For people who weren’t there I’ll recap what I can.
We (my wife, who as Kasim put it, is a fan by proxy being married to me) stayed at a really nice hotel along with everyone else. Radison Warwick on Locust Street in Philadelphia. As soon as we pulled up to valet park, Kasim was on the front steps either waiting for his ride or his car, not sure. I of course accosted him – feel bad now but was excited to see him. He was very friendly. After checking in, we went to the Silk City Diner for the Private Dinner at 6:30. Must have been about 50 people, not sure. Got to meet a lot of “Toddstockers” and other new face book friends. Really cool place, nice private room with lots of neon. A poorly located/lit step up to the Bar that everyone tripped over all night made it a little more adventurous. Stewkey was there for a bit, I didn’t really get a chance to do more than say hi. A couple of Belvedere on the Rocks with Dinner and the night was off to a great start. Got a ride from the Diner to Painted Bride – (thanks to George and Susan for the Ride) no cab necessary. Very cool place, photo gallery in front, separate reception room and a theatre that sat about 250 people. Got to meet even more people as we waited for the festivities to begin.
At about 9, we went into the theatre for the wedding of Jody and Richard. That was a lot of fun, I’m sure there are pictures posted everywhere. There were really nice invitations given out. Prairie and Rachel officiated (Prairie spoke in Italian and Rachel translated).. Richard was dressed as a tin soldier and Jody was kind of in peacock colors with a train made up of quilted Todd Album covers. They exchanged vows with all kinds of TR song references, and then Kasim sang love alone into a hand held mike – his mike at the keyboard wasn’t turned on so Prairie held one for him.
Back out to the reception room and the Bar was opened (self serve worked fine for me) and more meeting and mingling. Not sure what time it was when we went back in for the show but everyone was ready to have a great party. Our seats were 7th of 9 rows back, we ditched the seats after a while. The band came out, Todd joked a bunch and was really ready to have fun with everyone. They changed the set for the occasion:
Opened with Couldn’t I just tell you for a change then did the next few in order as they had throughout the tour
Love in Action
Walls Came Down
Open My Eyes – let the dancing begin
Then Kasim took Bass and instead of Lunatic Fringe they played Black and White – sooooooo hot.. Rachel played Tambourine.
I Saw the light
My Wife and I left our seats way behind and stood in front of Kasim and Rachel for the rest of the night.
Then Arena started front to back but they skipped Mercenary - I was out getting a martini refill during “Afraid” and ran into Doug who said “I gotta get in there they’re about to play Mercenary” and they skipped it as we got back in. Oh well.
At about 11:55 Todd started his “Auld Lang Syne” or however you spell it and had a ton of fun with it. The countdown to midnight ran right into “Today” which, both NYE and the Friday before at the Blender in NYC, was my favorite during the shows. During the synth sequence Todd passed champagne around to the band and spilled some on Prairies drums. The Manager at the Venue started filling everyone’s champagne glasses, multiple times.
They finished the Arena set, went off and came back and did “Hello It’s me” and JOV. I don’t think Todd was thrilled with the version of HIM, he even said “well we are better than a cover band” during it, but it was still tons of fun.
As the show ended, back out to the reception room for Dominos Pizza and more drinks. More people to meet, commiserate with, party with. Got to talk to Kasim for a while, got my live in Atlanta DVD autographed, talked to Jessie a while and took some fun pictures. I was waiting for Todd and then about 2ish I saw my wife sitting on a seat sleeping with her head on a counter top and figured that I had enough fun for both of us and should take her home. I’m not sure he ever came out, but I hear that some folks went to get something to eat with him really late.
The cab ride back to the hotel, or the 14 block walk in 0 degree weather before we could even hail a cab, didn’t come close to putting a damper on the evening. It was a total blast. Got home, framed my poster from the event and put it up on my home office wall. I’ve just about calmed down from 2 great shows in one week and a great NYE party. Great to meet and ring in 2009 so many fans.
PUBLIC APOLOGY TO THE WOMAN I SPILLED MY ENTIRE GLASS OF CHAMPAGNE ON during my dancing to Today. I felt pretty bad.