Performs Career Spanning Show With Songs, Stories And Multi-Media
May 8, 2019
Todd Rundgren brought his career retrospective tour to a packed Ohio Theater at Playhouse Square for two nights on May 5th and 6th. Rundgren is on a unique book tour where he is playing back-to-back nights in cities across the country where he also does a book signing on one of the days.
He is out promoting his autobiography titled The Individualist: Digressions, Dreams and Dissertations. He mentioned early in the evening that, "This is the show which is about the book that's about me!"
The hits came early and often as he played the trifecta of "Hello, It's Me," "We Gotta Get You A Woman" and "I Saw The Light" all in a row. He noted that "Hello, It's Me" was the first song he ever wrote.
I would say that's a pretty good start.
Rundgren also mentioned that he got his start in Cleveland, which brought a roar of approval from the crowd.
Throughout the show Rundgren was very animated. He prowled back and forth across the stage, stopping every so often to use various hand gestures as points of emphasis.
However on "Black Maria," Todd really showed his guitar prowess by playing a powerful and extended solo at the end of the tune.
Always to be one on the cutting edge of technology, Rundgren skillfully used the large screen to project images that went along with some songs. As he performed "An Elpee's Worth Of Toons," the screen was full of albums and artists that he has worked with throughout his career including: Meatloaf, Patti Smith, Grand Funk Railroad and The Tubes to name just a few.
Rundgren also said that one of the best things he ever did was to purchase a ticket for a trip around the world. The thing about this ticket is that he could stop anywhere in the world, the only stipulation was that he had to go in the same direction when he wanted to get back on the plane. Even though he doesn't think airlines offer that ticket anymore, he was lucky enough to travel the world on that ticket and proceeded to show all of his tickets, boarding passes and pictures of all the places that he has been while he played "Too Far Gone."
It was like this for the entire show; play a few tunes, tell a story, show some fantastic images on the screen that accompanied that particular tune and repeat.
Some Rundgren shows in the recent past have been unpredictable at best. He would play tunes that hardly anyone would know, and some fans felt disappointed because he did not play the hits.
This show more than made up for any such complaints. He played the hits, he played some deep cuts and he and his amazing backing band sounded fantastic. It was one of the best shows of the year so far.
Review and photos by Greg Drugan