Show Review: Tom Tom Club at Great American Music Hall, 10/8/2010

by Gordon Elgart on October 10, 2010

Available for weddings and bar mitzvahs?

How much would you pay to hear one song? What if that song was going to be played by the most accomplished one-hit wonder in the history of music? When that song is “Genius of Love,” and that band is the Tom Tom Club, the long lasting musical project of Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz of Talking Heads, then apparently that price is $26. This was, however, a 13-song set. So what about the other 12 songs? Were they worth the price of admission?

The short answer?  No.

When the Tom Tom Club played “Genius of Love,” they sounded hot. The band danced around, the crowd danced around, and it felt like a great party.

When the band played their other strong tracks, such as “Wordy Rappinghood,” it was only good as opposed to great.

Tina Weymouth is still a monster bass player.

It was the other 9 songs that felt like a chore. Most of the band’s material simply isn’t strong enough to carry an evening, and when the setlist was put together, it’s as if they recognized this. The night was sprinkled with covers like Hot Chocolate’s “You Sexy Thing” and The Drifters’ “Under the Boardwalk,” which came across as if they were being played by an expensive wedding band.

Even the encore of Talking Heads covers, “Take Me to the River” and “Psychokiller,” failed to excite.

Now, the back of the crowd was filled with hippie-ish dancers who never stopped twirling, and I admit I was surprised by their attendance here tonight. Is Tom Tom Club a hippie band? That could be why it didn’t work for me.

My favorite part of the evening? I was taking notes during the show, and one of the twirling hippies comes up behind me, and says “hey!”

So I say, “hey! What’s up?”

“If you use your native notes application, it doesn’t back up to the cloud. You should back your notes up to the cloud!” And then he went back to dancing.

Ah, nerdy hippies. Only in San Francisco.

Gordon Elgart

A music nerd who probably uses that term too much. I have a deep love for bombastic, quirky and dynamic music.

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