Clowes Hall 9-11-10

Review by Thomas A. Smith (Switch to

Ok, slut that I am for this stuff, I had to see it again. Bought tickets on a whim Friday ( 20 rows back - dead center ). And sans kids, I left Wisconsin a bit later than anticipated. Typical head mistake on a Saturday afternoon....I had forgotten to calculate Eastern time zone vs. Central time zone. Cutting it very close indeed ...arrived at 8:20 PM. Never intending to catch the Fixx. So this turned out perfect. And at this point I was extremely happy....and I stayed that way the rest of the night. Great modern, acoustically impressive venue with a polite crowd milling about in the lobby. I took the liberty to catch 40 winks while listening to the cacophony of the patrons comments. Todd took the stage at 9:30 and I feared the band would have to trim some songs. Nope, a complete 3 hour set with intermission. And Man-O-Man-a Chevitz what a show. The sound....the voice... was brilliant, and everyone seemed to be in the zone. No mishaps to speak of except Todd's broken string on Heavy Metal Kids, but this never slowed him down a bit. Maybe a bit of a lost "space out" during Healing #2 ( or was it #3 ). Todd just joked it off. I hadn't seen him in this good of spirits in awhile. Everything just seemed to work. Now present ( unlike Akron ) was the backwards beginning to Fanfare as well as the whirring record mishap as the intro to Heavy Metal Kids. I'm not going to elaborate too much here, because 95% of the fans reading this were probably there. Todd and his pals just put on a great performance.....I really couldn't find a fault to this show. It really made Akron seem like the rehearsal it really was. I'm not knocking the first show of the tour but what a difference. Like another reviewer mentioned, this one for me ranks at the top of all the shows I had witnessed since the seventies. I only heard one derogatory comment during the intermission on Don't You Ever Learn. But some people forget that that's the way it's supposed to be played - with varying speed dynamics ......for effect: it's supposed to make one queasy.....then comes the break out into the harmonic part and then Sons of 1984 ( at least on the record ) bringing a resolved, renewed, refreshed feeling. But we know that moment was saved for the encore. Studying some of the faces after the encore proved this to be an astral plane event as in "traveling to a higher realm". I just have to add that Bobby Strickland blew me away with the sax and other wind instruments. He even played the sax one handed for a few moments. And the choral group and director were infectiously swinging and singing. These kids we could hear....made Akron's choice seem like mannequins. And while I'm referencing Akron...on the last review I wrote a snarky debasing remark about a guitar hero in the front row balcony....and now correcting my view...."buddy if you are bold enough to get your boogie on in public then I bow down to you". My apologies, as in "stay young my friend". I'm just a shy observer, pelting out the lyrics to the "Sons" at the end. Thanks all for the good karma.

Thomas A. Smith

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9/11/2010 - Clowes Memorial Hall - Indianapolis, IN

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