The Edge - Palo Alto, CA - November 11, 1998

by TC

Todd basically apologized for his performance before he started to play, explaining that the show was less of a concert than a "random appearance" facilitated by a need to visit the west coast and by financial considerations; "I am a musician and therefore I am expected to perform music--go figure."

And as expected, the performance was rather sloppy--missed chords and even interruptions; he paused during the solo in "Black And White" to explain, "that was patterns running across the floor." And there was no band. But, as someone shouted in response to his apology, "Todd is godd!"

The club was tiny, which added to the sense of intimacy. Todd was quite affable and droll. Members of the audience were able to shout out song requests in his hearing, but none of their requests were granted except for "Black And White," which he played after saying something like, let me see if I can remember that, then turning his back to the audience and furiously practicing the chords for a few seconds with the guitar turned off. At one point he jokingly responded in a satirical voice to a deluge of bizarre requests, "Gee, maybe if I had heard these when I was actually *rehearsing* for the show, then I'd have a chance in hell of being able to play them!"

It was funny when Todd was logging on to AOL on his computer, and he blocked out with his body the view of the guy running the computer, and warned him not to look at his password. Then he admitted that no one could guess his password anyways, and someone in the audience guessed out loud "Utopia," at which he shrieked in feigned surprise "Who told?!"

An unexpected treat was being included in a panoramic photograph of the audience taken by Jesse (the guitarist) for Todd's website. Todd reminded us that we had to subscribe to the website to see the pictures (as if any of us actually needed to be persuaded), and to tease us further threw his head back and laughed with mock sinister delight ("mu-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!"). Also Todd with a mini camcorder personally took shots of himself and his band playing.

The setlist (not in order of appearance; Todd started out on guitar, moved to piano, and then to bossa nova joined by two others):

Bang The Drum (solo ukelele!)
Hammer In My Heart (solo guitar)
Tiny Demons (solo guitar)
Compassion (solo piano)
Lysistrata (solo guitar)
Love Is The Answer (bossa nova; two guitars and bongos)
I Want You (bossa nova)
Black And White (solo guitar)
Cliche (solo guitar)
A Dream Goes On Forever (solo guitar)
The Zen-Archer (solo piano)
I Saw The Light (bossa nova)
It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference (solo piano)