The Tiki Tour at Jaxx, Springfield, Virginia, November 29, 1997
Or it just seemed like it. The doors were still closed a half-hour after published opening times, and the first Tiki patrons weren't seated until 8:45 (they were the lucky ones. Their bar was clean, well lit, and adequately staffed).
Second hand, of course. By the way, I could see Kasim, right before going on, standing backstage smoking a cigarette. How can he do that and then go sing those harmonies?
OK, I'm tiring (as you probably are) of this You Make Me Crazy format. Here's the set list, with highlights, and points I haven't seen made in other show reviews.
I Saw the Light * Influenza * Can We Still Be Friends *
It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference *
Zen Archer - This was so good as a Nova tune. To take a twenty-five year old song and make it fresh like that is remarkable.
Fidelity * Never Never Land * Love is the Answer * Espresso *
The Individualist * Real Man - While this was not an expressly nova tune, it did have a nova flavor, with Kas' bass playing, and an island keyboard flavor by John.
Lost Horizon * Eastern Intrigue * Can't Stop Running * Hello It's Me *
Love of the Common Man - Sure, he plays it a lot, but it was different. He was doing some interesting guitar stuff, playing a tone cluster during "and ev-ry-one", and changing some other chords. A new feel.
I Don't Want to Tie You Down - Todd played the intro differently. It sounded like the intro to Jesse. A fine rendition.
Lucky Guy - For me, the highlight of the show (even though it's not a favorite song), because it was unexpected, and it was just Todd with Jesse playing classical guitar. Very nice, very nice.
Born to Synthesize - Cool rendition, as noted previously, and at one point, Jesse was playing the opening riff from Marriage of Heaven and Hell.
I'm So Proud/Ooh Baby Baby * I Want You * America Drinks and Goes Home *
Dream Goes On Forever
A small group of us were waiting by the bus as they were bringing in guitars and food. Jesse was going in and out, and after awhile was carrying food as well. He came out of the bus with a veggie platter...well, platter understates it. This thing was huge. Easily three feet in diameter, it would be great on a snowy hill. Well, Jesse got tired of holding it, so he offered us some crudites, and handed me the Platter from Hell. Some of us snacked (I still have cauliflower bits in my throat), but that thing could've fed the house. The dip was crummy, though.
Prairie came out to get his gear out of the bus (it looked he was going to catch a flight), and for some reason got no reaction from the crowd. So I went over, got a 'graph, and chatted about upcoming Tubes dates. A very nice, affable guy.
Finally Todd started signing. Mary Lou stuck her head out and warned us to be quick, because of the size of the crowd, but Todd was so friendly and engaging that it took awhile. He seemed to give everybody their thirty seconds very graciously. A nice end to a nice evening.
A very good show that, frankly, started slowly. The first set is essentially like listening to With a Twist, understandably so, but after the innovation of the second and especially the third set, it pales. The energy built during Eastern Intrigue and Can't Stop Running and the third set was magic. Kas and Prairie layed down a nice beat, Jesse was phenomenal, but I was very impressed by John Ferenzik. Technically he's great, and he seems to pick tones that are kind of like the originals, but different enough that you say, "hey....that's not....that's great!" The vocals were arranged terrifically, although Todd's mike never seemed to be loud enough.
Get the boot!