Todd has some orchestral pieces on his repertoire and now we had chance to see and hear what that could mean. A full and rich sound and very formidable. Although almost every song Todd was accompanied by the Metropole Orchestra it wasn't boring or monotone. His non-orchestral songs (like Hello it's me and We gotta get you a woman) became richer and more spaciousness and the arrangements were pretty variable.
Like the Ethel gig at Eindhoven 2008 the Metropole Orchestra started the gig with the impressive Flamingo (unfortunately not segued by Zen archer like Ethel did) and then Todd entered the modified stage. The Paradiso stage had been extended specially for the gig. So less than half of the standing places were left. The other fans went to the balconies. But Todd didn't ignore them and occasionally he looked up for them and made contact. Very surprisingly the started with my favorite No world order song Property. It was a bit odd to see and hear that the orchestra's guitar player (guitar veteran Lex Bolderdijk) was doing the guitar solo, because Todd mainly concentrated on singing this evening. It was a good decision because you could see Todd needed to put all his energy in singing. It seems he had a little cold and now and then his voice/vocals drowned in the orchestral maneuvers. But maybe it was the sound mix or the fact I was standing in the front row.
God said was done very convincing by Todd and the Orchestra really added something to this Liars-song. Incredible and again the crowd went crazy. Common man was performed like the With a twist arrangement and this "lounge song" was the first breathing space for the very enthusiastic crowd. With minimal accompaniment by the orchestra Todd almost a cappella sang Pretending to care, one of the most intimate moments of the concert. The crowd concentrated waited till the last note of the Metropole Orchestra before applauding. Then the first sing a long came across. Hello it's me followed by the most orchestral songs of the evening: The smell of money and If I have to be alone. The orchestra and the arranger were at their best with these two songs and the musical options of the whole orchestras were strongly used. Todd showed his theatric side and the crowd was both cheered as impressed. Then Todd did the act with his white gloves with all the phonetics of the crazy sounds of Onomatopia written on two hand gloves. After finishing the song he simulated not to be satisfied with the tempo of the song and did it again but a bit faster! Stunning for the crowd, Todd and the orchestra. The vocals on Bag lady showed Todd's voice is becoming weaker during the last 10 years but the sentimental journey of this song compensated this. So did We got to get you a woman. It was the first time I heard this song live and sweeter memories came along.
Mammom followed by fascist Christ was the hard rock segment of the evening which showed that an orchestra really can rock and rumble. These power songs showed Todd's fanatical anger about religions. On Fascist Christ the first time this evening his picked up his guitar. He continued guitar playing during the reprise of Flamingo and after about 1 ½ hour gigging the concert was over. But the crowd yelled and begged for more and the (planned) encore showed again the skills of the orchestra and Todd. Wailing wall was great by its simplicity and lyrics and the last two songs we're again sing a longs with huge crowd participation, Can we still be friends and I saw the light (again Todd on guitar)
Todd came along without his usual musical buddies Kasim, Prairie en Jesse. The orchestra's rhythm section was doing okay and guitar player Lex Bolderdijk did a good job. After the concert he stated playing Todd's guitar parts weren't difficult or challenging and Todd was a relaxed artist working with during the four rehearsal sessions. Conductor Steve Sidwell confirmed this. It was nice working with Todd but musically not very difficult. Due to the orchestra's arranger the collaboration was prepared very well.
Initiator Co de Kloet, a well respected Dutch pop journalist who produced an awesome radio documentary about Todd some 15 years ago, also joined the stage announcing the whole concert will be broadcasted on nationwide radio on New Year's Day 2012. See details on his Co Live! Radio show on http://colive.radio6.nl/
And now I'm heading for Groningen to see Todd again.