Saturday, September 20, 2008

Toadies - Two Shows/One Night in Seattle

Toadies (w/ The Blakes, Lions) at the Showbox: 9-19-2008

For someone who has waited nearly 15 years to see a Toadies live performance, last night made up for lost time, and then some. Starting the night off early at local Seattle record store, Silver Platter, the Toadies played an acoustic four-song set, which included two songs from their new album, No Deliverance. It was nice to see the band play in this format - I'm not sure that they do this very often. Lead singer Todd Lewis even mentioned that we were only the second audience to hear "Song I Hate" acoustically. After the quick show, the band stuck around and had a signing. At the table, I informed the band how I had nearly given up hope (see this earlier post), but was really excited and happy (gross understatement) to finally see them in concert. They were really cool dudes.

"No Deliverance"
"Song I Hate"
"Little Sin"
"I Come From the Water"

Later in the night, the main event commenced at the Showbox. The first openers to hit the stage were Austin, TX rock group, Lions. Not that bad of a rock band in terms of what passes for "rock" today - not exactly my cup of tea, but entertaining none the less. It got the crowd riled up, so they did their job.

The second act of the night was Seattle's very own The Blakes. Last night was my first time to catch them live - fantastic show. This power trio knows how write some catchy, drudging hooks. Check out their self-titled debut album on Light In the Attic Records - you won't be disappointed. Brothers Keim (Garnet donning a lipstick "Joker" smile) started their set off by informing the crowd that they were drummerless. They then coaxed some poor schmuck onto stage as a fill-in. As soon as he got up there, however, Bob Husak (the real drummer) walked on stage and security promptly escorted the audience member offstage. They played for about 45 minutes, all songs were a little harder/grittier than their album. Again, the crowd was really pumped after this set - Toadies were next!

Like I said, I had waited a VERY long time for this moment. I think in actuality, I had downplayed the Toadies in order to cope with my unhappiness - thinking that the shows couldn't quite sound as good as their studio cuts. I've listened to Live From Paradise many, many times, and Todd's strain to sound young is a little rough at times. I was expecting some old rockers to give a show of classic hits - I'd go home happy, it'd be a good night.

I was WAY off. Todd's voice sounds just as great now as it did in '94, Clark's guitar playing has done nothing but improved over the years, Mark's beats still drive their songs with precision, and newcomer Doni Blair, while a little timid on stage, was grooving all night. These guys are by no means out of their prime.

The energy was present in Seattle, too. A much different crowd then I was used to - less hipster, and much more righteous facial hair exclusive to the chin. The pit was rough, and it pretty much spanned the entire Showbox lower area. Rising temperatures sparked fans to remove their shirts, and body ripeness peaked mid-set around "Possum Kingdom" - some really stinky fans. But the show was amazing - growing up as a lone Toadies fan, I never could have imagined 700+ fans rocking out to every song. It seems the band is able to take us all back to those childhood years when we played Rubberneck on repeat. Literally, they've made a dream of mine come true. Thank you, Toadies.

Setlist (in no particular order)
"Mexican Hairless"
"Possum Kingdom"
"I Come From the Water"
"Mister Love"
"I Burn"
"Plane Crash"
"Push the Hand"
"Little Sin"
"Pressed Against the Sky"
"So Long Lovely Eyes"
"Nothing To Cry About"
"No Deliverance"
"I Am A Man Of Stone"
"Song I Hate"
"Hell In High Water"
"Paper Dress"



John said...

As someone who was also at the show I totally agree -- it was great to see a crowd at the Showbox who were so into a show.

I'd been waiting 15 years as well, and it floored me to think that there were so many other 30 something year old dudes who had waited just as long, and who knew all the lyrics just like I did.

Awesome stuff. I hope they come back.