What a gift to have Todd and the band back to the Bearsville Theater for the second time in six months. The show was fantastic, and standing right up front against the stage I was able to see all the inner workings of our favorite showmen. This time I knew all the Arena songs by heart and could savor every last drop of musical dexterity that Todd and the band could dish out. All the major guitar riffs, all the soaring harmonies, all the rich interplay that makes this the most satisfying Todd tour in years. Some of the rambling commentary poked fun at the movie Valkyrie "I'm sure after the show you'll all be getting out your overcoats and your beach chairs and getting in line for tickets to Valkyrie. Coming out on Christmas, and the lead actor's not even Christian? Does that make Hitler a Xenu, and Tom Cruise a Thetan?" And before Weakness, "Now we'd like to play a lullaby, one that you can play to your kids so they can get a few hours sleep on Christmas eve." The comment about still wiping off makeup from the previous night's Letterman Show appearance, then explaining how they wanted to teach the whole Letterman audience the fist pump to Strike, but were told no to do anything that would upset Dave. "yeah, like that leaves a lot of options" Then, after a smokin' version of Strike, Todd says in a sarcastic tone, "Are we getting Christmassy enough yet?"
Did Todd actually sing, at the beginning of Pissin', "I felt your neck on my breath hair"? I thought I saw Rachel look over and smile at that. I definitely saw her make a face at the line "now your dąck is in the mayonaise". How 'bout Kas, just before the high kicking part of "Couldn't I just Tell You" looking over at us and clearly saying, "I'm not doing this, it's so stupid". But with a smile, he got in line and did the rockette's thing. Water bottle lids were definitely flying back and forth between Prarie and Kas towards the end of the evening, and what part did Kas pinch on Rachel to make her jump during the final bow? I've come up with the idea the Todd's "Weakness" is his fans... us, and that is what keeps him going, writing these timeless songs and bringing his show to our town. When Todd introduced the band, I gave Rachel the "high pinky", and she reciprocated. She did a workman-like job with the bass guitar, even though she couldn't use her fret hand pinky. Somebody told me she smashed it in a window. I wish her speedy healing. Ah, Jesse, what can you say. His playing is so complimentary to Todd's, his solos are so acrobatic and he wrestles the densest wall of sound out of his guitars. And Prarie, hat pulled down low over his sunglasses, what a huge presence, his drums magnifying Arena without overwhelming. True professionals, the whole bunch.