There is one thing I usually hate about going to see shows on the
north side of Chicago - parking usually sucks, especially when you
get off to a late start. Most of it is neighborhood parking by
permit, or, just the quantity of cars in the neighborhood makes
finding a parking spot after 7PM a total pain in the ass. But not
this time, and I couldn't believe the spot was staring me in the
face a half block from Schuba's as I made my way to catch Todd
Thibaud's set this night. There it was, I slid the dude-mobile next
to the curb, and took that surprisingly short stroll to the bar.
A Concert Review
The doors to the concert stage area weren't open yet, so I
grabbed a table and ordered a beer and politely waited until finally
it was time to go in. Once let in, I found a nice table and was
treated to Marlene MaCleod, an acoustic, folk singer type female who
was really good, and I'll have to keep my eye open for her in the
future. The only problem is that there were only a handful of people
there to see her. And unfortunately that didn't change for Todd
Thibaud, but he seemed to take that in stride as he and his band
took the stage.
Todd is out in support of his latest release, "Favorite
Waste of Time," in which you can hear the influences of the
likes of John Hiatt, Steve Earle, and others of that
acoustic-feeling, great songs with a message, genre. And Todd does
his best to equal, if not better some of the levels that those
artists have achieved.
Yea, the place was pretty empty, but there are quite a few
artists who are better than the size of the crowd portrays, and Todd
Thibaud is one of them. His set was about 45 minutes (he was the
opener for some other band I didn't stay for), and he hit on most of
the material that I have grown to like so much from "Favorite…,"
songs like "Sweet Destiny," "Live Without It,"
and "2 am," which he says he wrote one night when he
couldn't sleep. And even though the crowd was small and Todd was
getting over a cold, he still put on a show for those of us there,
rather than just going through the motions like I've seem some bands
do in front of a small crowd.
Show highlights? Well, what I really liked was that, in singing
the songs live, Todd seemed to be able to put a little more emotion
into some of the songs, was able to jam himself or let his band
dudes, like Rich Harris on guitar, toss in some really nice guitar
soloing that added to the songs rather than sound like showboating.
He has decent crowd banter, which is also tough to pull off
sometimes with a smaller crowd, and does a killer cover of Steve
Earle's "Copperhead Road." Show lowlights? I just want to
see him on a larger stage that he can work a little more, in front
of the crowd he deserves.
Todd says he has a new CD coming out in the spring and I'll be
looking for it. He's one of my new favoritist artists, and am hoping
for the day when I can say "Yea, I remember seeing him play for
a handful of people at a little place called Schuba's in Chicago.
Todd said he liked playing there because the bar fed the band."
In the meantime, if you like the likes of Hiatt, Earle, Petty, or
Springsteen, you might want to pick up his CD or catch his show - I
think you'll like it just as well. Yea, he's that good, at least for
So I'll give Todd Thibaud TWO "WHERE'S THE CROWD?"
THUMBS UP! He put on a great show for a select few, and here's
hoping he'll be putting on a great show for a select many in the
That's it for this one, I'm The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!