Written by Eddie Ferranti
Jun 30, 2009 at 08:00 PM
ImageThe band Toad the Wet Sprocket was formed way back in 1986 out of Santa Barbara, California when lead singer/songwriter Glen Philips was only 14 years old. The other members of the band were only 17. Their odd moniker came about from a Monty Python sketch!

This night in sultry Houston, Texas, Phillips announced the band was getting ready to celebrate 20 years of music together. The question of the night was why I had taken so long to enjoy an evening with these guys?! This was an unusual gig for me in that I had very little history with the act I was covering, but I soon found out that better late than never applied here.

The tone of the evening was set with heavy orange lighting being the back drop for the band’s entrance to the stage. The “psychedelic” feel never left all night long and it was really cool. In other words, it was just “peachy” with me!  Phillips never did actually say the last time TTWS had played Houston, just saying it had been “a long time”. He admitted to playing solo at the Mucky Duck over the years when the band was on a hiatus of sorts when they quit playing together from basically 1999-2006 (albeit some perodic performances).

This night they were loose and together. Phillips on lead vocal, Dean Dinning on bass, Randy Guss on drums and thee most impressive dude of the lot was lead guitarist Todd Nichols. This guy got and KEPT my attention. His stuff was “Cure like” at times and jam bandish like “Big Head Todd and the Monsters” on other tunes.  Whatever it was it was steady and kicked up a notch at any given minute, the lights moving to the moods of Nichol’s playing. Like I stated earlier, I was unfamiliar with these guys but songs that stood out were “Inside”, “Windmills” (killer solo on it!) and a huge crowd favorite ” “Fall Down” !

By the way a very nice crowd for a Tuesday “school Night”, too. A bit of a downer was that they played only 70 minutes and said good night, although they came back for a rousing 3 song encore. Seems like 20 years of stuff should be a 2 hour gig at least, but it’s not a biggie.

In closing, Toad the Wet Sprocket is responsible for 5 studio albums, 2 live EP’s, a rarities compilation and many solo deals within the bandmates. The name always has been around and this night I was most happy that I finally got to put a bunch of faces to the name!  Come on back again mates……………Later