San Juan Capistrano - Oct 25, 2009

Review by Leapfrog (Switch to

Well this was the end of the road for the Arena Tour, though I hope that gems from the Arena album will show up regularly at future events. My wife and I, who travelled over 1,600 miles for this one, were thrilled to be able to see this performance one more time (we saw Todd first perform these tunes in July 2008 at the Triple Door in Seattle).

Everyone was in great form. Todd with a wider selection than usual of his patented bon mots and an energy that continues to astound. His banter ranging from his obvious delight in pronouncing Spanish place names (and his obsession with San Louis Obispo), to the usual friendly back-handed comments about the locals and the quality of food at the Coach House. He even surprised us Canadians by making a Canadian joke (after solicting an answer to a rhetorical question from an audience member, he chastized him/her and said that he/she better not try that one from the Jeopardy audience because that would really piss off Alec Trebek, and you don't want to piss off Alec - because he's Canadian you know).

The evolution of the performance of the Arena numbers was evident, even with Sara Lee, who is relatively new to the tour. She held down a steady beat and spent some time interacting with Prairie, who was fantastic as usual. I have never seen Jesse so animated and having so much fun, and of course Kas was there doing his usual stellar thing. (It was really funny at the beginning of the encore when Todd introduced "the Orchestra" and didn't mention Kasim at all, 'til Kas came forward and tapped him on the shoulder. I guess he must have forgotten that his 30+ year musical partner was also perfoming at this one.)

To the music. It was fantastic. The band played for almost 2 hours, and the opening set, which was 3 or 4 numbers a year ago, included so many old gems that I thought after 5 or 6 that maybe he was going to fool us and do a different kind of arena rock set this time. But he did play the entire Arena album and finished with the standard 2 song encore.

Set List (I wasn't taking notes, so I might have missed one from the opening set. If so, someone will set me straight.)

Love in Action
Black and White
Black Maria
I Saw the Light (something to make us happy in our pants)
Open My Eyes

The full Arena album, in order

Couldn't I Just Tell You JOV

It was a show we'll always remember. Can't wait for the next one.

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10/25/2009 - The Coach House - San Juan Capistrano, CA

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