Big Head Todd and the Monsters

Tue Nov 9 2021

7:30 PM (Doors 6:00 PM)

Brooklyn Bowl

61 Wythe Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11211

$30

Ages 21+

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Valid photo ID required at door for entry

Doors: 6:00 PM
Show: 7:30 PM

Onsale Schedule
Presale: Wednesday, July 28th @ 12pm EST
Public Onsale:  Friday, July 30th @ 10am EST

In accordance with the New York City “Key to NYC” vaccination mandate, Brooklyn Bowl has updated its COVID-19 Policy, effective immediately:  

 

VACCINES

 

All guests must present a matching photo ID along with proof of vaccination in the form of:

 

Acceptable vaccines include:

   

Any guests, including ticket holders, unable to provide adequate proof of vaccination will not be granted entry into the venue.

 

MASKS

 

Guests under 12 are required to wear masks except while eating or drinking.

All guests are strongly encouraged to wear masks. 

 

All Brooklyn Bowl staff are fully vaccinated and must wear masks while inside the venue.

 

Our COVID-19 policies are subject to change at any time. Please refer to your show’s event page for show-specific vaccine and mask requirements, and continue to check prior to visiting Brooklyn Bowl.

 

The health of our guests, staff, and performers remains our highest priority, and we appreciate your understanding as we continue to navigate this continually-evolving situation.

 

Big Head Todd and the Monsters

  • Big Head Todd and the Monsters

    Big Head Todd and the Monsters

    Alternative

    Big Head Todd and the Monsters are not that big on anniversaries, so there won’t be any big hoopla over
    the fact that the band is officially crossing the three-decade mark this year. Thirty years would seem like
    something to commemorate, especially with the same core lineup, an achievement few other name-brand
    bands can boast of. Yet right now they’re less about celebrating stability than volatility, in the form of their
    eleventh studio album, New World Arisin’, which makes good on its forward-facing title with what might be
    the brashest rock and roll of their career. The old world can’t rest on any laurels, and neither will they.
    “We’re in a real exciting part of our career right now,” says co-founder Todd Park Mohr. “We’re a viable
    band with a great audience and we’re able to work at a very high level. It’s a career that’s getting more
    and more interesting, rather than less, which is remarkable,” he says, chuckling at the unlikelihood of
    anyone being this cheerfully all-in, this far in. “I mean, 30 years into it, I really feel like: Wow, this is getting
    fun. I’m learning more about music and about my instrument, and it’s just really engaging in every way.
    We also dovetail well with the times, I think; I feel like we have something to say.”
    That desire to communicate and connect is very much reflected in a new album that explores a variety of
    subgenres, from the funky (“Trip”) to the unexpectedly punky (“Detonator”), with stops along the way for
    raging country-rock (“Damaged One”), expansive storytelling in the Van Morrison/early Springsteen mode
    (“Wipeout Turn”), a Jimi Hendrix cover (“Room Full of Mirrors”), and, in the title track, “New World Arisin’,”
    a Charley Patton-inspired tune that ended up having what Mohr describes as “a heavy metal/gospel feel.”
     
    He doesn’t feel these musical zigzags will give fans musical whiplash. “The fact is, most people, like
    myself, listen to multiple genres of music, so I don’t think people have a problem with variety. I love it.”
    But if there’s a dominant musical motif to New World Arisin’, it’s “straight-up rock-pop,” says Mohr. That
    contemporary approach might come as a slight surprise to hardcore fans that saw the Monsters take a
    seriously rootsy turn or two in the last 10 years. The band embarked on a side project, dubbed Big Head
    Blues Club, that saw them paying homage to Robert Johnson and bringing in venerable guest
    collaborators like Charlie Musselwhite and the late B.B. King. The heavy blues influence that dominated
    their alter-ego band carried over some into the last actual Big Head Todd and the Monsters album, 2014’s
    Black Beehive. That element isn’t altogether missing in New World Arisin’; you’ll certainly hear it recur in
    “Long Coal Train.” But this time the blues take a definite back seat to the unapologetically mainstream
    instincts that had Big Head Todd going platinum in the mid-’90s with the album Sister Sweetly, which
    spawned the rock radio hits “Broken Hearted Savior,” “Bittersweet,” and “Circle.”
    “Commercial success is still a goal for me and for our band,” Mohr says, “as far as the sense of
    communicating to, or striking a chord with a large number of people. We feel like we have something to
    say and something to offer the culture.” Plus, a true confession: “I’m interested in the pop song! And I
    think ‘Damaged One,’ for one, is a classic pop song. Our label would have killed for that song, back then,”
    in the wake of those mainstream radio hits that established the band. “They begged me to write it! So
    there’s a lot of irony in our coming back to that.”
    The history of the group actually stretches farther back from the 1987 point at which they took their name.
    The core members came together at such an early age that it’s hard to know exactly how many candles
    to put on their collective cake. “It’s murky,” Mohr says, “because I’ve been playing with Brian (Nevin, their
    drummer) since junior high school, so the two of us go back to 1982. Brian and I played a talent show
    with Rob (Squires, the bass player) in 1983, and then we continued to plug at it, at a kids’ pace,” he
    laughs. They began playing original music in earnest in a nascent Colorado music scene that then
    consisted almost entirely of cover bands. A debut album, Another Mayberry, arrived in 1989, though it
    would be another four years before Sister Sweetly made them a national phenomenon. The only
    personnel change in these three decades has been the addition of a fourth member, putative “new guy”
    Jeremy Lawton, in 2004.
    While they enjoy a robust fan base around the country, their success is outsized in Colorado, where
    they’re practically the unofficial state band. That’s evident in their ability to sell out Red Rocks, the most
    revered amphitheater in the nation, where they’ve headlined 19 times. It also comes into play when the
    band gets asked to be a part of commemorative moments: Mohr recently sang the national anthem at a
    Rockies game, and the entire band took part in the parade through Denver after the Broncos took the
    Super Bowl.
    Their honors extend beyond their home state and even home country… into space. In 2005, they
    released the single “Blue Sky,” a tribute to the space program, written at the behest of crew members
    taking to the heavens aboard the space shuttle Discovery; it was performed years later as a live wake-up
    call to the astronauts on the shuttle. The song had enough appeal back on earth, too, that it was picked
    up by the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2008 and used to introduce her keynote speech to the Democratic
    convention.
    That campaign usage didn’t come about as a result of any desire on Mohr’s part to take the band in a
    political direction. He’s not so interested in getting Big Head Todd and the Monsters caught up in that
    particular fray as looking at the smaller and bigger pictures, wanting to keep the material topical in some
    far deeper fashion.
    “Our audience is America, and I’m guessing it breaks down to the same percentages the country itself
    has,” he says. “We’ve never gotten in the business of polarizing people politically. But at the same time,
    as artists, it’s our job to observe and to hopefully find some insight. I’ve always been interested in the
    human condition more than politics. Politics are a part of it, but I always look at conflict as personal before
    it’s political. And I would consider conflict my dominant lyrical theme now— how people are trapped in it,
     
    and how conflict relates to intimacy and pleasure.” A Big Head Todd show, in any case, is a place where
    those conflicts might resolve, or dissolve. “In talking about our apolitical-ness, I think unity is an important
    thing,” Mohr says. “Being a human being, you have a lot in common with other human beings, and why
    not maximize those things? Music has an incredible capacity to convey other cultures and times, and to
    create a lot of empathy and togetherness. There’s harmony in it, and it implies oneness — the root.”
    There’s an economy to the songs on the new album, most of which clock in around four minutes, and
    sometimes even closer to three. You’d think this would make Big Head Todd and the Monsters the
    farthest thing from a jam band. Yet they have a fervent following among that subset of rock fans, lack of
    noodling notwithstanding. Maybe it’s because of the changing nature of their set lists, since the Monsters
    are known to take requests, both in person and online.
    “Our focus has always been on serving the song,” Mohr says. “We haven’t historically been that jammy.
    Which isn’t to say that we don’t have an occasional six-minute number -- we do. But having said that, I
    have a great respect for that audience, which I think is just a music-loving audience. You know, one year I
    got invited to the Jammies at Carnegie Hall, and I got in a discussion with somebody: ‘Well, how do you
    define a jam band?’ And he told me, ‘A jam band doesn’t repeat a song for three shows in a row.’ That
    was the only way that he would define it. I could almost follow that rule, except there are probably four
    songs I have to play every night. So I guess those four songs are what’s keeping us from ever being a
    jam band,” he laughs.
    What’s clear is that Big Head Todd is one multi-headed rock monster, easily traversing the most
    accessible hooks and the heaviest grooves. It’s not surprising that they would appeal to any audience or
    sub-audience that values durability over flavors of the moment. But Mohr has to laugh when he thinks
    about how little the possibility of long-term perseverance was on the members’ minds 30 years ago.
    “When you form, I think your goal is to make it through the party on Saturday night,” he points out. “In art,
    longevity isn’t the goal. It’s a happy accident if it happens, and I think ours was one of those convenient
    accidents that led to a happy marriage. But we happen to get along really well and love being with each
    other and playing music for a living.” Simple as it may sound, that’s a profound recipe for endurance in
    both the old world and the new.●

Please correct the information below.

Select ticket quantity.

Complete the security check.

Select Tickets

limit 10 per person
General Admission

$30.00

Delivery Method

ticketFast

Terms & Conditions

This event is 21 and over. Any Ticket holder unable to present valid identification indicating that they are at least 21 years of age will not be admitted to this event, and will not be eligible for a refund.

Big Head Todd and the Monsters

Tue Nov 9 2021 7:30 PM

(Doors 6:00 PM)

Brooklyn Bowl Brooklyn NY
Big Head Todd and the Monsters

$30 Ages 21+

Valid photo ID required at door for entry

Doors: 6:00 PM
Show: 7:30 PM

Onsale Schedule
Presale: Wednesday, July 28th @ 12pm EST
Public Onsale:  Friday, July 30th @ 10am EST

In accordance with the New York City “Key to NYC” vaccination mandate, Brooklyn Bowl has updated its COVID-19 Policy, effective immediately:  

 

VACCINES

 

All guests must present a matching photo ID along with proof of vaccination in the form of:

 

Acceptable vaccines include:

   

Any guests, including ticket holders, unable to provide adequate proof of vaccination will not be granted entry into the venue.

 

MASKS

 

Guests under 12 are required to wear masks except while eating or drinking.

All guests are strongly encouraged to wear masks. 

 

All Brooklyn Bowl staff are fully vaccinated and must wear masks while inside the venue.

 

Our COVID-19 policies are subject to change at any time. Please refer to your show’s event page for show-specific vaccine and mask requirements, and continue to check prior to visiting Brooklyn Bowl.

 

The health of our guests, staff, and performers remains our highest priority, and we appreciate your understanding as we continue to navigate this continually-evolving situation.

 
Big Head Todd and the Monsters

Big Head Todd and the Monsters

Alternative

Big Head Todd and the Monsters are not that big on anniversaries, so there won’t be any big hoopla over
the fact that the band is officially crossing the three-decade mark this year. Thirty years would seem like
something to commemorate, especially with the same core lineup, an achievement few other name-brand
bands can boast of. Yet right now they’re less about celebrating stability than volatility, in the form of their
eleventh studio album, New World Arisin’, which makes good on its forward-facing title with what might be
the brashest rock and roll of their career. The old world can’t rest on any laurels, and neither will they.
“We’re in a real exciting part of our career right now,” says co-founder Todd Park Mohr. “We’re a viable
band with a great audience and we’re able to work at a very high level. It’s a career that’s getting more
and more interesting, rather than less, which is remarkable,” he says, chuckling at the unlikelihood of
anyone being this cheerfully all-in, this far in. “I mean, 30 years into it, I really feel like: Wow, this is getting
fun. I’m learning more about music and about my instrument, and it’s just really engaging in every way.
We also dovetail well with the times, I think; I feel like we have something to say.”
That desire to communicate and connect is very much reflected in a new album that explores a variety of
subgenres, from the funky (“Trip”) to the unexpectedly punky (“Detonator”), with stops along the way for
raging country-rock (“Damaged One”), expansive storytelling in the Van Morrison/early Springsteen mode
(“Wipeout Turn”), a Jimi Hendrix cover (“Room Full of Mirrors”), and, in the title track, “New World Arisin’,”
a Charley Patton-inspired tune that ended up having what Mohr describes as “a heavy metal/gospel feel.”
 
He doesn’t feel these musical zigzags will give fans musical whiplash. “The fact is, most people, like
myself, listen to multiple genres of music, so I don’t think people have a problem with variety. I love it.”
But if there’s a dominant musical motif to New World Arisin’, it’s “straight-up rock-pop,” says Mohr. That
contemporary approach might come as a slight surprise to hardcore fans that saw the Monsters take a
seriously rootsy turn or two in the last 10 years. The band embarked on a side project, dubbed Big Head
Blues Club, that saw them paying homage to Robert Johnson and bringing in venerable guest
collaborators like Charlie Musselwhite and the late B.B. King. The heavy blues influence that dominated
their alter-ego band carried over some into the last actual Big Head Todd and the Monsters album, 2014’s
Black Beehive. That element isn’t altogether missing in New World Arisin’; you’ll certainly hear it recur in
“Long Coal Train.” But this time the blues take a definite back seat to the unapologetically mainstream
instincts that had Big Head Todd going platinum in the mid-’90s with the album Sister Sweetly, which
spawned the rock radio hits “Broken Hearted Savior,” “Bittersweet,” and “Circle.”
“Commercial success is still a goal for me and for our band,” Mohr says, “as far as the sense of
communicating to, or striking a chord with a large number of people. We feel like we have something to
say and something to offer the culture.” Plus, a true confession: “I’m interested in the pop song! And I
think ‘Damaged One,’ for one, is a classic pop song. Our label would have killed for that song, back then,”
in the wake of those mainstream radio hits that established the band. “They begged me to write it! So
there’s a lot of irony in our coming back to that.”
The history of the group actually stretches farther back from the 1987 point at which they took their name.
The core members came together at such an early age that it’s hard to know exactly how many candles
to put on their collective cake. “It’s murky,” Mohr says, “because I’ve been playing with Brian (Nevin, their
drummer) since junior high school, so the two of us go back to 1982. Brian and I played a talent show
with Rob (Squires, the bass player) in 1983, and then we continued to plug at it, at a kids’ pace,” he
laughs. They began playing original music in earnest in a nascent Colorado music scene that then
consisted almost entirely of cover bands. A debut album, Another Mayberry, arrived in 1989, though it
would be another four years before Sister Sweetly made them a national phenomenon. The only
personnel change in these three decades has been the addition of a fourth member, putative “new guy”
Jeremy Lawton, in 2004.
While they enjoy a robust fan base around the country, their success is outsized in Colorado, where
they’re practically the unofficial state band. That’s evident in their ability to sell out Red Rocks, the most
revered amphitheater in the nation, where they’ve headlined 19 times. It also comes into play when the
band gets asked to be a part of commemorative moments: Mohr recently sang the national anthem at a
Rockies game, and the entire band took part in the parade through Denver after the Broncos took the
Super Bowl.
Their honors extend beyond their home state and even home country… into space. In 2005, they
released the single “Blue Sky,” a tribute to the space program, written at the behest of crew members
taking to the heavens aboard the space shuttle Discovery; it was performed years later as a live wake-up
call to the astronauts on the shuttle. The song had enough appeal back on earth, too, that it was picked
up by the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2008 and used to introduce her keynote speech to the Democratic
convention.
That campaign usage didn’t come about as a result of any desire on Mohr’s part to take the band in a
political direction. He’s not so interested in getting Big Head Todd and the Monsters caught up in that
particular fray as looking at the smaller and bigger pictures, wanting to keep the material topical in some
far deeper fashion.
“Our audience is America, and I’m guessing it breaks down to the same percentages the country itself
has,” he says. “We’ve never gotten in the business of polarizing people politically. But at the same time,
as artists, it’s our job to observe and to hopefully find some insight. I’ve always been interested in the
human condition more than politics. Politics are a part of it, but I always look at conflict as personal before
it’s political. And I would consider conflict my dominant lyrical theme now— how people are trapped in it,
 
and how conflict relates to intimacy and pleasure.” A Big Head Todd show, in any case, is a place where
those conflicts might resolve, or dissolve. “In talking about our apolitical-ness, I think unity is an important
thing,” Mohr says. “Being a human being, you have a lot in common with other human beings, and why
not maximize those things? Music has an incredible capacity to convey other cultures and times, and to
create a lot of empathy and togetherness. There’s harmony in it, and it implies oneness — the root.”
There’s an economy to the songs on the new album, most of which clock in around four minutes, and
sometimes even closer to three. You’d think this would make Big Head Todd and the Monsters the
farthest thing from a jam band. Yet they have a fervent following among that subset of rock fans, lack of
noodling notwithstanding. Maybe it’s because of the changing nature of their set lists, since the Monsters
are known to take requests, both in person and online.
“Our focus has always been on serving the song,” Mohr says. “We haven’t historically been that jammy.
Which isn’t to say that we don’t have an occasional six-minute number -- we do. But having said that, I
have a great respect for that audience, which I think is just a music-loving audience. You know, one year I
got invited to the Jammies at Carnegie Hall, and I got in a discussion with somebody: ‘Well, how do you
define a jam band?’ And he told me, ‘A jam band doesn’t repeat a song for three shows in a row.’ That
was the only way that he would define it. I could almost follow that rule, except there are probably four
songs I have to play every night. So I guess those four songs are what’s keeping us from ever being a
jam band,” he laughs.
What’s clear is that Big Head Todd is one multi-headed rock monster, easily traversing the most
accessible hooks and the heaviest grooves. It’s not surprising that they would appeal to any audience or
sub-audience that values durability over flavors of the moment. But Mohr has to laugh when he thinks
about how little the possibility of long-term perseverance was on the members’ minds 30 years ago.
“When you form, I think your goal is to make it through the party on Saturday night,” he points out. “In art,
longevity isn’t the goal. It’s a happy accident if it happens, and I think ours was one of those convenient
accidents that led to a happy marriage. But we happen to get along really well and love being with each
other and playing music for a living.” Simple as it may sound, that’s a profound recipe for endurance in
both the old world and the new.●

Please correct the information below.

Select ticket quantity.

Complete the security check.

Select Tickets

Ages 21+
limit 10 per person
General Admission
$30.00

Delivery Method

ticketFast

Terms & Conditions

This event is 21 and over. Any Ticket holder unable to present valid identification indicating that they are at least 21 years of age will not be admitted to this event, and will not be eligible for a refund.