Todd at Milwaukee’s Summerfest

Review by Mark Soria (Switch to

Sitting on the bench seating at the Potawatomi Casino Pavilion waiting for Todd last night my son asked me how many times I have seen Todd live. I counted 14 (I know that's low compared to many of you) and, next to the 1994 "Todd in a pod" disaster I saw at the Park West in Chicago this was the most dissatisfying. It hurts me to write something negative about my favorite musical artist of all time but I have to be fair based upon what I experienced at Summerfest. To start with, the set list was not conducive to the outdoors, musical festival setting that is Summerfest. Todd made at least a couple of references to the noise from the music going on from nearby stages and at one point declared, "It's time to respond". He did not. Songs like Lost Horizon, the Soul Medley, I Want You and A Dream Goes on Forever lacked oomph (for lack of a better word) in this setting. If we were indoors at a medium or small venue with better sound this would have been fine- great songs all. And what was with closing the encore with A Dream Goes on Forever? It just didn't work with Todd drifting off in a limp wave, leaving the band to finish up. Also, Love is the Answer is not placed well in the middle of the set. The tunes done "with a twist" style I felt were weak. But kudos to Todd for trying Determination. Todd's voice? Hard to say exactly. From my seat in the pavilion the sound was rather muddled but I thought his signature screaming was great. His speaking voice sounded hoarse. Todd's guitar? Largely non-existent and when he did play we didn't witness much of his normal great work- he just didn't put it on display. Sitting on a stool for a good deal of the set kind of tempered things but maybe at this point he really needs it. Also, I don't know why the staging for this tour has Kas and Jesse in the back of the stage with Prairie and John to each side, leaving Todd in the spotlight up front. I think having Kas and Jesse up to make a three-man front would have been better. I think the guys were enjoying themselves but they just didn't seem to create any spark. In contrast to this experience, Todd was here with the Power Trio in 2000 and they killed! The set was full of rocking numbers that played well to large numbers of people outdoors. The last three tours have been great. This one not so much. I'm looking forward to a new tour and some new energy.

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7/10/2011 - Summerfest - Milwaukee, WI

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