Toadies Fans, In Arizona, In 2009: Who Knew?
Shortly thereafter I bought Rubberneck, and there's scarcely a song on it that doesn't bring back memories. My brother and I discussed a few of them in the days leading up to Wednesday's show, such as "Mexican Hairless" accompanying the climactic fight scene in a terrible, terrible short film we made, or listening to "I Burn" during a LAN party (remember those?). My favorite, though, is still "Backslider," a not-at-all-subtle dig at Lewis' religious upbringing. We had a friend named Matt Snyder, and we delighted in changing the climactic line to "I prayed, 'Sweet Jesus, don't let me become a Matt Snyder.'" It spurred him to buy the CD.
Those of us who were there to hear Rubberneck weren't disappointed; that album comprised half the setlist. Everyone was into it, perhaps excessively so -- a few scuffles broke out near me, and Vogeler had to tell the girls in the front row to stop grabbing him because "I need that hand to play with." But they didn't forget how to play the hits during that five-year hiatus, because "Away" and "Tyler" sounded just as good Wednesday as they did on my Discman during the mandatory football pep rallies. The Toadies still rock, and much to my surprise, a lot of Arizonans are still rocking along with them. And I thought you had to be from Texas to be a Toadies fan.
Last Night: The Toadies, with show openers Flight to London (a "Wonderwall" cover? Really?) and The Willowz (here's hoping they headline their own tour soon), at Martini Ranch in Scottsdale.
Better Than: Getting murdered behind a boathouse, or any of the other unsavory things that happen in Toadies songs.
Personal Bias: I'm a sucker for multiple percussionists, as evidenced by my love of the Decemberists' live performances of "The Rake's Song." For show closer "I Burn," the Toadies dragged The Willowz on stage to play along on no fewer than five snare drums. Arguably unnecessary, but definitely entertaining.
Random Fact: "Possum Kingdom" is named after a lake near Fort Worth -- something I didn't figure out until near the end of high school, when I was working at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and sold someone a map of Possum Kingdom Lake.
Further Listening: Seriously, go buy a copy of Rubberneck and try not to like it.
By the Way: I understand that personal space considerations go out the window at a venue like Martini Ranch, but that doesn't mean common courtesy should do the same. When you're wedging your way past me on your odyssey toward the front row, would an "Excuse me" be too much to ask?