While it was a bummer that a family emergency forced Ted Leo to cancel several solo dates, the rescheduled stop in St. Louis at Off Broadway had a few unintended positive consequences with the new night falling on a beautifully brisk Mother’s Day evening.
Possibly due to confusion around the show’s start time, the front of the floor was pretty sparse when D.C.’s Title Tracks took the stage, with former Q and Not U drummer John Davis fronting the group. Too bad more people weren’t there to hear them. Their pop had a pleasant punch to it and Title Tracks kicked it up a notch for their final song, a cover of Three’s “Swann Street” with Ted Leo joining to helm the microphone and shout along with the assistance of a huge Ted Leo fan upfront.
For The Blind Eyes, Mother’s Day held an interesting bit of significance, as it was the third anniversary of their first show at Off Broadway (which was apparently to a near-empty room). I will admit that I’m not entirely the local band enthusiast that a lot of other bloggy peers are, but they’re certainly on my small list of local bands I enjoy seeing. If you dig the power-pop goodness they craft, be sure to check out their appearance at the IWTAS Showcase (May 14) and With a Bang release party (June 11) both at Off Broadway.
By the time of Leo’s quick setup (electric guitar with amp), the crowd had grown to a healthy size (crowded, but still comfortable). In full disclosure, I’m a Ted Leo rookie (only knowing his cover of “Since U Been Gone“). So I won’t give you a rundown of the set list, other than to tell you that it was a really long Post-It note with seemingly tons of songs scribbled on it. Between songs, Leo engaged the crowd constantly with stories and conversations (“cold gin!”), often joking about how much he was talking. All of this combined to a set feeling less like a performance and more like Ted Leo sharing a fun night with a room full of friends. I’m bound to see him again in the future with the Pharmacists, but I’d have to say that this solo tour was certainly something special.
Photography notes: Good night for primes and breaking in my new 50mm f1.4. Camping out on the floor early paid off, giving me a perfect spot to the left of Leo. With little room to move otherwise, my personal challenge was in getting a variety of shots out of the same floor position.
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