Big Head Todd and the Monsters Friday at The Met
You get the sense that Colorado rock band Big Head Todd and the Monsters has traversed a few highways.
Because it’s a feeling of travel and being out on the open road that occupies a palpable presence in the band’s music.
It’s something that comes naturally to the band, which includes singer-guitarist Todd Park Mohr, bassist Rob Squires and drummer Brian Nevin. The three have been together for almost a decade, and they’ve logged more miles than most of today’s bands.
With a capacity crowd riding shotgun, Big Head Todd (who also featured a keyboardist and a female backup singer) took the audience on many exciting musical road trips Friday at The Met.
Some songs twisted and turned like a highway mountain pass. Others just motored down the road at an easygoing pace. A few even scooted rather swiftly.
The band’s imagery-soaked music also reflects the different hours of the day and the seasons one endures during a long haul. The purpose of the Big Head Todd and the Monsters concert was to give fans a sneak peek at material slated to appear on the group’s fifth album, which is to arrive in stores February.
Judging from just one listen, the new songs, particularly “Help Us,” fared well next to the more familiar tunes from the albums “Sister Sweetly” and “Stratagem.” If radio programmers actually listen to the new album - unlike the last one - a few of these fresh tunes just might enable the band to soar past its cult status and become a rock ‘n’ roll heavyweight.
Another thing made obvious during Big Head Todd’s set is how much the band’s music sounds like that of the Counting Crows. But it’s doubtful Big Head Todd borrowed some of the Counting Crows’ signatures - jangling guitars, storytelling songs and soulful crooning. It’s the other way around, as Big Head Todd was out touring the country while Counting Crows was playing basement fraternity parties.
The Ugly Americans opened. The Austin quintet played a mixed stew of hippie-friendly groove rock, spine-twisting funk and spirited R&B.;
Like the crowd, the band seemed to be subdued for most of its 40-minute set.