Written by Robert Johnson
Jul 20, 2012 at 11:00 PM
ImageFor whatever reason, it seems people don’t attend concerts en masse today as they did in yesteryear.  As a result, filling a venue like House of Blues can be quite the accomplishment.  On Friday, July 20th, the Toadies did just that.

On tour in support of their forthcoming album, Play.Rock.Music, the Toadies brought their brand of post-grunge alt-rock through Houston.  The Toadies shared the stage with co-headliners Helmet, making for a particularly long evening of music.  The Toadies took the stage just before 11 PM to packed crowd.  Despite the late start, the audience was still engaged, a little bit drunk, and ready to rock.

Characterizing this show is a complicated matter.  When the Toadies opened with “I Come From Water” from the 1994 Rubberneck album, the crowd was excited and engaged.  However, the band was not.  Right away, it was apparent that the band came with just one purpose – to play music.  Fans who came to enjoy quality music, without all the theatrics, were likely loving every minute of it.  Those who came expecting a little more “show” likely left a little disappointed.  From the start of the first song, the band simply transitioned through popular tracks, sprinkling in new songs along the way.

Musically, the Toadies sounded great.  The instrumentation was tight and on point and the vocals sounded phenomenal.  Despite the precise musical set, the show lacked some depth and character.  The band members didn’t really move around and there was virtually no speaking or banter between songs.  In essence, the concert was stripped of all the frills and theatrics that can make a live event so much more enjoyable.  In some instances, such a performance would be ideal.  This was not one of those times.

The standout moment of the concert came with the final song of the main set, “Possum Kingdom.”  By far the Toadies most popular track, the crowd was bouncing to the beat and singing along with the band.  With their hands waving in the air, the audience seemed to jolt a bit of life into the on-stage performance, allowing the Toadies to let loose.

The atmosphere at the House of Blues was a little crazy.  The venue was so full that the audience was packed together from stage-to-bar like a can of sardines.  Mix in alcohol and the late start time and you don’t exactly have an environment conducive to enjoying live music.  Don’t get me wrong, the House of Blues is traditionally a phenomenal venue and the Toadies sounded great.  On this night, there was simply a perfect storm of “details” that left this fan wanting something more.


I Come From the Water
Push the Hand
No Deliverance
Summer of the Strange
Paper Dress
Song I Hate
Little Sin
Beside You
Possum Kingdom


Hell in High Water
I Burn
Rattler’s Revival

Contact Robert at robert@starsandsatellites.com