HOB Dallas 7/20/2008

Review by Chuck Williamson (Switch to

Well, this show satisfied my expectations, and then some. It's been a long, long time since I saw a Todd concert that featured a lot of new music (like the early days of Utopia), and I was up for it. I hadn't been to HOB before, and it's a pretty decent venue. The mix, at least from my balcony seat, was a little muddy. Too much bass guitar and Jesse's volume was a little low at times. Overall, though, it sounded great, and Todd's voice was in good shape once he shook off the cobwebs and mucus.

Todd had a fair amount of witty banter, and managed to one-up his amplifier spills by falling off the stage. It didn't slow him down a bit (other than getting back up there), but he was a little wary about spinning around and jumping near the edge after that. I've noticed in recent photos that Matt has moved to Prairie's right, and it has freed him up to get out and stomp around with the boys when playing guitar. He was fun to watch... obviously having a blast. Also, it was commented on in the forums and I saw it in recent photos: Rachel has turned blond. I guess that means, as insinuated in the Clairol commercials of the 60s and 70s, that she is indeed having more fun!

A few people left when it was time for the Arena tunes, but that was their loss. They probably needed to get home in time to watch one of those PBS shows shown during pledge drives, with all the aging classic rock acts performing their two hits songs before a respectful geriatric audience. As Todd said, be sure and tell all your friends tomorrow who weren't here that they missed it: "RUB IT IN!"

Arena highlights for me, in addition to the usually mentioned songs, were Afraid and Bardo. Bardo, as has been said, was a little Bridge of Sighs-ey, but holy mackerel, his solos in it gave me chills. His guitar playing is better than I've heard it in decades, and no broken strings tonight, either. Foamy appears to have a large gouge at the end of the body. that may have been there a while but I hadn't noticed it before.

As long as you like to be challenged by Todd doing something different (and if you don't, why are you still here?), don't miss this tour!

I'm eagerly awaited the album and hopefully, DVD releases.

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7/20/2008 - House of Blues - Dallas - Dallas, TX

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