They can’t be entirely blamed for having the worst band name of the ’90s. They pulled it from a Monty Python sketch, and never expected the kind of fame they found with “All I Want,” “Walk on the Ocean” and “Fall Down.” But you can’t really blame them for that fame either: Critics tended to dismiss the band as platitudinal pop without digging into the fans’ deeper, darker faves: meditative and haunting tunes (“Windmills,” “All Right”), socially conscious anthems (“Hold Her Down,” “Crazy Life”) or pure pop fun (“Nightingale Song”). Lead singer Glen Phillips has spent the last decade-plus since Toad broke up building an often-brilliant solo career (alongside all-star collaborators like Nickel Creek’s Watkins siblings [Works Progress Administration]). Now that the lights have dimmed, will this newly reconstituted Toad get the plaudits they deserve? Maybe for this second time out, they should change their name.
Fri., April 8, 7pm. $31. With Carbon Leaf. World Cafe Live at the Queen, 500 N. Market St. 215.222.1400. worldcafelive.com
PW's Music Issue 2014