Akron Civic 09-05-10

Review by Thomas A. Smith (Switch to

Anybody reading the reviews on this web site are well versed on these "Todd" and "Healing" shows, promotion and format. I am not aware of any other artist who works so closely with his fan base than Todd. Just the fact that Todd is approachable and possesses an open mind to options is admirable and rare. Our tickets were purchased long ago... the day they went on sale, and thus was anticipated over the Summer. Again my kids accompanied me and they are well on their way to becoming veterans of various shows over the years, including the two nights in Akron last year for the AWATS mini tour. It was good to be back in my hometown and at the always impressive Civic Theater, that Todd seems to have a place for in his memory bank of fondness. With balcony loge tickets in hand and after the obligatory concert t-shirt purchase ( we try and support Todd and the band when money allows as he supports us with musical reverie and ideals )....we took our seats and let the excitement build. The kiddies ( now teens ) and I enjoyed this show with great pleasure. Sure there were a few glitches but also a greater amount of stellar performances by all the guys in the band. Todd seemed to keep his banter to a minimum and communicated well with the crowd through his songs. The laser aspects on some of the trippier moments were benefits that brought out a wistful moment. Later we were approached by a single mom with the only other youngsters I saw, during the intermission in the lobby. I believe she was inspired by her kids to attend the show because her question was: "I don't get it - what is the point?". She was familiar with Utopia but evidently not with the Todd album. I tactfully tried to explain where Todd was coming from on this solo album, as she and I were with formidable minded teens. The comment I wanted to express, was that you had to have been "there", in that era....preferably with headphones and some good organics or synthetics. But I think they gleaned an alternative musical concept in the works without having to be entirely blunt. And Todd's able to get us "there" without any supplements. Even if it is 36 years in the past brought to life in 2010. I also had to comment that these fans here ( the hardcore ) always allowed Todd some concessions on his playing and quality of sound. We're all just happy he's still out there giving a hundred percent. After discussing 70's music with others who had overheard my opinions, we headed back to our seats for the second half. Prompting my daughter to mention that the people here "are very nice". Of course we had to wrap our heads around the fact that some of these older citizens still liked to throw their fists in the air and provide us with some air guitar licks to apparently enhance or accompany Todd's playing. We couldn't help but shake are heads and giggle a few times. But we've learned not to criticize to much, being students of 'Compassion' ( what a voice! ). Enamored of Todd's ( and Jessie's ) style .... ' # 1 Lowest Common Denominator' and 'Heavy Metal Kids' allowed Todd to work his way down the frets to the base of the guitar. Always a favorite to hear and witness. The encore with all of us standing clapping and singing along was magical in bringing everyone together in a convergence of harmony. It just doesn't happen often enough. And now being back here in my cubicle somewhere outside of Milwaukee.....my mind is wandering and wishing I was across the lake this evening in Michigan for the second show.

Thanks as always to Todd and his compadres and a special thanks to Melinda and Doug for engineering these events. Hope everyone enjoys the rest of the tour. And, can we do it again next year?

Thomas A. Smith

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9/05/2010 - Akron Civic Theatre - Akron, OH

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