On Saturday afternoon, a storm almost threatened to ruin the whole evening. But by the time Toad and the Wet Sprocket took the stage, only a few raindrops lingered on plastic seats, drying out along with the sunset.
These were the makings of a perfect evening for a Toad and Big Head Todd & the Monsters show at Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre on Saturday night.
Tipsy Gen-Xers wandered to seats, happy and carefree. A rainbow handkerchief on a fan’s head matched the Bank of America building lit up for Pride, a reminder that Charlotte had a lot to celebrate this weekend.
Big, cold beers and end-of-summer happiness were the theme for the evening. The crowd spent much of the show relaxed and seated, knees bouncing to the music. At one point, guitarist Dean Dinning asked for the crowd to stand and fans mostly obliged. Most fans in the seats even stayed that way for the remainder of the performance.
There were plenty of empty seats, but it didn’t matter. Those who attended got nearly a private show, with Glen Phillips singing directly to them. “Good Intentions” sounded even better that way.
As the night went on, the evening grew cooler. After closing out with a memorable “Walk On The Ocean,” it was time for Big Head Todd & The Monsters.
Big Head Todd
Several guests said they were attending for one band or the other, but during an informal poll, no one stated they were there for both acts. Could Big Head Todd carry the same magic across the stage?
While still relaxed, the crowd was mostly standing by the time it welcomed Big Head Todd to the stage. The second song, “Resignation Superman,” was a lively performance, but then after that, things slowed down, feeling more like a bluesy bar act for a majority of the set.
Still nice: The blues’ sounds filled the Charlotte sky, adding to the moment that the cool, post-storm evening created.
Under the backdrop of night, the band played on. The empty seats made for a musical chairs game of sorts — those who wanted to stand, did. Those who preferred to sit could do so without a blocked view. There are some benefits to not having a packed house, and on this chill summer-that-felt-almost-like-fall evening, this was one of them.
At one point, a surprise: a rendition of Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl” performed by both Todd and Toad, peeling more layers of nostalgia like an onion.
An endearing performance of “Bittersweet” was the cherry on top of the evening. The crowd started clearing out after that, and some of the more-casual fans that were hanging on did so a bit reluctantly as Todd tested out lesser-known songs like “Rocksteady”.
But the die-hards dancing with hands in the air to everything that Todd Park Mohr played, patiently waiting for him to finish his recital with something strong. The band delivered with favorites such as “Broken Hearted Savior” and “Circle.”