By Daniel Corey
Toad the Wet Sprocket may be primarily known as ‘90s hitmakers, but the band is still out and about and making great music. They proved themselves yet again this past week as they celebrated 30 years together by playing capacity crowds across Southern California, climaxing last night at The Rose in Pasadena.
My wife and I met in college in the mid-‘90s (she’s been the world’s luckiest girl since then, she’ll tell you). Toad’s music meant a lot to us then and now, so we were particularly glad to see the band still going. They spread out many of our favorite tunes throughout the night, playing cuts from across all of their studio albums.
The show began with songs such as Crowing and Fly from Heaven from their Dulcinea album, and into All I Want and I Will Not Take These Things for Granted from their third, seminal release, Fear. They dipped into the early catalogue by surprising us with Covered in Roses, the final cut from their 1989 debut album Bread and Circus, and Come Back Down from their 1990 sophomore release Pale.
Another favorite moment from the night was when they performed Brother, which was featured on the soundtrack of…which 1993 Mike Myers comedy feature??? If you guessed So I Married an Axe Murderer, you win $100! (But not from me; ask a friend to write you a check.)
They rounded out the evening with a favorite deep cut of mine, Nightingale Song, from Fear, and an encore of Dulcinea’s Something’s Always Wrong, and the biggest hit of their career, Walk on the Ocean.
Throughout the evening, I was admiring lead guitarist Todd Nichols’ beautiful guitars, especially the single-pickup, vintage T-style ones that he had in a few different lovely finishes. Near the end of the night, lead singer Glen Phillips announced that Todd builds the guitars himself, and has his own custom guitar company, Nichols Guitars. Check out Todd’s page and link to his social channels; he has some nice-looking wares on offer.
All in all (that’s a pun! A track from Toad’s b-sides collection, In Light Syrup) it was a wonderful night. It was great to see Toad still at it, playing tight and singing harmonies on point. Good music lasts, and 30 years of Toad the Wet Sprocket is a testimony to that.
Check out Toad the Wet Sprocket’s homepage: https://toadthewetsprocket.com
And buy their music on Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/toad-the-wet-sprocket/462548
Happy listening, DangerKatts!
– Daniel Corey