Toad the Wet Sprocket – Belly Up

After long ago slyly grabbing an obscure Monty Python reference and naming themselves, Toad the Wet Sprocket have embarked on their 30th Anniversary Tour. The band’s stop in Solana Beach was met with a crowd eager to sign along.

Twenty five years after releasing their platinum-certified Dulcinea album (which launched the hits “Fall Down” and “Somethings Always Wrong”) the band shows no signs of slowing down. Fans steadily consumed new album over the course of the band’s career, and the recent set list was generously culled from many of these albums: Bread & Circus (re-released commercially in 1989), Pale (1990), fear (1991), Coil (1997) as well as their most recent releases, New Constellation (2013) and The Architect of Ruin EP (2015).

In concert, the band sparkled on their big hits from the 1990s: “All I Want,” “I Will Not Take These Things for Granted,” “Something’s Always Wrong,” “Fall Down” and the inevitable set closer “Walk on the Ocean.”

The band’s hiatus after their success in the 1990s gave time for solo projects, but recent summer reunions have given way to a full time effort over the last decade. Buoyed by a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, the band is enjoying a second wind recording and touring.

At the Belly Up, Glen Phillips’ lead vocals were in fine form. Todd Nichols supplied the shimmering guitar well-associated with the band’s sound. He shared background vocals with bassist Dean Dinning. Jonathan Kingham shifted across an array of instruments (keyboard, rhythm and lap steel guitars), adding lovely sonic color.

Anglophile rock trivia meisters probably already know the Monty Python / Neil Innes nexus was also responsible for another American band name: Death Cab For Cutie.

Put that in your hat and smoke it.

(photos by Brad Auerbach)

Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.