Fillmore 11-24

Review by Giuy Daugherty (Switch to

There really isn't much that's like it. Maybe an electric blanket when it's a cold, cold night, or an icy drink when it's sintering hot. But seeing Todd and the band when they're on top of their game and playing the stuff you really want to hear has to be one of the most satisfying pleasures we can experience in this little slice of time our lives are going through. And 11/24 at the Fillmore was amongst the best work I've seen them do, which is most of the Bay Area shows they've done since I first saw Utopia doing Singring at Berkeley Community in '76.

Kind of a drawback that it was at the damned Fillmore, where after some forty-plus years of putting on concerts, they still haven't figured how to get some cool air through the place, or let the overheated atmosphere a crowd creates escape out some vents. And of course no Fillmore show is complete until some simple bint against the stage blarks her dose of psilocybin all over the floor. Oh, to have Quicksilver give us another hit of Fresh Air. But I'm old enough to be cranky, so please allow me some room.

I don't have much of a play list to relate, because once they'd done "There Goes My Inspiration" and brought me to tears, they could have played anything and left me happy. We got the WAT version of "Born to Synthesize", we got a terrific rendition of the Big Bopper's "Running Bear" (which reminds me, is Jesse starting to channel Leon Redbone?), and much more Unpredictable fun, with Todd possibly having more fun than the rest of the audience all put together. Prairie was his usual Robert Mitchum self, and as always, Kasim had that tiny little sparkle of "what mischief could I start?" which always seems to glint from his eye. I don't know that I've ever seen the band seem so happy to be performing for us. If one of them caught you pointing a camera phone at them, they were sure to mug it up and play along, despite the Fillmore crew's efforts to quash our memory-taking. It might be time to realize the cameras have you well out-numbered, fun-mashers.

At any rate, as an old guy who's just about done with enduring stand-up concert venues, this show more than made up for the petty hassles which seem so magnified by the decrepit mind in its wind-down years. I'd put this performance in the top five of all the Todd shows I've had the pleasure to attend.

Todd, Prairie, Kasim and Jesse, thank you for a Happy Thanksgiving, and all the best to each of you and yours.

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11/24/2014 - The Fillmore - San Francisco, CA

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