Concert Review: Toad the Wet Sprocket, Orlando, Florida, April 29, 2011

"All i need's a starting place and nothing ever seemed so hard..."
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When I close my eyes and remember the home I grew up in (in beautiful Brandon, Florida) there are a few things that always come to mind. The first is our basset hound, Sneakers. The second, the sound of my mom singing in the morning when she did laundry. The third thing I think of?  My brother's room - and the giant poster of the Dulciena album cover that hung on his wall. Like any kid who worships her big brother I immediately purchased the Dulciena cassette tape - a move that began my straight up love affair with Toad the Wet Sprocket.

Having followed Toad for years, and then the Glen Phillips and Lapdog side projects, I was thrilled to hear the band was touring again. Since the band hasn't put a record out since 1997's Coil I wasn't sure what the turnout would be for a Toad show - especially in Orlando, Florida - which isn't exactly known for it's musical acumen. I was excited to see a strong turnout of folks who, at least from my completely aesthetic judgements, were just like me - thirty somethings who either can't accept that it's no longer 1998 or who manage to keep their fingers on the pulse of great music despite their corporate jobs and responsibilities.

The set list was any Toad fan's dream - lots of great songs from the entire Toad collection. "This is for the old school fans," Glen stated before the band played "Way Away" from the bands first record Bread and Circus. Not only is that record a fantastic freshman attempt, but the members of the band were barely out of high school when they created it. It's okay, that statement makes me feel like a giant slacker too.

Aside from tackling Toad classics, they also treated us to one of Glen's solo tunes ("Finally Fading") played by the full band. Does it get better than that?  Why yes, it does. We were also given the gift of two new Toad songs and the news that a new record is on its way next year. Is it next year yet?

Here's a recap of the set list - but I believe it's missing a song because a certain blogger who should have been taking diligent notes might have been at the bar ordering a Stella Artois. Sorry about that folks.

  • Somethings Always Wrong
  • Whatever I Fear
  • Crowing
  • Good Intentions
  • Way Away
  • Windmills
  • Is It For Me
  • New Song 1
  • New Song 2
  • Come Back Down
  • Nightingale Song
  • Damn Would Break
  • Finally Fading 
  • Crazy Life
  • All I Want
  • Brother
  • Fall Down
  • Come Down
  • Walk On The Ocean
  • All in all it was a great night with a great group of musicians. I always note when I see Glen perform (which I have probably about a dozen times either with Toad or solo) the way he says "thank you" after each song. It's the sweetest and most sincere "thank you" I think I've ever heard come out of a PA system. It's as if he always seems genuinely shocked and grateful that there are so many people there appreciating his brilliance. Gotta love it when musicians with amazing talent are also well mannered. Enough from me...what about you?  Thoughts on a new Toad record?