Ted Leo and the Pharmacists / The Reputation - live in Cleveland (Cover Artwork)

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists / The Reputation

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists / The Reputation: live in Clevelandlive in Cleveland (2004)
Lookout Records

Reviewer Rating: 4

Contributed by: maverickScott
(others by this writer | submit your own)

It's been much, much too long since I've seen Ted Leo live. Numerous opportunities to see the [motherfucking] man have been passed up in the past handful of years since I've become a champion of his highly original blend of rock, dub, soul, and punk. My thrist for this blend of sounds was cured on.

It's been much, much too long since I've seen Ted Leo live. Numerous opportunities to see the [motherfucking] man have been passed up in the past handful of years since I've become a champion of his highly original blend of rock, dub, soul, and punk. My thrist for this blend of sounds was cured on a hot Sunday night in Cleveland, and how.

Taking the stage first were local band Machine Go Boom. They were absolutely spectacular, to be understated. If Billy Bragg, The Pogues, The Clash, and Against Me! were to engage in sexual relations, you'd end up with something like Machine Go Boom. Their dynamite blend of folk-punk with well-placed keyboards, vocals of both sexes, and politically insightful lyrics made me absolutely kick myself for not having ten dollars to pick up their new CD. Honestly, this is a band that every single reader of this review should check out right now. I bet 99% of you will enjoy them as much as I did.

Up next were Leo's Lookout! labelmates, The Reputation. Their set of competently-played pop-rock was almost a bit too glossy after the raw passion of Machine Go Boom - almost. The songs glimmered with power chords and bright vocal harmonies, and Elizabeth Elmore's voice was as strong as ever behind new drummer Steve Van Horn's powerful backbeat. Their only problem was that they played too long; their songs tend to blend together after the half-hour mark.

After that slight misstep, Ted Leo and his Pharmacists [whittled down to a power trio of guitar, bass, and drums on this tour] took the stage to cheers from an increasingly packed house. Opening with singalong "Where Have All The Rude Boys Gone?", Leo had the audience singing along with every chorus for the next hour or so. His set included staples such as "Biomusicology," "Timorous Me," and Under The Hedge," as well as a number of new songs such as "Me and Mia" and "Little Dawn," both of which were incredibly strong and bode well for his new album, out this October.

After leaving the stage sweaty and spent, the crowd cheered for an encore, so an encore we were given. First up was an unexpected solo cover of Rush's "The Spirit Of Radio." Leo nailed the opening guitar riff almost perfectly [after warning the crowd that he attempted the same song a few nights earlier in Brooklyn and totally blew it], and after the song's completion, the rest of the band returned to the stage for two more songs ["Bridges, Squares" and "Parallel Or Together?"] as well as a tease of Thin Lizzy's "Jailbreak" due to numerous crowd requests. It was an excellent way to end the night, and everyone in the venue thought the same thing. Long live Ted Leo.

Click here to see Ted Leo's setlist.

Ted Leo/Pharmacists - Little Dawn
Ted Leo/Pharmacists - Me and Mia

Ted Leo/Pharmacists
The Reputation


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (October 13, 2004)

Great show as always, and the bass player is awsome. The drummer amazes me and Ted Leo as always was also right on!

Anonymous (August 10, 2004)

God fucking DAMN IT!!! WHY did I have to leave as soon as I THOUGHT he was done...I was hoping all night he would play Paralell or Together but stupid me, I had to go and leave before the encore. By the way, Machine Go Boom blows. Oh, and whoever puked on the floor on the left side of the stage in there that night...I tramped it it. Thanks. But all that aside, wonderfull show.

Anonymous (July 20, 2004)

Awesome Show, Ted's the Man, Solo Ted is Awesome, as a 5 piece band great, sometimes muddy sounding(depending on the sound guy), as a 3-piece band it's like a solo show with ass, you can really hear his awesome guitar style, I still think the bass player is a pretty odd dude, little or no emotion and he occasionly sticks his head foward like a lizard. The Reputation kicked ass, elizabeth is one hot chick ! with such sultry sincere and honest lyrics. Machine Go Boom had a few too many yodels for me, but still fun.

Anonymous (July 18, 2004)

Against Me! would be a shitload of a better band if they stopped the "WHoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaooaoaoaoaoaoOH!" that annoys me

Anonymous (July 18, 2004)

It means he sux more you piece of shit

Anonymous (July 17, 2004)

"Ted Leo sux"

does the x make it more punk or what . or mean that he sucks more. dork

-bones bitch. jones the bones


Anonymous (July 17, 2004)

Ted Leo sux

maverick (July 17, 2004)

Oops, my bad - it was "The Spirit Of Radio." Fixed.


Anonymous (July 17, 2004)

I missed Ted Leo last time he came here.
I just checked out Machine Go Boom- not bad. Kind of weird, but in a good way.

ThreeChordsAndTheTruth (July 17, 2004)

I need to see this guy live. 'Hearts of Oak' is the single best song in the world ever (not to mention the record).

Anonymous (July 17, 2004)

Phenomenal show, but Machine Go Boom were fucking terrible. And I don't know a damn thing about Rush, but Ted played "Spirit of Radio", not "permanent waves", and he butchered the intro guitar part. He even said Cleveland was one of the most forgiving crowds ever. But the fact remains they kicked ass

Anonymous (July 17, 2004)

true, but it was actually on the 13th, plus im broke. But if I had money and no classes, I would have found a way.

Anonymous (July 17, 2004)

If you really want to see Ted Leo you will find a way into the show. Odds are you'll find someone to let you in...and sure you may have to pay a little extra, but aask yourself, "How bad do I really want to see Ted 'The Motherfucking Man' Leo?" - TahoeJeff

Anonymous (July 17, 2004)

fuck ted leo for playing at a 21 plus show in milwaukee

Score is for being 20

boldredletters (July 16, 2004)

i'll definitely have to check machine go boom out.

slippy (July 16, 2004)

Ted Leo really, truly is the motherfucking man.

Anonymous (July 16, 2004)

ted leo and the pharmacists are one of the best rock groups around.

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

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