Pop rockers Toad the Wet Sprocket didn’t quite fill the large theater at The Egg, but their fans didn’t care. The band’s lead singer Glen Phillips was in top form, and so were lead guitarist Todd Nichols, bassist Dean Dinning and drummer Randy Guss.
For a rock outfit that’s celebrating its 25th anniversary, the music played that night still sounded fresh and relevant. Of course, that might have something to do with the fact that the bandmembers each went their separate ways for nearly a decade. But all of the original members were reunited at The Egg, and the evening’s setlist spanned their entire career from their 1989 debut LP “Bread and Circus” to their CD “Welcome Home, Live from the Arlington Theater, Santa Barbara 1992” (released in 2005) and even included a few tunes from the individual band members’ solo efforts.
The unexpected highlight was the almost hour-long set by opening act Katie Costello. Clad in red to honor The Egg’s carpets and exit signs, 20-year-old Costello sang, joked and chatted comfortably with the audience giving the impression that she’s been doing this for many years. Touring in support of her sophomore album, “Lamplight,” many an audience member ran out to her merch table after her set to pick up a copy.
That says a lot about Costello’s talent and appeal. You’ll be hearing more from this self-proclaimed “pasty-white-and-allergic-to-the-beach former California girl,” who now makes her home in Brooklyn.
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Excerpt from David Singer’s review at The Daily Gazette: “Their sound hasn’t changed. Friday night they ran through nearly two dozen tunes, all timing out around three minutes, all steady, not much rising or falling, all straight ahead, spoon-feeding their fans with the predictable and enjoyable. Frontman and singer Glen Phillips called their music ‘mid-tempo melodramas’ before starting ‘Good Intentions.’ To their credit, they were not melodramatic at all. No big buildups, no screaming, no over-the-top guitar solos from Todd Nichols. Just decent tunes – including tasteful riffs from Nichols – that somehow have cut through the commercial static out there to grant them a nice career in pop music. For sure they’re all likeable guys on stage, mainly quiet and taking care of business. Phillips, wearing white socks and no shoes, looked as young as ever.”