That's what happened for me at the Asheville show. But let me start with the beginning. . .
The Orange Peel is a great place with good acoustics and a look-and-feel that comes from the '50's. . . it's got old, wooden floors, 'cause it was a roller-skating rink in it's heyday, and there's this HUGE overhead fan that must have a span of 16 feet and comprise 20 fan-blades, just lazy-susaning around over your head.
We ran into lots of old friends from other shows, many of whom had driven hundreds of miles to be at the last October-leg gig. The mood was celebratory, and the band fit right in.
From the top, it was the best performance yet - it is obvious that Jesse, Kasim, Prairie and Rachel are gellin', and Todd is simply phenomenal.
Last time I force-fed a Todd show to my friend Kevin it was the Liars tour at Cat's Cradle in Carrboro NC, and I caught him twice staring at the stage slack-jawed, but he wasn't able to remember it later. THIS night, the "shock and awe" of Arena simply pushed him past his inhibitions, and he was as animated as I've ever seen him at a live music show.
And I must tell you that the Second Mortgage Club event after the show is simply NOT to be missed! This is a quality time. Half-an-hour of conversations after the show, and then a short trip to a nearby restaurant, a leisurely dinner with a fully-engaged and conversational Todd. . . what's not to like?
This late on a Tuesday night in Asheville, there are few choices for a full kitchen, and no large tables in sight. So, Todd and the four MC2 folks commandeered their largest table (for 7), and after a few minutes Jesse and Rachel joined us. Kasim and Prairie sat in an adjacent booth, and we all ordered whatever our hearts desired.
I think we'd have partied all night (Todd is legendary for his late partying nights), but everyone in the band had early flights out in just a few hours, so we called it a success at about 1:30 and moseyed our ways back to our respective racks.
http://www.TR-i.com/thesecondmortgageclub for more information.