Akron - The Experience and Opening Night

Review by gbyrd (Switch to

This was an exceptional and wonderful peak experience for me and my beloved wife and long suffering spouse-of-a-Todd-fan. Many thanks to Doug and Mel for facilitating the show, venue and the excellent lodgings at The Akron City Center Hotel and for hosting the party on Saturday night.

Our stay was first-class and it was so cool to hear all of the laughter and partying late into the night. It was a wonderful reunion for Utopian Toddheads and a great time to party hearty.

Kasimís show on Sunday was such a great time. Because of the setting in the hotel it has a bit of a seminar quality and Kas did put on a clinic of high-level performing/songwriting and musicianship. And it was a lot like church, the Universal Church of the Cosmic Smorgasbord, that is. Everything he did was excellent and it was very apparent that he is genuinely grateful and appreciative for his fans as it that we openly expressed our love and caring about Kas.

The weather was perfect as the Freak Parade traversed the plaza next to the hotel and rounded the block to the theater entrance Sunday evening. There were costumes and concert finery from across the many eras of Todd that added to the already tactile energy building. The Civic Theatre is the most ornate and well restored opera house Iíve ever seen and was an excellent venue for this most elaborate show.

The sold out crowd roared as we realized that the opening act was Utopia. Like so many I had abandoned hope of ever seeing Utopia play again and was stunned and amazed. The white t-shirt look from Whoops was a nice counter-point to the AWATS costumes. Despite some technical glitches it was a great opening act. I just kept staring at Roger, grinning. It was about here that I had to ask my mate if the clouds on the ceiling of the theatre were indeed moving or was I having a Utopia inspired pharmacological reprise. When they found the groove, which was often, it was powerful.

The costumes were outstanding and the band was so great. I wonít recap what has been reviewed by so many but, WOW! If you have anyway to go see one of these shows Ė GO! BTW this was the loudest crowd Iíve even been in; standing dancing, singing and LOUD!

Kasim was on top of his game, his voice was clear as a bell and he played and performed like the consummate professional he is. Bobby is so good and the solo/jam during Zen Archer was existential and red-hot. The Cool Jerk dance was far-out! Jesse handled those complicated guitar parts of AWATS with power and grace. Greg displayed his mastery of the keyboards and synthesizers along with Roger Powell whose return after seventeen years was magnificent and well received. Please come back and see us again real soon, Roger.

Prairie proved again why he is one of the best drummers on the planet providing the drive behind all that diverse music. Michelle kept the show on the road and sang so sweetly during JOV.

Todd was The Wizard, Showman, Teacher, Synthesizer and Star. He shared his talents, passion and gifts with us and we returned it to him and his troupe with love and grateful, open hearts. Aside from the first rate entertainment we shared in moments of connectivity and energy on Higher Plains, were rejuvenated, inspired and healed. Go see for yourself.

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9/06/2009 - Akron Civic Theater - Akron, OH

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