His latest tour is the 'Official State Visit' showcasing songs from his latest release 'State' as well as tracks from his more electronic albums such as 'NOW' 'Liars' and '(Re)Production'. The maestro is supported by the exquisite Jesse Gress on guitar and Prairie Prince on an electronic drum kit.
This show is Todd as you will have never seen him before. It represents another chapter in the continuing exploration of musical genres that the man has engaged in since the late 60's and whilst some might question the wisdom of a man who qualifies for his bus pass producing an album of electronica/dance music at this stage of his career it is a testament to him that he pulls it off and the songs translate so well to the live setting. This is certainly not my favourite genre and I travelled with a significant degree of skepticism but I left having thoroughly enjoyed the show.
The gig was preceded by a fan meet-up at the appropriately named 'State Bar' a short distance from the venue where it was great to meet up with old friends and meet some new ones. We made our way to the venue at around 7.30 and were pleasantly surprised to be able to walk up to a spot just one row back from the stage. Todd and the lads took to the stage at about 8.15pm and wearing his 'State' goggles launched in to 'Imagination'. It was clear already that he was in great voice and the sound was pretty impressive even if it wasn't immediately apparent as to what Prairie was adding to the mix. The setlist continued with 'Truth' and was the same as from previous shows. My personal highlights were 'Future' which featured some superb work from Jesse, 'Secret Society', 'Ping Me', 'Prime Time', 'Worldwide Epiphany' and 'Sir Reality'. Hell I even enjoyed 'Party Liquor'!!!! I will never like 'Angry Bird' and if that were replaced by 'In My Mouth' that would make things better in my opinion. I also didn't care much for the encores. It seemed a little bit of a pisstake to be honest and those classics while they make have survived a bossa nova makeover are certainly not suited to the dance/electronica one.
Todd's voice throughout was in great shape and his energy levels amazing. I asked him later if he'd been working out and he said that he does "Every night at 8pm". There's probably a little too much pre-recorded stuff in the show but that's nit picking by me and Prairie could probably be used more. I don't really see the point of having pre-recorded AND live drums together.
Being so close to the stage I didn't get the full effect of the lighting show but I hope to see that a little better at the London show next weekend.
The evening was topped off wonderfully when Todd, Prairie and Jesse arrived at the aftershow party arranged by Jill Mingo and sat atour tables. All were extremely generous with their time and I spoke at length with Jesse Gress.
All in all a superior evenings entertainment in pretty fine company! Thanks everyone who helped make the evening! You know who you are!!