Concert Review: Toad the Wet Sprocket
Toad the Wet Sprocket: Quality music on and off since 1986. Toad was certainly on Wednesday night for their 2nd visit to the Carnegie Library Music Hall of Homestead in just under two years.
20 songs with a 2 song encore in a 95 minute set that really showcased the music of Toad for the last quarter century. Talented musicians playing their songs for an appreciative audience. Not many bands can boast of the original line-up 25 years later. Or still sound as good as they do or better than on their records.
Be patient, there’s new Toad music on the way in 2012. In the interim the band is offering up All You Want. The members of Toad got together to re-record 11 fan favorites to bring them up to date with some new arrangements. For example, the new version of Walk on the Ocean doesn’t end with a cold vocal, the music and singing continues on like a wave.
During the show, Glen Phillips looked very serious at times, or perhaps just intent on concentrating on the music. I was watching his bare feet maneuver the box in front of his microphone stand.
A few times you could tell which song would be next as Mr. Phillips would share part of the lyrics (did I repeat myself?). Todd Nichols (guitars) handled lead vocals on a couple of songs, Dean Dinning (bass, vocals), Randy Guss (the often forgotten drummer in the back), guest multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Kingham (keyboard, mandolin, lap steel, vocals) and Glen Phillips (lead vocals, guitars) spread out on the large stage.
The new songs were mid set. They offered us a taste of the future with The Moment and Friendly Fire. Both songs are very reminiscent of the Toad sound long-time fans have come to love.
This was only the 3rd time I’ve seen Toad the Wet Sprocket in concert (and Mr. Barb’s 1st). Each show, Mr. Phillips seems to forget a lyric and/or just how a song goes. Ooops. It’s endearing and adds that human element to their musical presentation. Mr. Philips commented that they were telling the folks back home in California that they were playing “Carnegie Hall” but that they don’t have to know it’s not the one in New York City.
The Set list:
Is It For Me
Come Back Down
Better Off Here
All I Want
When the members of Toad came back on stage for their encore, Glen Phillips shared with us that he gave the meat/fries/slaw Bugh sandwich another try and liked it. Although he admitted (and received some boos in response) that he could not finish the whole sandwich, especially having to perform a show later. The final song of the evening, Walk on the Ocean is now 20 years old and still sounds relevant.
After the show, Glen Phillips (who is now a very youthful looking 40) came out into the lobby to greet fans, sign autographs and pose for photos. At one point, Mr. Phillips was crouching down, holding a small pink guitar which he was signing for a young lady. The next generation is already enjoying the music of Toad the Wet Sprocket.
Carbon Leaf began the evening with a full-hour of music on their first night in support of Toad.
This 5-piece band out of Virginia performed a 9-song set. Highlights: Lake of Silver Bells, Torn to Tattered, The War Was in Color and The Boxer. Instruments included the penny whistle, upright bass, mandolin along with guitars and drums. They ended their set around the microphone center stage singing Another Man’s Woman.
Barb S – Sunday Mix Host