Toadies deliver a Texas-sized sound at the Paramount

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Toadies at the Paramount

The Toadies are an interesting case study in rock n roll from the 90s.

The Texas group was a bit too loud and heavy to fit the alt-rock mold which was the sound of the day back when flannel was in high fashion but they managed to score one major radio hit with “Possum Kingdom.” That song, a catchy-yet-sinister ditty that has kept them on the airwaves to this day and likely gained the band somewhat of a younger following thanks to its inclusion in a Guitar Hero game.

That’s likely why when the band finished playing the song when they opened for Social Distortion at the Paramount Since the band has been around the block, so to speak, vocalist Vaden Lewis knew what to expect after the band played the song during its set opening for Social Distortion at the Paramount.

“Oh, you’re that band,” he exclaimed. “Most of you probably wouldn’t know us if it weren’t for that anyway.”

Unfortunately that’s likely the case but anyone who has dug deeper into the band’s catalog beyond its breakthrough album Rubberneck knows Toadies play some excellent hard rock and definitely an underrated gem from the days of 90s alt rock. The band’s 60-minute set included several choice cuts from Rubberneck (“Backslider” was noticably absent) as well as the title track off the band’s highly underrated comeback record, 2008’s No Deliverance.

Despite some sound issues that caused a bit too much low end throughout the band played a no-frills set of heavy tunes. And while the focus of the set was the band’s older material (they were opening for Social D, a band that traces its roots to 1979 so chances are Social D fans would be familiar with Rubberneck songs) it was the two new songs from the band’s upcoming album that stood out the most.

One song, “Summer of the Strange,” was a bit of a slow, uneven song compared to the rest of the band’s set. It features a deep bassline and Lewis repeatedly singing “Give me back control”. The other song, “Rattler’s Revival,”  It features Lewis barking out lyrics like a street preacher. The diversity of the two songs, or at least diversity as far as Toadies’ typical hard and heavy songs are concerned, show promise for the new record and hope for the group that perhaps they can move beyond being known as “that band.”

Toadies set list:

I Come From the Water
400 Bucks
Possum Kingdom
Rattlers Revival
No Deliverance
Summer of the Strange
Push the Hand


Travis Hay

About Travis Hay

Travis Hay is a professional music journalist who has spent the past 14 years documenting and enjoying Seattle's diverse music scene. In 2009 he established Guerrilla Candy and is currently the site's editor and publisher. He has written for various media outlets including MSN Music, the Seattle-Post Intelligencer, Seattle Weekly, and others and was the founder and editor of defunct music site Ear Candy.