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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, August 6, 2009

Review: The Toadies add a nice touch to Edgefest in Altamont

By Jordan J. Michael

ALTAMONT –– The sun was beating down as hard as the bass drum at the 2009 Edgefest in Altamont on Saturday as fans gathered to see some of the country’s biggest rock and metal acts.

Northern Lights, a tobacco shop in Colonie with hippie flavor, was on site with a plethora of glass pieces for sale. The most expensive glass item was a $359 piece with a New York Yankees logo blown into it.

“I’m here to see Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society,” said Justin Ward of Berne, who was wearing a Baroness shirt. Black Label was set to be the second-to-last band of the day. “I’m also here to get drunk and I’m not ashamed to say that. I’m taking it easy now, but I’ll go crazy later.”

The Toadies hit the stage at about 3:30 p.m. with some blistering modern hard rock. The Dallas, Texas band has been around since 1989 and opened with “I Come From The Water” from its 1994 debut album Rubberneck.

Lead singer/guitarist Vaden Todd Lewis and drummer Mark Reznicek have been with the Toadies practically since day one and guitarist Clark Vogeler joined in 1996. The band had a fall-out in 2001 after original bassist Lisa Umbarger quit.

The Toadies got back together with Doni Blair on bass in 2008 and released a new album called No Deliverance. The band has been touring for the past year.

“We’ve been touring with the new album for a while and we’ve played in many small towns, but none this good,” Vogeler said after the set on Saturday. “This was pretty much the one off for the tour. We’re catching a plane ride home in a few hours.”

Halfway though the Toadies’ set, the band seemed to be a sleek version of Nirvana’s throttling grunge and the Pixies’ distorted guitar rock, but without all the quirks that come with it. The Toadies simply regurgitate their influences.

That description is best shown through the very popular single “Possum Kingdom” from Rubberneck that the band played towards the end of the set. The song still gets radio play today and it was apparent that the Edgefest crowd was waiting for that song.

Fans were singing and dancing along to “Possum Kingdom,” and a dance pit soon opened up in the front center.

“Everyone goes crazy to that song and I don’t blame them because it’s a great tune,” said Vogeler. “However, we did have some smaller hits after that and we’ve gotten a little more rehearsed over the years. We hold true to the Texas blues rock.”

The Toadies ended with the song “Tyler,” also off Rubberneck. The band played a few songs from No Deliverance, too.

“When you play with the same guys for 13 years, you tend to get tighter as you go along,” said Reznicek, who found time to smoke cigarettes and drink beer while drumming. “Our bassist may be a newer guy to our group, but we can all read each other’s minds on stage.”

Vogeler told The Enterprise that the Toadies’ future is up in the air. “Our new record was pretty successful, but we’re well into our 40s now,” he said. “We’ll play it by ear, or by year.”

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