Counting Toads

After a yummy meal at the Chieftain Monday night, Jennifer and I went to the Toad the Wet Sprocket and Counting Crows concert at the Warfield. We arrived just as Toad was finishing their first song. Apparently the doors opened at 7pm, not 8. It was so good to see them back together again playing up on stage. Though I didn’t get a chance to hear the first song, they then played: Woodburning, Crowing, Brother, some track off of Coil (not my favorite album), Walk On The Ocean, All I Want, Know Me (complete with Unsatisfied ending), and Fall Down. It was great to hear them pull out Know Me… the last time I hear them perform it was around ’92 or ’94. They sounded really tight and looked like they were having a good time up on stage. Dean looked so different without his glasses.I have to admit, their side projects just haven’t resonated with me in the same way their music does when they play together. I have never seen Lapdog perform, but the two CD’s that I have just haven’t been all that interesting. Glen’s solo album is a little more interesting lyrically, yet is one of those CD’s that I’m not often in the mood to listen to. I saw Glen open for Hootie & the Blowfish at the Fillmore a few months back. I’d like to say that it was a great show, but it felt a little sad to me. He seemed very strained, under appreciated, and a shadow of what he was when playing with Toad. I definitely feel that their sum is much larger than their individual parts.During the intermission, a man approached me and asked if I was a long time fan. Apparently he had seen me singing along to Know Me. We got to talking a bit about how we started listening to Toad. He claimed that he had played in a band from Santa Barbara and played the same scenes as Glen and the gang. He also claimed that he used to be in the band Survivor and co-wrote the song Eye of the Tiger. Then he started talking about how he had started a band called Little Wheel, that he lived near La Honda but still had a house in Philadelphia, and one of his music friends through parties on a large estate and drove around in a tank. I did a little research on the Net when we got home from the concert and concluded that the guy must have been drunk and/or pulling our legs. He looked nothing like the photographs of the guys who wrote Eye of the Tiger.The Counting Crows’ performance was fairly good. I’ve never been a huge Counting Crows fan, so it was hard for me to get into the show. It seemed very polished, yet they did a good job of making the songs different enough from the studio recordings to make them enjoyable. They opened with a cover of “If You’re Going To San Francisco”… definitely playing the crowd. Deciding that we had seen enough after they had performed a number of their hits (Mr. Jones, American Girl, etc.), we left for the South Bay to get a good night’s sleep.

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