9/14/11 Blue Ocean - Salisbury, MA

Review by Mark Dumais (Switch to

I've been a Todd fan since I was 9 years old when an older brother made me a mixtape of Todd/Utopia material back in '78. Another brother bought me Adventures in Utopia for my 11th birthday and I wore the LP out. Even at that young age I knew there was something different and special about the man and his music. I've spent many a year answering the question "Todd who?" and always happy to explain. My first show was Utopia in '82 touring for the Utopia LP. My brother Dave made it a point to bring me to any show that came to the New England area through my teens and I've seen countless shows since then. I've never been disappointed at any show and have thoroughly enjoyed every phase of his career. I don't care what Todd's whims are as I'm happy to join him on any musical journey. I'm not just a "hits" fan that longs for a specific moment in time but I do enjoy a little nostalgia every now and then. Therefore, I don't get pissed when he doesn't play all my favorites. Would be fun to have a set list contest and Todd could pick a winning set list and take it on the road....just a thought.

All that said, I was pleased to see the set list of this current tour and completely excited to see the last stop would be in Salisbury, MA, a 45 minute drive. The Blue Ocean is an excellent venue that sits right on Salisbury Beach (high tide actually rolls in right under the venue). It is a fairly new establishment and a perfect setting as there are no bad seats and the sound is always great. The crowd was in a great mood and as the first chords of Real Man rang out, I knew it was going to be a great show. I could tell immediately that Todd was still battling a nasty cold of some sort as he was having a tough time hitting some notes. What endeared me the most about the evening is the fact that Todd came out and gave every inch of himself to the performance. When most people would cancel or reschedule shows, Todd has plowed on with this tour and by most accounts given great shows throughout. I commend him for that.

Knowing the set list ahead of time can sometimes be a let down as there are few surprises to be had. It was nice to see the crowds reactions to all the classics that they've longed to hear all in one show. This definitely was a treat for the nostalgic fans. What was great was the selections for the die hards like myself. I would like to state for the record that I would not be one bit disappointed if Todd played Buffalo Grass at every show till he stops touring. Is it just me? I frickin' love this song and it comes across even better live. My wife (who has accompanied me to every show since the Liars tour) is not a Todd fan (she's a Daryl Hall fan oddly enough). She comes with me because she enjoys seeing my enjoyment of Todd's shows. Like it or not she recognizes some of these songs from the opening notes and though she still won't admit it, she nearly joined the rest of the crowd in a standing ovation for Soul Brother (which was kick ass). I caught her out of the corner of my eye starting to slide back her chair and then realizing she was giving in to his Toddness, she regained her composure and stayed seated. By the way, until this show, I've never seen a Todd crowd leap to it's feet so fast for this particular song. Powerful stuff indeed. The only downer was that this crowd was not into the MF part of Flaw (another great performance). You've already heard about the rest of the set list and it was just a great mix of old and new. Kudos to Todd for a wonderful show and thanks for ending this tour at the Blue Ocean. You kicked it hard...and soft and I hope whatever is ailing your throat gets better.

Mark Dumais
Rochester, NH

PS Hawking.......unbelievable.....who else writes songs like this? NO ONE!!! That's why Todd Is Godd!!!!

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9/14/2011 - Blue Ocean Music Hall - Salisbury, MA

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