Ram's Head, Annapolis Md 12/30

Review by Pipp (Switch to

I've had a ticket to this show since, like-- August. ( thanks, Jane and Mindy! )

Didn't know that between that time and now things would keep mushrooming until suddenly this cool little gig had morphed into a warm up for the Big NYE shindig up the road in Philly the next night.

Details from the penultimate show of 2008 might get slighted in the shadow of the New Year, but that would be a shame.

Anyone who hasn't seen a show on this historic stage in lovely Annapolis is missing out. If you've see any pix of the band onstage, you might think TR and Co. are playing a Moose lodge in Outer Darby, Jupiter

There were BIG holiday wreaths on the wall behind them, and an Anthony Newly-esque supper club feel with a stage almost big enough for a one man band (if that one man was Paul Williams).

Todd pronounces it the "snuggest stage we've played on this tour" and I think to myself that for just this one night maybe he should drop the "N" from Arena and just call the thing "AREA".

At one point Todd has to elaborately indicate to Jesse the rawk star MOVE he is about to execute so that things don't degrade into a total slam dance. Mindy and I decide that Jesse could use and ( probably HAS in his closet ) a Bright Orange Air Traffic Controller Jumpsuit and a flare or two to guide TR in like a 747.

Happily, No Guitar Geniuses were injured in the making of this maneuver.

Brothers and sisters, they BROUGHT IT.

I have read about the show being Too Loud but maybe I'm not yet Too Old. -The sound was great and balanced- I could hear backing vocals better than in most of the other (gulp) ten nights of this set list I've had the obsessive pleasure to have seen.

Kasim ( or: "Kuh-Zam"as one "longtime fan" called him after the show) really fills out the sound and makes it all feel just right. Prairie continually kills me with his pile driving theater. He manages to make it look like he's idly tapping his fingers on his grandma's kitchen table as he make pronounced but polite dents in your mushy cranium.

Jesse never stops stunning me with his tone and mad skills.

This guy is an organic quiet riot who writes for the most impressive guitar magazines around and is as unassuming as he is talented. A real life Skwisgaar Skwigelf .

And Rachel Haden--well--

she followed us home-Can We Keep Her?

The songs on this album are already some of my favorites of any of Todd's stuff from any era and I'm a picky bitch.

SO--- Let's do it again all next year, OK ,guys?

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12/30/2008 - Rams Head On Stage - Annapolis, MD

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