Friday, September 05, 2008

Another magical reunion show from Toad the Wet Sprocket

I can't believe it has been almost a week since I caught Toad the Wet Sprocket at the Coach House.
Playing before an enthusiastic, capacity crowd on Saturday night, Aug. 30, the folk-rock foursome delivered a wonderful 90-minute concert. It marked the first time since Aug. 19, 2006, that the Santa Barbara-launched group performed in Orange County.
Singer-rhythm guitarist Glen Phillips (seen here in a photo I snapped during the recent show), lead guitarist-occasional lead singer Todd Nichols, bassist Dean Dinning and drummer Randy Guss performed a generous 21-song set that included all of the group's '90s hits, as well as a number of album tracks that are rightfully loved by the band's loyal following.
Kicking things off with my favorite Toad song, the timeless "Something's Always Wrong," the group was on from song number one. Indeed, the outfit appeared to fully enjoy the night and played with its characteristic laid back approach that works thanks to an always-personable vibe, wonderful musicianship and the winning songs themselves.
Highlights were many: the haunting "Rings" and driving "Whatever I Fear" off "Coil," an alt country-styled take on "Stupid" and "Good Intentions," and accessible hits such as "Walk on the Ocean" and "All I Want" that put the band on the map.
There were also wonderful versions of "Brother" and "Crowing" played by the band that couldn't have been better.
Listening to this great band play such a rewarding collection of songs, it saddens me that I never see any of the troupe's albums - or Toad the Wet Sprocket itself - included in lists ranking the top rock albums and/or bands of the 1990s.
At one point on Saturday night - and I don't think I wrote it down - Glen spoke about hoping to come back again soon. I for one will be waiting.

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