The last show of the "Arena" tour. Todd jokingly quipped that "we've been touring this album for a year now, and still haven't played any "Arenas" yet, even though two nights previous they played the Spectrum in Philly. They played this 300 seat venue like it was the Spectrum - Big and Loud ! and with an all-star lineup:
Todd - guitar, vocals
Jesse Gress - guitar, vocals
Kasim Sultan - keyboards, guitar, vocals
Sara Lee - bass
Prarie Prince - drums
It was nice to see the changes in the openeing set to All Todd material from the previous leg of the tour. They opened with:
Love in Action Black & White Black Maria Open My Eyes Trapped I Saw the LightThen played the "Arena" album. CIJTY and Just One Victory were the encores. Our seats were right next to the stage, so got great shots of Todd solos from two feet away. Incredible.
Funny moments - Some crazy lady kept trying to walk up to the stage, stepping on everyone's feet trying to get Todd's attention. At one point she handed him her ticket and muttered something unintelligible. Todd said "Oh, do you want a refund?" "No", and the lady mumbled something else. Todd says "look lady, I'm trying to put on a show here" and handed her her ticket back and asked if it was a Disneyland ticket, and quickly launched into the next song. Only in Orange County. (any OC jokes made after that were well deserved IMHO)
At some point Prarie needed a new battery for his gear, so rather than resort to bar jokes, Todd starts telling the story of Nehemiah. As Todd is going on about King Nehemiah and the competing kingdoms in his realm, some guy yells out - "just get to the punchline". I don't think he "got it". At that point the technical difficulty had been corrected, and Todd said "ok we'll just leave it there", and went into the next song.
I was once again reminded and amazed athe the collective talent onstage. At age 61 Todd kicks butt over any 30 year old rocker. The other option that night was to see U2 at the Rose Bowl. I'd rather see Todd from the front row thank you very much.
Steve Adam http://mrhollywoodonline.com