wanted to hear a full-bore rock and roll LP from him. Now we have it. Whatever qualities Todd may have lost from his youth (we've all lost something), he has more than replaced with professionalism. It was a great experience. I can't wait to buy the bits.

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7/17/2008 - House of Blues - San Diego - San Diego, CA

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