This is my second time to see the band on the Arena tour. Todd was amazing, right on every note, guitar and voice. Of course, Todd is almost always amazing, that's why we're there. Prairie is always rock solid, I wonder how Utopia would have been with him on drums. Jesse complements Todd's guitar while also bringing his own unique style. Jesse is a true rock guitar hero on his own, and unpretentious and ready for a quick conversation. Matt plays with a lot of enthusiasm and added much appreciated guitar and keyboards. Rachel really rocks on bass, backing vocals, and... when she smiles... sunshine.
The band was terrific, tight, sounded great together. 'Arena' is terrific to listen to from the first time on. There was an opening act, although they played fine, it was not fully appreciated because we had to wait an extra hour for them to play to be able to hear Todd. Not a good idea.
All of the other recent Todd shows I've been to (7 since 2004) had the crowd up to the stage, rockin' and movin'. Except for one person who got up during one song, we stayed at our tables and chairs (unfortunately, me included), twelve feet or more from the stage due to serving staff, until the very end, when I could take it no more. In Rochester the place was packed and rockin' up close, and it was more like a party with the band. All of the other pictures online here seem to be the same way. The crowd was appreciative, and I suppose it gave everybody better sight lines, but a little too "well mannered". I want the band to get as much energy back from me as I get from them, intense and up close.
The opening act said that when he met Todd before the show (don't know if it's true or not), he asked Todd for advice. Todd said he doesn't give advice, but on your death bed, you will achieve true transcendance. Guess then that we're lucky - some of us get that flash of transcendance earlier and more often, at a True Star, a Todd concert.
Thanks Todd... and Jesse, Prairie, Rachel, and Matt.. hope you're back and rocking this way again soon!