The bands also rolled out some new material for fans at Meijer Gardens amid near-perfect weather. Check out the review and photo gallery at Local Spins.
SCROLL DOWN FOR SETLISTS AND PHOTOS
Support our coverage of
West Michigan's music scene
And while the two bands pumped out nearly all of their hits from their respective heydays, both also let fans know that their own roads were still winding on. This was particularly the case with BHTM, which played a trio of rockers off 2017 release “New World Arisin,” including the title track, “Wipeout Turn” and “Damaged One.”
Toad the Wet Sprocket, meanwhile, delivered on a pair of songs, “California Wasted” and “Enough” off of the band’s 2013 release “New Constellation” — the only album the California rockers have put out since 1997’s “Coil.”
And although the newer cuts definitely resonated with the longtime fans in attendance, it was the classic cuts such as Toad’s “All I Want,” and “Fall Down,” and Big Head Todd’s “Broken Hearted Savior” and “It’s Alright” that so many were there to see — and the sold-out crowd did not go home disappointed.
Toad’s set definitely felt more nostalgic, as a barefoot, mellow and mild-mannered Glen Phillips pandered to the crowd, shared lighthearted stories and gave them exactly what was expected, playing all of the band’s hits, highlighted by a standing, sing-along rendition of “Something’s Always Wrong,” a predictable encore of “Walk On the Ocean” and a “Good Intentions” that was “dedicated to anyone who has ever really had a good time doing something they deeply regret.”
The crowd, seemingly only somewhat attentive, remained seated through the bulk of Toad’s show, until Phillips urged them to get on their feet for a late-set “Nightingale.”
NEEDING NO NUDGING
Once Big Head Todd took the stage, however, the crowd needed no nudging to get on their feet as many sprung up right away for a dark and funky, set-opening “Sister Sweetly” that featured stretched-out soloing from Mohr, showcasing out of the gate, the evolution he has gone through as a guitar player over the years.
Following a rocking “Damaged One” and a slowed-down “Please Don’t Tell Her” that got most of the crowd that hadn’t already been up on their feet, BHTM brought its 90s brethren to the stage for a collaborative take on Neil Young’s Cinnamon Girl, a tune they recently released together with all sales of single downloads going to benefit the Sierra Club.
The song, which featured Phillips and Mohr trading verses on vocals and Toad the Wet Sprocket guitarist Todd Nichols and Mohr trading guitar licks put on full display the joy both of these bands still have playing music.
“We got started out in the early 90s about the same time and we were the captains of the weird names, and here we are,” exclaimed Mohr, before looking at Phillips and saying, “That’s Sprocket.”
Sprocket was indeed Sprocket on the night, but Big Head Todd’s band showed just how monstrous they still can be.
Whether covering Willie Dixon’s “Sittin’ and Cryin’ the Blues” or knocking originals such as “Bittersweet” or the night-capping “Circle” out of the park, Mohr’s playing has without question only gotten better through the years, as has that of longtime bandmates, Jeremy Lawton on keys and pedal steel, Rob Squires on bass and Brian Nevin on drums.
Nashville folk duo Freddy and Francine got things started with its own 25-minute set, that featured a trio of originals, along with covers of the Beach Boys’ “Don’t Worry Baby” and Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind.”
The duo, which showed off some wide-ranging, harmonious vocals, will return to Michigan in July for shows at Bliss Fest and the Ann Arbor Art Fair, and be back in September for a performance at Wheatland.
Big Head Todd Setlist: Sister Sweetly, Damaged One, Please Don’t Tell Her, Cinnamon Girl (w/ Toad the Wet Sprocket), Turn the Light Out, It’s Alright, New World Arisin’, Hysteria, Sittin’ and Cryin’ the Blues, Bittersweet, Wipeout Turn, Broken Hearted Savior Encore: Circle
Toad The Wet Sprocket Setlist: Out of My Hands, All I Want, Fly From Heaven, Windmills, California Wasted, Good Intentions, One Little Girl, Enough, Brother, I Will Not Take These Things For Granted, Come Back Down, Nightingale, Crazy Life, Something’s Always Wrong, Fall Down Encore: Walk on the Ocean
PHOTO GALLERY: Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Toad the Wet Sprocket
Freddy & Francine at Meijer Gardens
Photos by Anthony Norkus