I have just had the best experience of my life folks.........well........maybe not the best experience of my life........but definately one of the best, one where I doubt this one can be topped. We arrived a bit early about an hour before the doors would open. Based on previous experiences and from what I gathered from other reports here on this website, I figured it would be a good idea to show up early and possibly bump into one of the members of the band...........and sure enough as we got off of the elevator from the garage and headed down the hallway into the venue.........here comes good ole Kasim Sulton. The calculations so far have not been disappointing. As it was, there were five of us attending the show. Me, my two sons, and two of my best friends were ready for a great time. It was still too early to get inside beyond the hallway entrance so we went outside to the courtyard. My eldest son vanished on me and we found him in the Ram's Head bar. I stood outside the bar and chatted with another Toddhead for a short while and then my son pokes his head out of the door of the bar and tells me to come on inside before they lock me out. So I quickly entered the bar and it was explained to me that this was the "Rock Star Entrance"........Hmmmmm..........I heard that they had this but I had thought there was a premium to pay for such a privelege. Lo and behold, there was Michelle Rundgren sitting in a booth with some others (probably crew) and I looked around and could see that the bar is actually IN the venue and only a dark curtain separates the bar from the stage area. Not bad at all....... hehehehe.......I am liking this alot at this point.......before we knew it, they drew the curtain back and we don't have to wait in any line to get in............this is nice. For this show it was my intention to place myself right up against the stage........closer than I had ever been before..........and by golly the mission was accomplished. I stood directly in front of Rachel Haden's pedals...........and what is not to like about that? I was told that the second floor of the venue would be closed...........which indicated to me that it could be a small crowd attending. Ticket sales probably wasn't happening for this show. I must admit I was a bit worried that Todd was gonna have to come out and perform for about 50 people or so, but as time passed by, the first floor quickly filled up as far as I could tell. No, it was not a sellout, but a decent crowd considering it is a Tuesday night, rainy weather, chilly, and minimal promotion.
What can I say? Todd and gang came out and blew us all away into a whole 'nother world. I saw this show in Austin during the first leg of the tour.....and while that was great, this show was over the top. I am not gonna nitpick and report stuff about any flubs, missed notes, chords, or whatever. I simply can report that the band is tight, the songs are awesome, and the hair on my arms and back were standing on end. I was totally blown away. Totally. I read the set list and was expecting to hear "Couldn't I Just Tell You" as the first encore song and Todd and the gang threw us a curve and dished out a fantastic rendition of Love Of A Common Man...........wow! The show ended with Just One Victory and I gotta tell you........it just......doesn't .......get......any.....better......than.....this! Loud?........damn right it was loud....and rightly so. I wouldn't have it any other way. I have read reports that Kasim had appeared unhappy onstage..........let me clear this up for everyone...........Kasim is a darned capable guitarist, excellent vocalist, and a decent keyboard player. He may be known for his bass mastery, but he is as dedicated and serious about everything he does onstage............that's the impression I got. It was obvious to me that Kasim, not unlike Rachel, on this tour, are concentrating on the music. This music ain't all that easy to perform.
The icing on the cake was after the show. Part of my plan was to hopefully encounter the band as they exited the venue. The plan worked. We found the particular door and waited and.....sure enough......mission was accomplished. I finally got to actually meet and shake hands with Todd and Kasim. I thanked Todd for the music of my life and actually chatted with him for a bit. He gladly signed autographs and posed for a picture or two, as did Kasim. I will write some more about this encounter on my blog www.endoftheworld-signtopia.blogspot.com. This was a great show and everything went according to plan.............Thanks Todd!