Glen Phillips @ The Mobius. Feb 20, 2008.

Glen Phillips

Glen Phillips plays semi-unplugged @ The Mobius. 2.20.08.
By David Moore


           Wednesday night at the Mobius was a little surreal.

           “Can we all scoot in?” Glen Phillips asked the crowd.Â

I counted ten of us in the audience.  In that moment, I watched the same thought dawn on us all. Why wouldn’t we want to get up close to the ex-front-man of Toad the Wet Sprocket?

 “Yeah,” we said, and pulled all the folding chairs to the foot of the stage.

“I’m still gonna sing into the mic,” Glen said, but he didn’t bother to amplify his acoustic guitar. Phillips’ biggest fans sat right next to me: his wife and young son.  Instead of offering anecdotes from behind the fifth wall, Phillips spoke to and listened to audience members.  At times, it seemed less like a concert and more like a seminar, or an old friend, playing guitar around the fireplace.

I learned to play “Walk on the Ocean” and “All I Want” in high school, and I still own a worn cassette tape of Fear. Toad the Wet Sprocket had their last Top 40 hit thirteen years ago, and the band is somewhat defunct these days. Lead singer and guitar player Glen Phillips is still performing solo material, sounding a lot like he did in the Toad days, but offering up some oddballs as well. He sang about a friend promising God he’d never masturbate or get high again if his dad didn’t kill the neighbor’s dog (his dad missed with the shotgun, but he admits he still partakes in both activities).

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Phillips brought West Coaster Jonathan Kingham along for this national tour. Kingham dropped a hilarious freestyle rap about the Ashland Pita Pit. Coincidentally, the Pita Pit driver walked in mid-flow with an armload of pitas and shared a laugh.Â

           “The last time I was in Ashland,” Kingham said, “I had a guy say he would not clap for me. He said it was a waste of energy.” The guy ‘whooshed’ Kingham instead, which basically meant he said ‘whoosh’ and pushed his palms towards the stage. “He said that way he’s not wasting energy, he’s just passing it on to me… so I have fine memories of your town. Do you know that guy?”

           A lady in the front row said, “That’s every guy in Ashland!”

           Whoosh, indeed.


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I am a musician, a journalist, and a music fan. Life is awesome. I play music, write about music, photograph music, listen to music, and ride my big bad motorcycle. I also cook and wash dishes for rent money.

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