Saturday, June 13, 2009

Todd Snider Came to Boston

I enjoyed seeing this Marquee. After last night's show I hope we get to see it a whole lot more. We showed up with a gang at door's open- 8:00 to find.......chairs? Yes, that's right , chairs at the Paradise . Haven't been able to sit down at a Paradise show since Karla Bonoff in '78. Maybe I haven't been to the sit down shows they've had...because they obviously DO HAVE chairs. Mixed feelings on the sit-down aspect of the show. Do they sell as much booze at these shows? It feels kind of awkward climbing over people to get to the bar...and it just seems so civilized, too civilized to be sitting at a bar show. Getting there early paid off with choice seats ( a cluster of first second and third row , four deep) but there isn't a bad spot in the place. In spite of the fact that it was a terrific show , people were far too well behaved.

The opener, David Zollo did a fine job. I'm not familiar with the guy and apparently he has been touring off and on with Snider for quite a long time. As I've whined before though , Todd doesn't come to Boston too often so hey...their bad. He played a good set , barefoot like Todd, with a lot of personal songs.

Todd came out to hoots and hollers and gave us the show we had all been waiting for. He played quite a few songs from his new and terrific CD, The Excitement Plan, always asking for our patience in hearing new stuff. It's a great CD and I predict that "Bring Em Home" will get the radio play here that many of his songs have deserved but not won. Radio sucks but that's a post for another day. I've never been able to do a song by song recount of shows I've been to. It always impresses me when people do. I would have to take notes; between balancing my beer and clapping my hands it would be a disaster. So lets just say he covered a lot of ground. Notanseladams shouted out for "DB Cooper" and was rewarded immediately.

He seemed genuinely happy when the crowd sang along to most of the songs. He smiled and laughed throughout the night. Notable as sing-alongs were Beer Run , Allright Guy, Easy Money and Side Show Blues. Maybe that will convince him that Boston is a market worth returning to. He brought David Zollo back out to accompany him for most of the show and it worked well having a keyboard added to his guitar. The show ended far too soon. There were a lot of songs left unplayed and we could have listened for a lot longer.

That's not to say we didn't get our money's worth. I've payed almost as much to see Al Pacino chew the shit out of the scenery in a crappy movie. And the beer was cheaper than a box of popcorn.

Todd has said, "My hope is to be hard to describe and/or new...I'm not saying I am. I'm just saying that's the hope."
Mission accomplished. His delivery is like no other's. His songs are a unique combination of wit, compassion, anger, joy, and sadness. He doesn't reference Jesus as often as his ealier music but you can still feel his attempt at "goodness". His on-stage story telling is Mark Twainish-cum-Carl Hiaasen. In fact he could be compared to Warren Zevon in some ways. Zevon was as clever and could turn a phrase as easily as Snider. Where Snider could knock him out with a secret boxing trick is with stage presence. Zevon was always a joy to watch and the many times I saw him perform he always gave a good show. His between song banter was dry and self-conscious. The laughs often counted on us ,the audience , not quite getting the joke but laughing any way. Even though he most often played in intimate settings there was a distance between him and the audience. With Todd we feel like we are with a guy like us. He's telling us a story and he wants us to see what he sees. He's really sharing with us when he's on stage. We appreciate it.

Back to the seats. I don't mind sitting in a theater show. Infact;" down in front, asshole!". But a bar show really gives you the freedom to move around and I missed that.
The staff at the Paradise was great. No arrogance or "I'm the big-shot here" behavior. The doors were handled well and the bar staff , as always, were good. I wouldn't mind a rehab of the bathrooms but if it meant changing the mien of the place, I'll do without.

Had to buy a Tshirt. When was the last time you saw a Twenty dollar Tshirt at a show? And they came in real-people sizes, too. Not those American Apparell pieces of thread that make me want to scream , with Elephant Man-like passion, "I am not a waif !!" For twenty bucks I got screen printing on the front and back. I'm advertising for you coming and going ,Todd.

Get the CD. Go to a show. Peace, Love and Anarchy to you all.

1 comment:

  1. After his encore, he noticed who was on my tee shirt and half-laughed/smiled directly at me.