Todd at Nokia June 19th

Review by Mark Shallin (Switch to

For most of the last few weeks, since I got my tickets, I felt like Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters. Most of my friends are "non-believers" in Todd's earthy greatness, but when I got to the Nokia, like Dreyfuss's Roy Neary as he fought his way to Devil's Tower, I met the others like me and all it took was a knowing nod a smile. Thanks to my friend Mike for playing the Gillian role Saturday night. From the opening song to the last, I felt like I was where I was supposed to be. With others that knew. From the opening number to the last, I didnt just hear the songs, I actually felt them go through me. I had chills down my spine. and I couldn't stop smiling.

Hearing Todd again is coming is like hearing your distant cousin is coming through town for a night and you miss him so much, you have to go to see him to be "enlightened". It's spiritual. Sometimes he retells old stories that bring you back to a time and place, sometimes he dazzles you with new ones. Sometimes he travels alone, sometimes he brings some friends. Sometimes he'll bring his old friend Kasim along, sometimes he brings newer friends with him like Jesse and Prarie Prince. Now he has a new friend like Rachel to bring along. Great. If they are good enough for him, they are welcomed to the family. You've all read the set list and if you think those songs were good, it was better being there.

I have seen Todd a on almost very tour since my sister turned me on to him in '72. I have never had the honor of meeting him. Or shake his hand and tell him how much he's meant to me. Or bump into him before or after a gig. No autograph and I have not stalked him. I've Been to no ToddFests (Darn). I play all his songs (and concert dvd's) on the HD TV's in my Appliance and Big Screen store. It's the soundtrack of my life. I have bought everything he has ever put out (some in many formats). I have seen him from shore (NY) to shore (CA) and from Hall (Carnegie in '74) to Hall (Gruene '03). I have seen him break his strings and I have seen Kasim break his leg (The Sun in '2000). I have seen him with the 11 voice orchestra (LA '85), I have seen him alone forgetting the words (which made him nearly human) and I have seen him with the original Utopia, the new Utopia, (doing the 3 sided album in their shirts and ties on a Manhattan Pier), and no Utopia (Todd in '90 with the JV band). Say What? Say Yeah! How this man is not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is beyond belief. Speaking of "the Liars", what is he, Pete Rose? As we all know, this is no oldies act. This man still rocks. Just because he hasnt sold a zillion records about boy meets girl crap, (and his was incredible) doesnt mean he's not the smartest talented musician on the planet. He's got funk, he's got Philly,soul, he's got the blues, he's playful and personable and he'll dazzle you with some Gilbert and Sullivan, kill you with Beatles like stuff, play with Joe Jackson and Ethel (!!!) and 60's covers., He's a guitar god that makes your big toe stand straight up in your boot. You want songs about love (but not love songs), and ballads, he's the best. Solo? Check. With a Band? check. Different band? check. Band and no musical instuments. Incredicheck. Oh, did anybody mention he's also produced many an incredible (because of him?) musician and band. Ever hear of Meatloaf? If that CT softball playing Piece of Crap makes it before Todd, there is no justice in this world. Oh, and Video? He was at the front there too and still is. His songs are meaningful and sightful, humourous and poigniant. Gets right to the heart.

So that's my review of the concert...did I mention more than I liked it? last thing. Todd. If you are only going to do AWATS just one time (then Todd?) and not tour it, please record it on blue ray. I'll watch it a million times. I didnt send the postcard in and I still regret it. I did love the Arena show on HDTV. That looked and sounded great on 25 bigscreens at once while the store was busy. Lastly, Did you film Back to the Bars on the Live Coast to Coast Concert in '78? I'd love to see your full version. My last 8 track just ate the tape from the radio broadcast.

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6/19/2009 - Club Nokia - Los Angeles, CA

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