Volume: Big Rock Weekend – The Cult/Toadies 3/9-10/2006

Originally Posted on MySpace 3/18/06

It is the end of a very long day. I’m beat, sunburned, dissatisfied, and more than a bit irritated. I saw 2 shows this weekend, which is a rarity anymore, and they both could’ve gone great, and they both could’ve been flops. To my surprise, the outcome in my head was way wrong.

I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting much out of The Cult on Friday. But it was one of those shows that if I didn’t attend, I’d have been disappointed afterward. So I bit the bullet and along with Kelly and Brent spent the $50 (yeah, $50) for the ticket. I’ve seen them 7 times before, and as much as I’ve always loved them, there was always that chance they could suck, really bad. Neither Kelly nor Brent had seen them before; therefore they were high with expectations.

The Cult absolutely delivered. They were 19 years older than the first time I saw them, but looked good and sounded great, maybe not as great as they were on Electric or Sonic Temple, but much better than I expected. Their song selection was tremendous, pulling out such gems from Love as “Brother Wolf, Sister Moon”, “Revolution”, and “The Phoenix”. Staying true to form, Ian Astbury missed quite a few lyrics, but he’s always done that. When I saw them open for Metallica in ’89, he was doing good to hit half of the lyrics. Also on the set list was a live rarity, “Electric Ocean”, which they estimate was the first time it had been played since 1988 on the Electric tour.

The crowd was huge, if not a sell-out, then maybe 1 ticket away. It was the most people I’d seen in the Ridglea Theatre since The Toadies in 2001.

Saturday was the big Toadies reunion show at the St. Patty’s Day parade on Greenville. Over 10,000 drunken people crammed on the street in a very muggy, hot uncomfortable existence for 4 hours. Needless to say, this is not a positive mix. The area being used was not conducive to this environment whatsoever with temporary barricades that would move whenever the crowd would swell, causing hazards for everyone involved.

I have estimated that over the years I have probably seen this band around 300 times. One day I will write about how I feel about this band and their music etc., but not today. That will certainly take some time and thought. Even though I haven’t seen them play in 4.5 years, I can still tell you if something is remotely off, or if it’s a bad show period. In all the times I’ve seen them, I’ve maybe seen 3 bad shows. Ever.

Today was one. I’m not necessarily the biggest fan of the reunion show. For any band. Granted, when Brutal Juice announced they would play again after being broken up for almost 4 years, I was thrilled. But, like the aforementioned Cult show, I would be disappointed if I hadn’t gone for the Toadies.

As for the show itself, the atmosphere was tainted, there didn’t seem to be much energy on-stage (when I watched them, instead of scouring the crowd for possible flying bottles, bodies, etc., I could be very wrong about this), and song selection seemed to lack a bit. They played mostly what you wanted and “Possum Kingdom”, but something was missing. Almost like a disconnect with the crowd. When Todd Lewis is on, he’s on, and can hold a crowd in the palm of his hand for however long he wants.  He just didn’t seem to be on. Fortunately for him, the 10,000 drunkards didn’t even notice. They were too busy fighting, moshing, and throwing things to pay attention. Not to say the attendance wasn’t extremely impressive, the crowd stretched back as far as I could see, which is unfortunately where I believe Alicia was.

Even with my feelings about reunion shows, if the conditions were better, I would pay U2 money to see the classic lineup again. Maybe even have both Clark and Darrel play their songs, for I never want to disrespect Clark. But to see Lisa onstage again as a Toad, that would be worth it. In 1995, there wasn’t a better live band than Todd, Lisa, Mark and Darrel. They were Rocket from the Crypt tight, which says something.

Fortunately Baboon brought it in the 1:00 pm time slot, so the day wasn’t a total washout. Their new material is the bomb. Go see Baboon. Period.

I say all of this to say; I’ll see you all again next time The Toadies play.

Dammit.

Toadies Revisited

In retrospect, I think I was a bit harsh on the bands show. Maybe it was just the crowd that was horrible. How can I really be disappointed with a setlist that was made up of the entire Rubberneck album, Ruth and Sweetness? Plus the Skynyrd-esqe epic of I Burn. They can rock it when need be, I’ll tell ya. The atmosphere was still atrocious though.

I do love this band.

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~ by thesynaptic on August 4, 2010.

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