Toadies, Riverboat Gamblers, The Crash That Took Me, Dead Twins Palladium Ballroom Friday, August 22, 2008
Better Than: Wasting another evening blissfully hoping for another Pixies reunion tour.
Odds are the Toadies performance at the Palladium on Friday night won't go down as The Night Vaden Todd Lewis Shed The Guyliner. But it was a triumphant evening nonetheless as the Toadies played a fierce set for an amped-up crowd at the sold-out venue.
It started about half an hour after an energetic, if not fully appreciated, set from Denton ex-pats The Riverboat Gamblers. The Toadies came onto the stage at the more-warehouse-than-ballroom Palladium, and Lewis, modestly enough, asked the crowd if they were "ready to see a rock show."
And then he and the rest of the not-as-spry-as-they-once-were band launched into "Mister Love," from the band's 1994 full-length debut, Rubberneck. The crowd, not at all surprisingly, roared.
As unlikable as the audience was on this evening, it deserves credit for confidently singing along to most every Rubberneck song the band played (and there were a lot). The No Deliverance stuff, though? Um, not so much. Some people in the audience didn't even seem to know that the band had a new album.
Still, from Rubberneck to Stars Above/Hell Below to No Deliverance, every song the band played sounded great--I guess the band's one-off warm-up gig in Tyler the night before paid off. More importantly, they were loud, and the crowd really seemed to feed off that. There was pogo-ing, fist-pumping and crowd surfing aplenty on this night.
And it all came to a head at the start of the band's three-song encore (which came after a too-short 55-minute main set). "So, uh, we forgot to play some songs," Lewis said to the crowd.
After some brief classic rock guitar teases (a bit the group also used during its main set), Lewis played the opening riffs to "Possum Kingdom." To say that the place exploded might be an overstatement, but not by much. Simultaneously, the entire floor jumped and almost 10 bodies were hurled into the air for crowd surfing.
Then two more songs (including show-ender "Tyler" as seen above) and everyone said goodnight--although not before Lewis repeated a sentiment he'd shared earlier in the evening.
"You guys fucking rule," he said.
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The cheers they shouted in response made it clear that the feeling was mutual.
Critic's Notebook Personal Bias: I go either way on the Toadies. Sometimes I love them, sometimes not so much. I'm a big Pixies fan, so I roll my eyes at "Tyler" a bit, but I respect the hell out of the Toadies' success.
Random Note: I missed Dead Twins and The Crash That Took Me, but what I saw of The Riverboat Gamblers kicked some serious ass. Kinda shocking that, just a few months ago, those guys played the Double Wide--and that they didn't literally blow the roof off the place.
By The Way: Man were there a lot of douches at the Palladium on Friday night. We're talking tons. And while I'm sure there were some decent people there--and more learned fans, too--the chatter throughout the venue was best summed up by this gem that I overhead: "Have you ever broken someone's nose? It feels weird!" --Pete Freedman