November 30, 2015 Toadies Have Intimate Evening At City Winery, NYC 11-10-15
Few names in Rock have withstood the test of time like the Toadies, a band that has been wowing audiences for over a quarter-century. Arguably best known for their 1995 hit, “Possum Kingdom,” the band built a fan base through a heavy touring scheduling and ability to create stories through their music. Originally making their start in Fort Worth, Texas, the Alternative Rock group saw itself reach plenty of success, while also experiencing a handful of roster changes before splitting in 2001. After reuniting in 2006, Toadies showed that they not only had a lot more left in the tank, but the split may have added more to it. The band now consists of Doni Blair on bass, Vaden Todd Lewis covering vocals and guitar, Mark Reznicek on drums and Clark Vogeler on lead guitar and vocals.
With that in mind, Toadies have accomplished a strong 2015. It all began with an announcement back in January that would include them on the fourth annual Summerland Tour alongside American Hi-Fi, Fuel, and Everclear. The good times kept rolling as they revealed their eighth album, Heretics, would be available on September 18th. The album brought brand new renditions of many of the band’s hit songs, along with two new tracks and a cover of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass.” With all of this excitement, Toadies made their way to the “The City That Never Sleeps” on Tuesday, November 10th, for a late show at New York City’s City Winery, promising fans a night they would not soon forget. It is worth noting that the cozy and downright gorgeous City Winery stands apart from your typical concert venue. To make guests feel more intimate, they feature candlelit tables, flowing wine and gourmet appetizers and entrees. The venue even offered a special Toadies themed wine, which was bottled right on site and signed by the band to celebrate the night’s festivities. As the band’s equipment sat in front of the stage’s trademark City Winery sign, fans were guided to their seats while eagerly anticipating the night ahead.
Setting the tone for the night, Vaden Todd Lewis begins by remarking, “This will be weird.” With no opening act, the band joined the stage while the crowd in attendance graciously applauded their arrival. Surveying the room, it seemed even the Toadies were taking time to soak in the unique environment. Opening with a new arrangement from Heretics, they begin “Rattler’s Revival.” The crowd almost immediately chimed in and kept with the band for the rest of the night. They continued to showcase their newest album with new versions of hit songs “Backslider” and “Jigsaw Girl,” followed by a new track “Queen of Scars.” The band then introduced one of a several amazing cover songs that were scattered throughout their set. Playing Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” to perfection added more intrigue as the crowd thoroughly enjoyed the rendition.
Returning to their own hits, the band plays previously unreleased track “Send You to Heaven.” Originally written for the 2010 album Feeler, the track is finally available on Heretics. The band continued with the new arrangements of classic hits “Tyler” and “Dollskin.” Taking the audience back to their Feeler album, the audience was treated to “Mine.” Before breaking into “Beside You,” Lewis explained that the song was “a little love song” for his daughter, much to the everyone’s delight. They then slowed things down with “The Appeal.” Sharing another cover song with the crowd, the band continued with their version of LCD Soundsystem’s “Someone Great.” Another new song, “In the Belly of a Whale,” was introduced. Lewis explained that they had been playing with band In The Whale, mentioning how odd it was to now be playing without them. Before closing their main set, they wanted to treat the audience to another great cover in the form of David Bowie’s “Heroes.” To wrap up this portion of the evening, Toadies played a powerful rendition of aforementioned fan favorite “Possum Kingdom,” resulting in a standing ovation.
Lewis returned to the stage solo, acoustic guitar in hand, and again thanked the City Winery crowd for their continued support of the band. He then played a heartfelt cover of the Burden Brother’s “Beautiful Night.” As his fellow band mates joined him on stage, they played one last cover, “Psycho Killer” by the Talking Heads. The band chose to end the festivities with another fan favorite, “I Come From The Water,” before throwing guitar picks and set lists into the hands of adoring fans.
Whether is was old familiar hits or new tracks, every track chosen meant something and was held near and dear by both band and audience. The interspersed covers were all played with purpose, highlighting their many strengths. Toadies will resume touring after the holiday season, mainly focusing on the Heritics album while enjoying the company of their adoring fans.