Todd Snider - The Orange Peel (Asheville, NC)
Concert Review: Todd Snider
The Orange Peel – Asheville, NC
Date: Saturday, November 5, 2011
Review by: Beth Baldino
Photos by: David Simchock / www.DavidSimchock.com
Todd Snider Rules! At least according to some new graffiti on an underpass in his hometown in Oregon, where apparently it is the tradition for graduating high school seniors (and some nostalgic alumni) to make their mark for posterity. According to Todd, he didn’t recall the late-night deed, allegedly occurring sometime after performing at a local venue (and many celebratory libations later) until hearing from an old friend who had spotted the new artwork and called to congratulate him for what must have been such an incredible show that “a fan” was so moved to commit a petty crime in tribute!
From the reaction of the crowd to Todd’s November 5th performance at the Orange Peel in Asheville, North Carolina, there is much agreement on this point. Todd “ruled” throughout the evening, with humor and humility, sharing in such a genuine and self-effacing way that you couldn’t help but take a liking to him. From the moment the “Sanford & Sons” theme cued up prior to Snider’s solo arrival on stage, the crowd was out of their chairs in anticipated appreciation, and I can see why there’s so much affection for this easy-going, bare-footed troubadour. In a world where trendy and stylish determine popularity more than anything else, Todd Snider is unique; an “old stoner folk-singer actually still practicing a craft that may soon only be available in public library archives,” as he so accurately characterized the situation.
A singer- songwriter with between-numbers banter that is worth the price of admission, an “everyman” who happens to be up on the stage, but you can just as easily imagine him sitting in the middle of the audience sharing tales and singing tunes about run-ins with the law, struggles to stay on the straight and narrow, and appreciating the good and doing your best to avoid being hassled by the rest.
Fans in attendance clearly did appreciate the storyline in numbers like, “Better Than Ever Blues, Part 2,” from That Was Me, where Todd sings, “You see I’ve been down, I’ve been so depressed. I’ve been overworked and overstressed, but deep down here I know I’m blessed, I ain’t gonna cry no more.“ And plastic cups were raised on high for the chorus of “Age Like Wine” from East Nashville Skyline; “It’s too late to die young now, old timer, five and dimer, trying to find a way to age like wine somehow” A selection of numbers featured on his new double album, Todd Snider Live: The Storyteller, were also shared, including “Play a Train Song,” “Stuck on the Corner,” “Sideshow Blues,” and “East Nashville Skyline.” And he went all the way back to the 1994 release, Songs for the Planet, to include crowd favorites like “Easy Money” and “Alright Guy.”
Covers included “Runaround Sue,” and a bit of “Don’t be Cruel” (courtesy of Todd’s road manager, Dave “Elvis” Hixx). “Enjoy Yourself,” a tune which, despite having been recorded by some dozen and a half artists over the years, including Todd, would be one of the numbers I’d designate as a theme for the evening, being an eternal reminder about what’s most important in life; “You work and work for years and years, you’re always on the go. You never take a minute off, too busy makin’ dough. Someday, you say, you’ll have your fun, when you’re a millionaire. Imagine all the fun you’ll have in your old rockin’ chair.”