Todd Snider’s stop at Indianapolis’s Vogue Theatre was a special one, as it was being filmed and streamed across the world as part of Yahoo! Live, giving fans a chance to catch the show even if they didn’t want to brave the torrential downpour that lasted throughout the night.
Snider is one of the few artists who truly defies genre labels and it’s even more evident when you see him perform live. Snider walks the line that normally separates genres and manages to bring the best aspects of each genre along with him, giving fans an incredible blend of comedy, political commentary (both serious and comical), Americana singer-songwriter, and a pinch of the jam band mentality for good measure.
Despite the horrible weather Indianapolis was experiencing the Vogue Theatre was nearly overflowing with fans who Snider graciously greeted with a smile and a wave as he made his way to the center of the stage. The stage set-up was simple, just a chair and an end table with a lamp on it to Snider’s left- just enough to make the stage feel homey without being too kitschy
Starting the night off with the much-loved “Can’t Complain” off 1998’s Viva Satellite got fans immediately engaged in the show as they sang and clapped along, occasionally bursting into laughter when Snider would arrive at some of the song’s funnier moments.
One highlight of the set was Snider’s stories- he doesn’t just excel at telling stories through song, but manages to captivate the audience with his stories scattered between songs as well. Whether he’s talking about Australian kids telling him off because of his lyrics or trying to persuade the crowd into falling in love with jam band culture, Snider displays all the skill and comedic timing found in some of the most beloved stand-up comedians. In fact, it was impossible not to draw comparisons between Todd Snider and a manic version of the late Mitch Hedberg.
Throughout the night Snider worked his way through his impressive catalog, playing favorites such as “Beer Run,” “Looking For A Job,” “Easy Money,” and the timely “Conservative Christian, Right Wing, Republican, Straight, White, American Male” which had the entire room swaying and singing along.
The night felt more like a bunch of friends sitting around a campfire singing along to silly, yet poignant, songs after partaking in their chemical of choice. All barriers between artist and audience came down making for one of the most natural performances imaginable.
Despite his consistent success Todd Snider still seems to be one of the best kept secrets in the music industry, but that just makes the experience all the more special for fans who have a chance to feel connected and part of the show as they sing with the storyteller they love so much.
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