The fact that I will only get to see this show one time, that is! TR showed us all again what reinvention looks like and turned in a show for the ages in Dallas on Friday. With best mates Jesse Gress and Prairie Prince in super form, Todd squinted and stooped over his multiple touch pads, dialing up an ever-changing soundscape on top of which he belted outstandingly strong vocals to new and old songs alike. Occasionally grabbing his guitar to pepper in gorgeous leads and licks, TR mostly stuck with handling the microphone or dancing on his platform to infectious music. And whether State is your cup of tea or not, he proved that these songs most definitely work in this type of setting. My better half is not a fan of the new CD at all, but she was converted after seeing the presentation live -- it really does work. (Although a bathroom break during Angry Bird proved that TR will not win her over with that particular tune). As for me, it took multiple spins of the new disc to have it grow on me, but I feel that there are several songs that are right up there in his impressive catalogue (Smoke, Imagination, Something From Nothing, and Sir Reality stand out for me). Those who claim this is an outright departure from his past body of work need to pull out the 1973's (is that possible?) AWATS and listen only to the aural build-up of International Feel to recognize this just isn't so. Slide State into the player after the some of the more adventurous/raucous AWATS tracks: the songs themselves as well as the vibe in general are clearly close relatives of each other. Now that the technology has advanced you can really appreciate what he was going for back in those early seventies and marvel that he was able to pull it off so well back then.
It's taken 2 full days to recoup my hearing as the show is big and loud, but well worth it. I was happy to see a mostly full house for the show and there were a handful of early exits, but for the most part it looked like folks were willing to ride the whole thing out even if they didn't know what they were in for. Those waiting for the hits did get them in the encore in a dance-remixed format that could generously be called "forced." But there is no need to rehash the "should he play HIM/ISTL conversation;" he's kind of been dealing with that for 40+ years.
So, a thank you again from Dallas to the oddly configured power trio for this performance; it sure is fun to be a fan of this icon!