Not your average middle-aged, pseudo-intellectual hipster dufus. A personal blogger since 2004, and hockey blogger since 2009 (covering the Nashville Predators). On the personal side,…
On August 13, 2011, Mercy Lounge = House of Toaad
Reunited 90s Modern Rock sensations, Toad The wet Sprocket made their triumphal return to Nashville a week ago Saturday night, playing Music City for the first time since their final pre-breakup appearance at 328 Performance Hall in December of 1997.
It was a great performance, however, my only reason for not giving it 5 out of 5 stars was the crowd's (understandable) penchant for singing along (out of tune) with every song, which robbed the experience of much of its enjoyment for yours truly.
But maybe I'm being too picky.
Glen Phillips sounded great, even if he did drop down an octave on about half the songs. But again, the guy has been singing his ass off for 4+ months running now. This was the band's 70th show in just the first leg of this officially reunited-gonna-cut-a-new-album-for-the-first-time-in-14-years tour. So I guess I should cut him some slack on the octave drop.
Todd Nichols and Denny Dinning sounded better than ever on lead guitar and bass, respectively, and drummer Randy Guss, looking more like Woody Allen every day, was his steady ol' self on drums. Nashville's own Jonathan Kingham, who has been Toad's touring musician on keyboards and dobro throughout the tour, did his usual outstanding job in the background.
The setlist was 23-songs strong and included selections from all five toad studio albums and (a compilation release of B-Sides and Oddities), including all eleven from their recently re-recorded greatest hits effort, 'All You Want' which was released this past April. The greatest hits album tracks are among the band's most popular, taken predominantly from albums 'Fear' (1991), 'Dulcinea' (1994), 'In Light Syrup' (1995), and 'Coil' (1997).
The band's decision to re-record and promote the greatest hits collection was a rightful attempt to recoup a greater share of the profit from the licensing of their own work, which former record company, Columbia Records, still holds; they've seen little of those profits despite the enduring popularity of their music nearly a decade and a half since their last new material studio recording.
However, a huge step toward resolving that issue will be coming next year as the band announced Saturday that they are indeed in the process of cutting a new self-recorded, self produced album, to be released sometime in 2012.
Two of the upcoming album's new tunes, 'The Moment' and 'Friendly Fire' were first heard in Nashville at the Mercy Lounge show, and have been on the Toad setlist throughout their current tour. Speaking for myself, I thought they both sounded terrific, and in particular, I predict 'The Moment' to be their triumphal return hit upon it's release next year.
All in all, it was a tremendous show, giving any fan of Toad's music plenty to be excited about and to look forward to in the coming months.
For more thoughts on this great concert experience, including audio & video clips, photos, and more, check out my recent post on All Your Blogs Are Belong to Us: http://t.co/Vei2GYp.
--- AJ in Nashville
A thousand pardons on my inadvertent mis-naming bassist Dean Dinning, ‘Denny’. This is why The Scene needs an edit button.
Outstanding and poignant; great story — and a tremendous season for the Preds. History was made.
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