This was perhaps the 15th time I’ve seen Mr. R live, and as usual he didn’t disappoint. From a vocal perspective he started slowly in order to allow his voice to get warmed up, but it didn’t take long for him to really get going. It was great to hear “Black and White” and “Black Maria” again live, and the song “Trapped” just kicked ass. I must say that Kasim Sultan’s voice is just tremendous, both as a lead vocalist and when he sings in the background as well. Throughout the show I could easily hear Kasim’s voice as it adds such rich texture to the overall sound. The other band members also were exceptional on this evening, but that’s not a surprise given how many of these shows they’ve done together. To me it’s always very rewarding to watch people do something they love to do, and it’s obvious this group is really jazzed when they have the opportunity to perform live.
I completely agree with the first reviewer that the Arena songs sound fantastic when performed live because the band adds another dimension to the sound. The encores songs were “Love of the Common Man,” “Couldn’t I Just Tell You,” and “Just One Victory,” and each was performed to perfection. There’s something about that final song that always brings a tear to my eyes, as for me it truly is a “Todd Anthem.” Scanning the crowd and seeing folks singing along with it reminded me that while even though we Todd fans obviously don’t all know each other, we’re all connected through his music, and always will be.