TODD SNIDER IN CONCERT: 2007
Todd Snider is becoming one of my
favorite musicians, and his live shows are not to be missed. I saw
him for the first time at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in
San Francisco last October, and was instantly hooked. He has a stage
presence that's unlike anyone else I've ever seen. Barefoot and
dirty, it's just him, an acoustic guitar, and an occasional
harmonica. His voice is a bit broken and rough sounding, but his
charm, lyrics, and rapport with the audience borders on magical. He
has a seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of music history, which he
shares with fun anecdotes between many of his songs, and a lovable
goofiness that you can't help but enjoy.
I had the pleasure of speaking with
Todd last year while he was taking a break from touring, and you can
read the interview if you
HERE, and listen to it on our podcast if you
HERE. Give 'em a look or listen and I hope you'll be sold.
Todd's currently touring across a good
chunk of America, and seems to have solid dates lined up through May
in the South and midwest area, after swinging through the Western
states. I was lucky enough to catch him at San Francisco's Great
American Music Hall on February 18th, and at The Palms in Winters on
February 20th. I even had tickets to see him in Petaluma the
following night, but a lack of sleep, a monster headache, and buckets
of rain made me stay home.
The show at The Great American Music
Hall was nice, but the sound in the facility was pretty bad. Some of
Todd's introductions were nearly inaudible, and the opening act's
performance by Jeffrey
Foucalt, though no fault of his own, seemed like a giant mumble.
Plus many people in the audience got really stupid and were shouting
out requests during the last half of the show, including the
hilarious "DO FREEBIRD!" option that is always such a crowd pleaser.
Though it was a good show, the vibe just seemed really weird in the
place, and the lack of an encore just punctuated it.
Luckily things were quite different
the next show in Winters, a quiet little town about 40 minutes west
of Sacramento and home to The Palms, which is one of the coolest and
most intimate places you can ever hope to see a concert. Todd seemed
to be enjoying himself a lot more and the audience was just great
throughout. Local musician Rita
Hosking gave a lively opening set that reminded me of a more
earthy Emmy Lou Harris, and really set a fun mood for the rest of the
Todd told lots of stories, sang a good
variety of songs from his library o' tunes, and was interactive with
the crowd all night. His performance was deceivingly flexible,
despite having a set list, it felt as if he was rolling with the
punches of the night and giving the crowd fun bits of inspiration as
it hit him. At one point when he reminded us to tip the bartender,
someone shouted "That's CARL!", which made Todd laugh and tell a
funny story about a small town in Alaska he visited.
You can't go wrong checking out Todd
Snider. If you've seen him before, you don't need to me to tell you,
but if you haven't you're in for a treat. Check out his live album on
iTunes if you want to get a feel for what his shows are like, but I
guarantee you'll love the guy, or I'll drink a whole bottle of wine
then eat a bug!
CLICK HERE to visit
Todd's official site and see when he's coming to your town!