This being my 4th Arena show, the setlist was pretty much burned into my brain. With a month's hiatus and R&R for the band, they appeared as fresh & crisp as the Thai beef salad I ordered. The oldies & covers were executed nicely without broken strings, flubs or glitches. The left leaning Seattle crowd really REALLY enjoyed Todd's election year satire. We all shared his joy as he triumphantly announced that ARENA is already in the top 20 best selling albums on Amazon,"but that could very well go the same way as the Stock Market" Todd joked.
Mad, was played with such emotion & authority, our table was literally rocking.
Afraid, with it's message of redirecting meaningless suffering to more constructive ends is something we should all consider incorporating into our lives.
Mercenary & Gun, point out so clearly the grim & unintended consequences of misguided leaders and the sheep who follow them. Courage, (of my convictions) with it's rays of light & hope gives balance to all the above wake up call tunes. Weakness, was sung more sweetly than previous renditions. Rested vocal chords made a huge difference.
Here's my lone gripe, but it's nobody's fault really. Strike & Mountaintop are fist pumping, sky reaching, audience participating songs. However, the dinner club set up made dancing impossible. So to improvise, I had to kneel high in my booth to flail the arms. After all, I am a slave to the rhythm.
My greatest joy of all was that the couple sitting with me hadn't seen TR for 20 and were total ARENA virgins. When the band kicked in the tachyon thrusters at warp 9 during Manup, I'm surprised they didn't start dancing on the table top! I wanted to dance so badly, that I was almost crawling out of my skin. Afterwards, they told me that the old stuff was great, yet they preferred the ARENA songs in a big way. Their minds were WIDE OPEN!
Not sure whether it was the mastery of the music, the month off or if adding Kasim to the mix was the MAGICAL X FACTOR, but they got some serious momentum going on now to power through the rest of the tour.