when considering all the major cities the tiki tour has *not* been to [seattle, kansas city, vegas, new orleans, salt lake city, etc.], i'm still wondering why it came here, this non-metropolis of lancaster. the first set was the usual. however, the performance was much smoother and tighter technically and musically. the bossa nova beats now have teeth. the songs have identity. and, the musicians are paying attention to the details. all of this is good for the listener.
a new item of novel interest during the first set is the ever popular 'onion test'. TR-i makes a big deal of sampling the first onion on the coctail skewer. big build up, drum roll and all. an appropriate entertaining aversion. todd also asks for pennsylvania dutch pretzels, and antagonizes a female patron about her hairstyle and 'ZIMA buzz'.
the second set just cooks. the band opens up and the performances of 'real man', 'eastern intrigue', and 'lost horizon' are noticeably tighter than the west coast shows. 'can't stop running' now has a two-beat instrumental rest during the word "God...!" coming out of the bridge after the solo. very tight.
the third set opens with another unique version of 'love of the common man'. i agreed with the other reviewers accurate musical criticism of this version, until tonight. instead of watching what todd did, i opened my ears and allowed myself to experience the toon in a whole new dimension. peaceful. mature. resolving. respectful. it was cool.
immediately following 'lotcm', todd doesn't even glance back at the tiki bar for jesse. he begins to play another toon. he give us 'i don't want to tie you down' [a first for this tour?]. 'lucky guy' is still quick and curt, with ferensik on congas and prince on triangle.
then there's 'born to synthesize'. a slip-scat jam that's now close to ten minutes of great jazz soloing from gress and ferenzik. TR-i asks ferenzik, "what's it all about, johnny?" before adding a brief harmonic flo & eddie reference. at the last "i was booooorrrrnnnn..." todd falls asleep and snores into the mike before being woken up by gress and sulton for the finishing "ta syn-the-size............."
the motown material is now much ssssslower and tighter. drunken chicks from PA look for their partner's pelvis to grind during 'baby baby'. 'i want you' now *precedes* 'america drinks and goes home' in the set list. listen close for ferenzik's stanza of 'bang the drum all day' during this zappa drawl. the house lights go up after the elvis toons about ten minutes after 'dream goes on forever'. the fans smile and shake their heads while putting their coats on and heading for the door. no complaints.