CONCERT REVIEW (6/25/99--Lincoln Park Zoo)

Review by Jeff Maziarek (Switch to

Before I start with this concert review, let me make it very clear that I truly love Todd Rundgren's music, and have a deep respect for him as a musician as well. His music has had an enormously positive effect on my life, and I will always be grateful to him for how much he has contributed to my philosophical and spiritual growth.

With that said, I have to report that my personal experience of Todd's show at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago was not a very good one. This was perhaps my 20th opportunity to see Todd live, and in all candor I was very disappointed with the event. For some reason, Todd's portion of the show, which supposed to begin at 8:30PM, did not actually begin until 9:05 PM. WXRT Chicago, one of the sponsors of the show, didn't make any attempt to explain why there was a delay, we just sat there and listened to the warm up band for an extra half hour. While they were giving a valiant effort, they were not by any means who we came to see that evening.

As soon as I saw the back-up band extend to 8:30, I knew something was up, and then when I saw Todd's crew begin to set up palm trees and tables on stage, I knew something else was up, simply because based on reviews of other shows, this wasn't supposed to happen until the second half of the show. So, Todd came on stage and began the "mellow" set, which included many wonderful old songs, including 'Saw the Light,' 'It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference,' 'Never Never Land,' the 'Motown Medley,' and many others.

As the clock turned past ten and this set still wasn't done, I began to grow concerned that we wouldn't be able to hear the other set that had been played at all other stops on the Half Twisted tour. My concern was justified, because the concert ended at 10:20PM with 'A Dream Goes On Forever' and no encores whatsoever. This was the first Todd concert I'd ever been too without any hard driving rock-n-roll guitar, no 'Love in Action,' no 'Hammer in my Heart,' no 'Black & White.' Naturally, we were very disappointed, not so much with Todd, but with whoever operated the event, because we honestly felt like we were cheated out of some high energy music that is part and parcel of who TR is as an artist. Moreover, with Kasim on stage with Todd it would have been awesome to hear them combine on some of the tunes on that were supposed to have been played. This was the first time I had seen Todd and Kasim together since 1984, and I've gotta say folks, that Kasim's harmonies were as beautiful as ever. That man has an incredible voice, and I for one would have loved to hear him sing more.

So Todd (assuming you ever read these reviews), great job with what little time you had on that stage in the zoo. However, please do us loyal fans here in Chicago a BIG, BIG favor, would you please come back here soon with the same band and give us the other half of the show?

Thanks in advance for considering this request Mr. Rundgren.

Jeff Maziarek

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6/25/1999 - Lincoln Park Zoo - Chicago, IL

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