Arena - Park West- Chicago, IL- 10-06-08

Review by Robert Henry (Switch to

For the cd to truly hit home, you have to experience it translated into a live show. I was fortunate to get my Arena disc in the mail right as we were leaving for the Park West, so we had it to check out on the trip in from South Bend. Nice timing. Hearing that start to finish and then seeing it executed live start to finish was inspiring. It put a new spin on the Arena project as a whole.

Todd was as focused and sharp as I've seen him in a long time. It was fantastic seeing him put his all into this show and at the top of his game. Rather than his voice kicking in a quarter into the show, it was strong from the start and throughout. His leads were always on, and no broken strings! I don't know if I ever seen him play with that kind of energy. The background vocals were perfect and mixed well with Kasim's voice peaking a bit out on the top. Rachel was solid and had a nice warm bass tone. Jesse was Jesse, incredibly tasteful and steady. The band as a whole is a tight bombastic machine.

Truthfully I wasn't really expecting to dig it as much as I did, but it's an amazingly great show. The new songs are all classic Todd, just in a heavier package. I did take my potty break on Lunatic Fringe though. Prior to, Todd made some type of mention of eventually tossing that tune aside or something. Well hell yes it's time! The only lull in an awesome performance.

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10/06/2008 - Park West - Chicago, IL

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