Concert Review: Glen Phillips @ The Music Mill

Artist: Glen Phillips

Opener: Jonathan Kingham

When/Where: April 9, 2008 @ The Music Mill in Indianapolis, IN

If my soul has a voice, I’d like to think it sounds like Glen’s. You know him as the voice of Toad the Wet Sprocket, and I’ve enjoyed his work as a solo artist even more than I like the Toad stuff, which is a lot.

My cousin Bret and I trekked up to Indianapolis on Wednesday to see Glen play The Music Mill, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite venues.

First we ate 40 chicken wings — at a quarter each, only 10 bucks! — at the venue’s restaurant, The Whammy Bar.

Best name ever.

Glen came out with Jonathan to introduce him, and then Jonathan promised to bring us some “West Coast heat.”

He did, with the following songs:

“I’ll Be the One”
“She’s So California”
“All That’s Missing Is You”
“Every Little Step”
“Grace” (with Glen on harmony)

If you’re hoping that “Every Little Step” is a cover of the Bobby Brown song, you’re in luck. He even dropped in the rap from “Don’t Be Cruel” and topped it off with an amazing Indiana-centric freestyle rap. Amazing.

And then … The Glen.

“I Could End This All”
“Political Science” (Randy Newman cover, dedicated to John McCain and his insanity)
“Walk on the Ocean”
“Drive By”
“You Will Always Have My Love”
“Rise Up”

Enter Jonathan Kingham for harmony and guitar on the following:

“Solar Flare”
“Duck and Cover”
“Train Wreck”
“Dam Would Break”
“Last Sunset”
“All I Want”
“Everything but You”

Encore (still with Jonathan):

“I Want a New Drug” (Huey Lewis cover)
“Don’t Need Anything”

Best Glen show I’ve ever seen. He was hilarious and vibrant and his voice was ridiculously awesome.

He talked about the trip he and his daughters got to take to the Goddard Space Center and he giddily said, “I got to touch a satellite that’s going to be crash-landed into the surface of the moon.”

And he talked about space geysers that shoot out from one of Saturn’s moons, and how we’re going to fly a spacecraft through the geysers to collect water samples. Again, he was very giddy.

(All the space talk was inspired by his newly released EP, Secrets of the New Explorers, which is an awesomely written and performed collection of songs about discovery, sex, love and death … in space.)

He also told the crowd he was 58 years old — he’s only 37 — and that his secret to looking youthful is pickle juice.

Pictures and video here.

I gave him a copy of Sunshine.

And he signed my CD, “John — deliver the payload.”