After making music for more than 30 years together, Colorado rockers Big Head Todd and the Monsters brought some new tunes to the Palace Theatre in St. Paul on Saturday night. The band is out on the road in support of their 11th studio album New World Arisin’, one of the bands heaviest to date. The hot rocking new music was a welcome reprieve from a frigid Minnesota night.
Opening the show on Saturday night was blues royalty Ronnie Baker Brooks. This legendary singer/songwriter and absolute monster guitar player has shared the stage with Eric Clapton, B.B. King and Buddy Guy. Brooks is out supporting his forthcoming album Times Have Changed. The set was a study in the blues. The sound was clean, but raw, as Ronnie has put away the effects pedals and plugs his axe directly into the amp. The set was seminar in the blues, as Brooks paid homage his father Lonnie Brooks, as well as Howlin’ Wolf and Koko Taylor. Ronnie was very engaged with the crowd, at one point during a call and response he joked “That was alright for Iowa”, drawing a loud roar from the crowd. Todd Mohr joined Brooks on stage for “Doing Too Much”, a song the pair co-wrote for Ronnie’s forthcoming release.
Set List: It’s On – My Love Will Never Die – Born In Chicago – Twine Time – Times Have Changed – Doin’ Too Much – Take Me Witcha
Big Head Todd and the Monsters came on right around 9:15pm to a packed and excited congregation. The band came out swinging for the fences with their opening number. With a smoking hot version of “Room Full Of Mirrors, A Hendrix cover, guitarist Todd Mohr showed why he’s still one of the most skillful guitarist touring today. Effortlessly gliding up and down the fret board, Mohr’s command of the instrument is mesmerizing. The band’s sound is rock with a blues twinge. Drummer Brian Navin and bassist Rob Squires have been with the band from the beginning, and these guys play together like intertwining grape vines, weaving an almost funk like groove.
The band has 30 years of material to choose from, and the set list included songs from just about every album. They played some of their biggest hits, including “Bittersweet”, “It’s Alright” and “Circle”. “Long Coal Train” had the Palace boogieing with it’s slide heavy groove. With no flashy light show, Big Head Todd And The Monsters let the music rule the day. They also featured some new material, including “Wipeout Turn” and “New World Arisn’”. While “Broken Hearted Savior’ had the crowd in a frenzy, the loudest response of the evening came during the encore as the guys performed an amazing cover of “Voodoo Chile”, bookending the show with Jimi Hendrix songs.
After 30 years of making music together, Big Head Todd And The Monsters are tighter than ever and still exploring new territory.
Set List: Roomful Of Mirrors – Turn The Light Out – Wipeout Turn – Bittersweet – The Damaged One – Trip – Please Don’t Tell Her – Long Coal Train – Crazy Mary – Rocksteady – It’s Alright – Mind – Moose Song – Everything About You – New World Arisin’ – Broken Hearted Savior
Encore: Glow – Circle – Voodoo Chile