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03/12/2003 Tonic, Chris Emerson (Buffalo, NY @ Showplace Theater)

By Eric | March 12, 2003 11:59 pm

Tiff and I finally got inside at 20 after 8, although the doors were supposed to open at 8. No matter, we got inside, and figured we’d get warm right? Hah! Twas a bit cold inside the venue as well, as there were 120 people, maximum, at the show. The opener, Chris Emerson, was walking around before the show and handing out stickers and postcards promoting his new album. I guess he had a song on Dawson’s Creek or something. He gets up on stage, along with an acoustic guitar player and a electric violin player. He can sing, but was trying a bit too hard… I’m all for being emphatic when singing your songs, but it seemed a bit contrived to me. The music wasn’t too bad, I likened it to a John Mayer kinda thing, although he sounded a lot like Glen Frey (from the Eagles) to me. So he got his half-hour, and then it was Tonic time! Emerson, Jeff and Dan, no drummer, two acoustic guitars and a bass. It was wonderful! An all acoustic show! I’ve been to Edge Sessions before, but an entire full set acoustically was a new thing for me… They opened with, fittingly, Open Up Your Eyes, and right into Take Me As I Am. Both sounded excellent, and the guys were having a ball up there! You Wanted More was next, followed by Head On Straight, On Your Feet Again, and Believe Me. If the first part of the set was focused on the new album, the older stuff came out in the next couple songs, as evidenced by Bigot Sunshine and Lemon Parade, noteable because as Emerson said, they’ve played it every night on the acoustic tour, and about six times total otherwise in the 7 years its been out! This was followed by Waiting For The Light To Change, and then mine and Tiff’s “must-hear”, Mountain, which also seemed to generate the largest crowd reaction to that point. Count On Me was next, and then the guys showed just how much fun they were having up there, by starting to play parts of songs, just to have the audience guess the songs! A fairly intimate and goofy take on the usual sport of playing covers… 🙂 After proclaiming to be thinking of a “really deep cut, tell me what band this is…” they launched into If You Could Only See, which the crowd went predictably nuts for 🙂 After this was Casual Affair, and they pulled a Toadies, taking requests out of the audience! (This was actually down on the setlist!) After much deliberation (and my request for Future Says Run getting turned down (much to Tiff’s chagrin, as she wanted Waltz With Me)), they decided on Solider’s Daughter, and closed up with Sugar. A cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way was on the setlist (knowledge I have because I got a setlist for Tiff!), but Emerson ultimately decided to play two of their own songs instead. There was no drummer persay, but they did have a child’s kit complete with a little tarp over it, and Jeff and Dan took turns actually playing it during certain songs! It was rather amusing, but actually had a decent sound to it! The show was amazing, the crowd was a bunch of die-hards, very into it and very respectful, and the sound was excellent! I’ve been waiting 7 years to see Tonic, and it was very much worth it!

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