Strathmore AWATS

Review by Chuck Colson (Switch to

I want to start off by saying it was worth the two hour drive. But then, every Todd show is worth the two hour drive! The Strathmore was beautiful! We had great seats, but there’s really not a bad seat in the house. I had no idea what the opening act was and I had asked friends not to tell me. When the stage and house lights were off, the song “The Road to Utopia” started playing and you could see four silhouettes walking onto the stage. Still not knowing who they were, they quickly joined in with the song as the stage lights came on. Much to my surprise, it was a Utopia reunion, of sorts. Albeit, without Willie. It was great to see Roger up there enjoying himself with Kasim and Todd. The sound was not as clear and the vocals were not as present as I’d liked them to be. As another put it, it was muddy. But great song selections! Prairie seemed to struggle a bit like he didn’t know the songs as well as he’d liked to, but still he didn’t let us down as Todd and Kasim helped out with lots of guidance. Took me back to the 80’s and all those Utopia shows I had attended.

Intermission was upon us and after enjoying a wonderfully flavored “hoppy” beer, we went back in for the second part of the show.

At the start of AWATS, just hearing that buzzing sound really loud at the beginning gave me goosebumps! I knew I was in for one helluva ride! Todd comes out with a space suit on for “International Feel”. WOW!!!!! When “Never Never Land” played, mirror balls flooded the room with stars for a grand effect! Costume changes were many for Todd and all fit the songs. Todd voice was strong and the music was very polished. With this being only their 4th appearance, I thought things came together very well. With “Cool Jerk” being of odd measures (musically speaking) I thought all were spot on and didn’t miss a beat. Bobby Strickland’s sax solo in “Zen Archer” was absolutely amazing! What feeling he played with. That was one for the books! Todd’s vocals on “I Don’t Want To Tie You Down” reminded me of days gone by. Knowing the show was coming to an end soon, I really was looking forward to “Just One Victory” which was the anthem ending song for many a Utopia concert. I hated seeing the evening come to a close but all good things must come to an end. Another memory added to my many Todd shows.

One parting thought is, I had the pleasure of talking to many fans and we were all there for the same thing. Everyone was happy and very pleased to talk to one another not knowing who we were talking to, but it didn’t matter. We all shared one common denominator!

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9/10/2009 - The Strathmore - Bethesda, MD

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