USF -- ORLANDO, FL -- 2/28/98

by Ron Hromoko

an unusual show.

universal studios florida only gave TR-i and the band 1:15 to complete the show and provide the mardi gras lathered crowd some incremental entertainment to the parade immediatley preceding.

as a result, the show and single set was festively unique:

	- i saw the light
	- influenza
	- can we still be friends
	- zen orchard
	- fidelity
	- never never land
	- hello, it's me
	- BTS
	- i'm so proud
	- baby baby
	- i want you
	- lost horizon
	- espresso
then, it was over. the outdoor audience was a lobsided 90% tourists and 10% fans. there was an ostentatious mardi gras parade held just before the show right in front of the plaza where the show was held.

no caravan. the band broke into an extended BN 'saw the light' groove immediately upon the parades' finale. TR-i enters from the bar side instead of the kas side. no patrons. no tables. four empty stools at the tiki bar.

like many toons in the set, i took note of the slower tempo of the performances, the first of which is 'influenza'. todd leans back with the shaker.

'can we still be friends' is the same, though. the 'la las' seem to go on forever. great harmonies courtesy sulton/ferenzik. a slight distraction is found when the band comments on a USF employee freeing the 'inflatable idiot dancers' from an adjacent tree.

'it wouldn't have made...' is slightly faster than the record. tight.

there are no patrons, so TR-i cannot ask where they're from. though, he manages to get a few screaming responses from the crowd when asked. a group of cheerleaders chant their alma mater way too loud. yougogirl.

'zen archer' is noticeably slower; melodic and floating over the outdoor audience. everyone likes it, yet few recognize it given the previous four standards starting the show. impaled on a frozen banana.

'never never land' opens with an intro as a song for all ages, since this 'is an all ages show'. people recognize it and cheer halfway through the first verse.

'hello, it's me' is unusually mellow and improvisational. TR-i leaves the singer's seat to cruise the stage, still in suit. the last chorus gets a yank of the trousers for the tiki thrusts.

'love is the answer' is as expected, though always profound. TR-i again leaves the throne to entertain the four newly seated patrons at the bar. we got to love...

'born to synthesize' is counted off extremely slow. the jam extends as expected, yet much more calculated than earlier shows. jesse's solo speeds through a cut-time period as todd watches at the bar with keione. the gold jacket finally comes off.

'i'm so proud' & 'baby baby' get the crowd melancholy. todd still counts these off explicitly as if the band doesn't get it yet. and, i don't think they do...

'i want you' is another 'song i haven't written'. slightly slower and controlled. the band doesn't rush through it to get to 'dream goes on' like in most shows.

tr-i and prairie debate over what to do given the remaining ten minutes. a loud fan repeatedly requests 'lost horizon', and gets it. the gesturing remains, but is more subtle, given TR's first set outfit and the laid back mood of the show.

there is no drunk at the bar, or any of the usual accoutrements found in a typical tiki show. so 'dream goes on forever' is bypassed in favor of 'espresso'. the crowd is all jacked up, but the band leaves the stage not to return. "Todd has left the building".

a treat to witness a show out of the ordinary, yet still unfulfilling; given the nightly three sets we're all used to. the bossa nova only works well for about an hour. the crowd [and the band] tends to doze off thereafter.

what i'll remember about this show was how todd roamed the table-less stage for toons like 'hello', 'answer', 'horizon'; where there was no sarong or war paint, but just TR-i performing the songs with the gestures and phrasing we've come to know over many years. it was Real Todd.

oh my god! it's the titanic!