by Ron Hromoko

the last show of this first leg of the tiki tour was in a steambath called JAXX last night. it was a relatively small bar for a national act, and the place filled quickly with locals and TR-i fans. the small dance floor and surrounding stools and bars did not scale to the occasion. the bad sound system could entertain 300 comfortable ticket-buyers. last night there were at least 400 peoples rubbing sweaty elbows together. a conservative estimate.

their performance was outrageous, put me through some changes. the first set rolled along with a burmese onion test, a surprisingly well- received version of 'can we still' and a great rendition of 'espresso'.

the bad comic between sets one and two was really bad. i couldn't tell if *he* even knew how bad he was... neither could anyone else in jaxx.

set two allowed TR-i to prance in the cozy lounge area around some accomodating patrons. of note is ferenzik's rap, tainted with syntactic fubars to which he recovered quickly & wittingly.

i realize during set two that this set has such an impact with every audience because it's a miniature todd rundgren show by itself. the audience is mellowed from the first set, then bam! a compression of favorite toons that wouldn't last if extended past the 45-50 minute barrier. the energy exchange is timed and distributed perfectly. this is another reason why the set list is fairly static. 'eastern intrigue' is good, but sloppy; 'lost horizon' and 'can't stop running' are tied for MVP tonight.

at the end of set two, a hot lesbian couple get awarded the honeymoon fruit-cup-drink-thingie. they do a romantic dance onstage to celebrate. i wind up taking one of the girls back to my hotel room. my good friend tony woke up next to the other lesbian this morning.

generally speaking, the beginning of set three has finally caught on with the audience. we're all starting to *shut up* now when TR hits the bar for some whimsical chatter with the bartender. another epiphany i happen upon tonight is why he enters the stage in this way. it keeps the focus on the lounge concept, not distracting it with a grand entrance, especially given the way the second set ends. it also quiets down the crowd for that new version of 'love of the common black guitar'.

at the beginning of the tour, there was often only one solo acoustic toon performed. now, this is the area where TR-i gets to play whatever he feels like playing after 'lotcm'.

in springfield, he give us 'i don't want to tie you down'.

'lucky guy' is almost glazed over, it's so quick to finish. then, before you know it, you're in the middle of 'born to synthesize'. tonight, in addition to the usual alfie, flo & eddie reference; we get a few stanzas of a cool 'smoke on the water' groove led by jesse. after ferenzik gets big applause for his octaval acrobatics, todd falls asleep at the mic for the last chorus. jesse and kas wait a little longer to wake him up than the last few shows.

the motown medley gets everyone dancing. 'couples' seem to pop out of the woodwork for these toons. literally. i like these two toons a lot. but, at this point in the show, most folks are either drunk, tuckered out, or both. mixing up 'i'm so proud' and 'baby baby' into the third set sequence could help alleviate it's slow decline before we get a shot of mar-van with 'i want you'.

'dream goes on forever' is perfect tonight. todd usually tries a few vocal exercises at the end as if to say, "oh, to hell with this..." and then leaves. tonight, he can't make his voice crack. it sounds the best i've heard and meets whatever "heeeees" and "hooooos" he wants to crank out. must be the humidity.

TR places the blessing on our own wayker, passed out at the bar, on his way out. wayker raises his head to see what's happening and todd grabs it from the back and pushes his face down back into the bar. bwah ha ha!!

i thought the dream would never end