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Show Review: Toad The Wet Sprocket returns to Royal Oak Music Theater 11/14/13

Toad The Wet Sprocket, TTWS, Toad, The band with the weird name; whatever you remember them as, are back with a new album and tour for the first time in 15 years.  

The group is rare in the sense that they are the original members. Singer Glen Phillips, bassist Dean Dinning, guitarist Todd Nichols, and drummer Randy Guss formed 27 years ago having known each other from high school in Santa Barbara, California. They disbanded in 1998 but still played the occasional show or short tour, but mostly on the West Coast. Hardcore fans surely have followed the groups members and their different projects but I'm sure none of that matches what it's like to have a new record, "New Constellation", and tour in support of it. 
Singer/Guitarist Glen Phillips
Bassist Dean Dinning

This show was somewhat of a flashback for myself. I personally attended their last tour here in Royal Oak 15 years ago.  I know during that show I never thought it would be another 15 years before I would see them again. At that time, just about everyone into the 90's alternative music scene was sure to know their hits, All I Want, Walk On The Ocean, and their hit song at the time Crazy Life.
Guitarist Todd Nichols

Drummer Randy Guss

Now at this current time, fans have much more.  The set was heavy with new songs, six of the eleven from the new record, to be exact.   We've all been to shows when a band plays new songs and many people in the crowd groan, they only came to hear the hits.  This will probably not happen at any shows on this tour because the fans personally paid for these new songs.

The band funded the album with a crowdfunding kickstarter campaign. They set a goal of raising $50,000 in 60 days and reached that mark in 24 hours! After it was over the band raised a total of $264,000.  The first song written for the album was the title track, New Constellation. Fans obviously have embraced this song because I saw most of them singing every word to it.

The stage show is not over the top.  There are no special effects, no fancy lighting, just a group of solid musicians. They add in talented musician, Jonathan Kingham, on some keyboards and a lap steel guitar and that's about all they need.  They brought more than just a show, they brought an experience. Playing old hits and new songs that the fans are personally responsible for. The group with no doubt appreciates this.  After the 100 minute set the group spent well over an hour meeting with, and signing autographs for everyone that waited. Old memories were shared and new ones were made.  To most, including myself, this kind of experience is priceless.

Here is the setlist from the show:

The Moment
Good Intentions
New Constellation
All I Want
Come Back Down
Nightingale Song
Is There Anyone Out There
Rare Bird
Crazy Life
I Will Not Take These Things For Granted
California Wasted
Is It For Me
Come Down
Fall Down
Something's Always Wrong
I'll Bet On You
Walk On The Ocean

To see all my photos from the show click HERE

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