Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Toad the Wet Sprocket Has Something to Say

Posted by xneverwherex on May 18, 2019

Toad the Wet Sprocket

The Fillmore
August 3, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO — Toad The Wet Sprocket played an unforgettable show at The Fillmore. The Santa Barbara band, which formed in 1986 and came to great fame from the release of Fear in 1992, played an amazing set filled with lots of older songs that did not leave fans disappointed.

Glen Phillips, clad in a cowboy hat and bare feet, started the show with the mid-tempo rhythms of “The Moment” off of the album New Constellation which had great jangly guitars from Todd Nichols. Toad then went into the more popular song “Whatever I Fear” off the album Coil from 1997, which is now 20 years old. Phillips’ distinct vocals had never sounded better as he sang the lyrics “whatever I fear the most is whatever I see before me.” Toad played with a tightness and fearlessness to the band I had not seen before.

The band, who still is playing with their original members, save for Randy Guss who fractured his ribs, sounded as one as they played. The beautiful mixing of the guitars from lead guitarist Nichols and bassist Dean Dinning on “All Things in Time” blended seamlessly. Nichols and Dinning also added gorgeous harmonies to “All I Want” complementing Phillips’ vocals.

Glen Phillips who is so natural on stage offered up plenty of banter as well. From complimenting the crowd with how “attractive, intelligent and smart” following it up with the quip “the rent is so expensive, how do you do it?” to then discussing California cities like Jefferson and if we are North or South of it. He added a few more things that were left to blank stares to which he charmingly said about himself “I’m making an ass out of myself.”

Toad excitedly admitted that they would now finally have a song, “One Of Those Days” in the animated movie Animal Crackers, which has a catchy keyboard melody from Jonathan Kingham. Toad got the most cheers from their earlier songs. “Good Intentions” which has the memorable guitar riff from Nichols had fans singing along. Plus, Nichols also showed off his own vocal talents on “Crazy Life” with Phillips adding the harmonies. Toad even added a little Pink Floyd into the mix adding “Breathe” to the end of their song “Don’t Fade”. The psychedelic guitar sounds mixed with Phillips haunting, strong vocals was beautiful.

As the night came to an end, the crowd was treated to songs off of Fear for the album’s 25th year anniversary. “Nightingale Song” had Dinning and Phillips join drummer Josh Daubin (of opener Beta Play) as well as their tech Gavin on tambourines in a drum session. Of course, it would not be a Toad set if the band didn’t end with the crowd singing along to “Walk on the Ocean”, which they most certainly did.

Fellow Santa Barbara band Beta Play opened the set for Toad. The band had opened for them in their previous tour and had become friends. (Beta Play drummer Taubin also is filling in on drums for Toad). The band played pure infectious, dance-pop. Tom Cantillon, lead singer, plugged their new album incessantly between songs suggesting people buy it from “tinder and atari”. Songs like “Tug of War” was pure energy with catchy lyrics plus keyboards creating perfect dance tunes and had the crowd dancing along; “Fire to My Feet” had great harmonies between the brothers Tom and Michael Cantillon.

 

 

 

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