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09/12/2009 Tonic (Verona, NY @ Turning Stone Casino Showroom)

By Eric | September 17, 2009 3:20 pm

Tiff and I made a mini-weekend out of this show, as Tonic is one of the handful of bands we can both enthusiastically agree on. We made sure to remember the BYOB aspect of Turning Stone’s showroom, and had a good time because of it! I was shocked that Tonic was even touring again, but apparently they released a greatest hits album, with plans to have a new studio album out next year. Anyway, the band came out and started right into Open Up Your Eyes, much to the delight of the crowd. The showroom didn’t look sold out, but the folks that did attend were die-hards, singing along with most everything. Take Me As I Am was next, followed by Liar. The latter song surprised me, as their live take on it was a bit more raucous than it sounds on the album! Guitarist Jeff Russo is more than just a competent player, and the improvisation on most of the songs was top-notch and served to make the songs even more interesting than their recorded counterparts. The band went back to the hits with You Wanted More, followed by Sugar, and then our consensus favorite Tonic song, Mountain. They completed the Lemon Parade two-fer with Wicked Soldier, and then played Come Rest Your Head. Tiff remarked that for the most part, they picked the more rockin’ songs out of the catalog, rather than play a bunch of ballads. We were then treated to a new song, also “rockin'”, that I’ll call Not The Same. If that’s the direction the band is taking, I’m down with that! After playing a song no one knew, they followed it up with the one song *everyone* knew, If You Could Only See. They closed up the main set with Queen, Soldier’s Daughter, and a hell of a take on Casual Affair. So as if that wasn’t enough, they came back out for an encore, which started with a nod to Emerson Hart’s solo album. The entire band took on If You’re Gonna Leave, which I thought was pretty cool; the other band members supporting each other’s solo efforts. Next was a song that was on our Buffalo setlist back in ’03 (that didn’t get played that night), a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way that had the entire place singing, and quite a few dancing. Tonic ended the evening by dedicating the last song to a couple from Buffalo they’d been conversing with online, finishing with Love A Diamond. Overall, I can’t say enough about the show, the crowd, Jeff Russo’s guitar playing, Emerson Hart’s singing, and the venue itself. A great time and a great show!

Open Up Your Eyes
Take Me as I Am
You Wanted More
Wicked Soldier
Come Rest Your Head
Not The Same (new song)
If You Could Only See
Soldier’s Daughter
Casual Affair

If You’re Gonna Leave (from Emerson Hart’s solo album)
Go Your Own Way (Fleetwood Mac cover)
Love A Diamond

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