My wife, Jean, and I saw Todd Rundgren last Friday night at the Ventura Theater (60 miles north of L.A.). I was really hoping that he would not do the lounge style arrangement of his hits, being a fan of his since The Nazz, which can be heard on his last record, *SIGH* I lost.
First TR played for about an hour coming on around 9pm (even though the tickets had a 7pm start time on them). The band was awesome sounding (top notch players), playing a excellent batch of rock numbers that had me forgetting about the 2 hour wait. TR mentioned that they were only the opening act and shouldn't expect too much unfortunately this turned out to be the best part of the show for us. Then TR took a break and some torch singer from Ojai (perhaps a friend) sang a few tunes that along with the stage changing into a full blown Tiki Lounge (very cool!) ate up the next hour.
Now the audience was getting extremely restless at this point when Todd and the boys finally took the stage on a stage, cramming themselves into the 25' Tiki Lounge (the actual stage is rather large and seemed rather wasted), complete with wardrobe change befitting the tiki set. He started off with "I Saw The Light" cocktail style and didn't let up from there or that style for the next hour and a half. After awhile the songs started to blur together and it became a little too much for some people as they started to clear out. Now this gave us a chance to move down real close and get a good luck at this 30+ year legend and the great set so we made the move. The audience down front was very into the sound and so was Todd. He genuinely looked happy as mentioned by Kerry and was quite the court jester too.
I guess I was a little disappointed when he didn't come back for an encore, hoping to hear "Hello It's Me" maybe, but just wasn't in the stars I guess. I would have rather seen Mr. Rundgren start the evening off with the lounge bit and finish off with the full on rock star show but he didn't ask me.
What becomes ironic is that Fox network had a rerun of "That 70's Show" on the other night where the kids go to a TR concert and while in the concert you can hear the *REAL* version of "I Saw The Light". So I guess I come away with rather mixed opinions on the show.
Pass the cigarette lighter please!