Detroit 7/3/09 Review

Review by Roger Steel (Switch to

During my drive from the Cleveland area, I couldn't help but wonder if this was the last Arena show I'll see. Having seen the 3rd ever and possibly the 2nd to last (and a handful of others scattered between) shows, I thought back to all of the great moments this tour has brought. From the dingy clubs to the classy theaters, this tour ranks and one of my favorites.

Comerica Cityfest is a "taste-of..." event with vendors lining the street, various activities and of course bands. The main stage area was essentially a parking lot that was shared by a skate park. Todd and the band came on at about 9:15. They tore through the standard set with a glaring omission of "Mountaintop." I'm guessing they had a curfew because the show ended at 11:00 on the nose without it.

Todd commented several times about being happy to be in downtown Detroit vs. all of the shows he's done in "the burbs" as he said. He graciously explained songs to the audience with the assumption no one had heard them before. He started "Courage" by stating something about it being easier to pallet than the others. Todd also jabbed himself a bit by calling out the fact that there's no merch and you'd probably have to go to eBay to buy the disc. Ouch.

Stand-out tunes included "Strike" and "Today." Todd referenced the issues that the Detroit area has been facing and even suggested an alternative meaning of "Strike" in their case. The message must have resonated with this crowd because all you could see during the song was a sea of fists. Very cool. During "Today", Todd pointed towards the GM Building during the "in the board rooms" line, and to the street in the "in the backstreets" line. A very appropriate reference.

This was a stand-out show for me. It was by far the most arena-like venue I've seen this tour in which really drove the songs home. It's also clear that Todd has a great connection with mid-west fans. Outside of a few kooky stragglers you'd expect at a free show, the crowd was big, loud and proud. They may or may not have known the songs but were completely into it nonetheless. Thanks to Todd and the band for an incredible tour. I'll see most of the band in September in Akron but am sad this this might have been my last last Rachel sighting. She came a long way from a timid little thing a year ago to a charismatic hottie now. I hope Todd can figure a way to work her into future line-ups. Anyway, thanks to Detroit Rock City for a great show. See ya in Akron.

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7/03/2009 - Comerica Cityfest - Detroit, MI

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