you might subtitle this WAT stop "todd does the honeymooners". more on that later. you know the setting... hot as hell, smokey as the bear, and packed in like good soldiers gathering under the battle flag. but in tonight's case, it's a huge bed sheet sketch of a 1970's todd. i'll leave it to those more informed to explain the history of the linen.
got a pre-show autograph from prairie on my WAT cd cover. he asked if it was ok to write over todd's name. guess they get a lot of anal autograph hounds. little did i realize prairie's question was prolific that evening.
so, here are some of my recollections from the show. in no particular order, and if i left out a tune, figure it was the best ever!
caravan: tight, polished, sets the mood for the night... as in, "shit!, these guys have doing this for a while and are ready for prime time." and if you like this, go get "mondo exotica" and listen to cut 3: "caravan", performed by "80 drums around the world", written by ellington/tigel/mills, recorded on may 1, 1961 and previously unreleased.
i saw the light: forget that flu/cold todd... he's back and sounding great. and jesse is not only playing the solo great, he's playing with it... great.
influenza: as good as the cd. no, maye better than the cd. really. todd says he's feeling great and warns us he is ain't taking no shit from us tonight. hummmm.
it wouldn't have made any difference: again, as good as the cd. but not better.
zen archer: your typical "hari-chikita-kari", complete with a warning that "fruit don't kill people..." and did i just miss it, or was there no onion taste test tonight?
fidelity: i thought todd was gonna choke or crack on this. really was the low point of the show. but he got through it. maybe it was just me.
love is the answer: a major reason you should feel terrible for not seeing this show. tight, emotional, and performed from deep down inside. again you could tell they'd been there before.
expresso: last november this song, sorta-in-a-nice-todd-can-never- suck-way, sucked. this time it was great. i think a really good mix helped.
intro to the I: john has finally polished the story of the individualist's island invasion... but, bacon?! very nice build-up to the I.
the invidivualist: wild face make-up. he IS feeling good.
real man: todd does todd doing todd. imagine that young-todd real man in the TEPTAE video combined with the soulful older-todd from the live in japan video and you have tonight's todd.
eastern intrigue: so, i'm standing there getting into this complex song and admiring how great the band is doing it, and during the bridge, this "todd-who?" type asks my friend, "what's he saying?"
hello it's me: a very soulful version with todd hanging on each line, hestitating before moving to the next one. ending with a thunder of percussion, unfortunately in a cloud of smoke preventing me from seeing praire pound his brains out.
hammer in my heart and lucky guy: acoustic and effortless.
i was born to synthesize: subtitled: highway to hell. this is where the acid kicks in, complete with a panty rave. and godd bless john for having to follow jesse's solo. things got a little "hee-haw".. it was the sort of band interaction we all crave. todd and the boys are just one tiny step away from being too loose. or as far away as possible from being predictable. closer to chaos than cosmos. on the edge, looking down on the highway to hell.
those blues numbers: in front of me, a swaying mass of toddlers. behind me, to borrow a favorite word from todd, an ignoramus. yammering very loudly. while todd got away with it, i'm a little reluctant to tell her to "shut the fuck up!" otherwise the songs were great.
a dream goes on forever: between jesse blowing a bar, the "drunk" falling off the bar stool, and todd hardly making it through without laughing, this is not the emotional ending planned. everyone is cracking up. yet, todd pulls it out and finishes in character and leaves the stage. the band wraps the song up with an amazing wall of sound and vocal harmony.. what's vocals. just incredible. then capped off with a musical "th-th-th-th-th-th- that's all folks!"
so incredible, and so unique a show this was, we thought maybe there's really be a chance todd would come back out for the first-ever tiki encore. but no luck.
but there were many other highlights between songs. like during a monica lewinsky bit, when he yelled at a very vocal fan, "shut the fuck up! who's show is it?! and if i find out who's smoking that cigar i'm gonna pummel the fucking shit out of you!" did that fan really get todd to sign something: "shut the fuck up dave"? if you know dave, he really did have it coming... 10 years ago.
todd also commented on the possibility of a titanic sequel, based on the assumption the first one was just a dream. though, he figured the first billion-dollar film would be south park.
todd also tried to name the spice girls ("itchy"- and "ebola"-spice among them), and advised everyone to use this line to seem more pop-culturally credible, "have you noticed 'sporty- spice' is trying to soften her image?"
tonight even the comedian was actually funny. a little long, but decent for the most part. a great imitation of bullwinkle, coming out. "hey rocky, wanna see me pull a hamster out of my ass?"
speaking of coming out... coming out for the third set, todd did his best "ed norton" wiping off his seat. very funny, though todd didn't get the reaction he thought he would and chasticed "you kids just don't get it". we did todd, thus "todd meets the honeymooners" subtitle. more on that later.
after the show, i got to talk a little to praire and jesse. someone help me out here. what song on WAT includes some sort of fuck-up by jesse. i've heard it mentioned once before, and he brought it up tonight. cut and time please peoples.
then, in true honeymooners fashion, todd as "ralph cramden" hops in the bus driver's seat and meets his flock. i get behind george from seinfeld, with an armful of books and photos for todd to sign... each with specific address, language, position, and ink color. todd dutifully fulfilled each order, but when this ass asks for a "me and todd" photo, todd tells him to go to the end of the line... thanks todd and for me just sign anything, anywhere, any color you want.
i brought along an internet print-out of the "go ahead, ignore me" ad (thanks karla), reproduced by a cyber-photog using the best equipment the largest newspaper in the state can afford, for todd to sign. it really surprized todd. he smiled and said, "wow, you're really taking me back", or something like that. i love seeing todd's reaction to his history. once, in florida, a "blow me" bumper sticker got me past a closed door.
that's my impression of the night... i liked it.