Yeah, they were some struggles vocally for Todd, particularly on "Play This Game", but I was just so glad to hear that song live it didn't matter (one of my favorites). Todd is an amazing guitar player. Besides the always interesting chord progressions (major 7ths, moving bass notes anyone:)), he plays his leads with such sustain between notes that they just sing out in such a moving, organic way, almost keyboard-like. I have always loved his guitar sound(s), they are very unique to him and the way he plays.
The rest of the band was so on. Willie Wilcox demonstrated why he is such a crucial part of the band. His playing only added to the songs, made them move and took nothing away. Kasim was just as solid, vocally strong and did one of my favorite songs of the night "Monument". How cool to hear that one live! Gil Assayas was solid and very professional, but I missed Roger's vocals and high end flourishes on some songs. Props to Gil for blending right in and making things sound full and right.
I totally enjoyed the minimalistic screen projections and movement behind the band. They enhanced the show and created a dreamy, nostalgic atmosphere.
Needless to say, I'm more of a fan of the power pop Utopia, so the second half was just so inspiring. I still loved the technical prowess of the first half and recognized every song, but the late 70s, 80s era Utopia delivered the punch for me. Todd still sang wonderfully, but hey, the songs are challenging vocally with a lot of movement and touring this material can't be easy. Probably why we didn't hear a song like "Crybaby". Second favorite song of the night was "I Will Wait", Wow!!! The way that song was performed was just perfect.
Who can argue with "One World", "Love Is the Answer" and "Just One Victory" to round out the night. I was on my feet by then and cheering for the band. Congratulations guys, I might even break down and get a t-shirt!!!