Todd Show-MeadowBrook July 3, 2000

Review by Donn Deniston (Switch to

Todd Rundgren Trio-Meadowbrook Music Theatre. Detroit, MI. July 3, 2000

After reading about some of the small crowds that Todd has been playing to on this tour I expected a much smaller turn out for this show. I should have known better since the Detroit area has always been very "Todd-Friendly" and this show was proof that TR can still draw a good size crowd.

For some reason the scheduled opening act, Leon Russell, was a no show and was replaced by a 'comedian' of some sort. After a short, painfully unfunny set he made what must have been a very long walk off the stage and shortly thereafter Trey and Kasim casually walked on stage followed by TR a few second later.

Rather than go through the set song by song I'll focus on the three players.

Trey played well but there were a few too many patented "look at me" cliche drum fills for my taste. "There Goes My Inspiration" seemed to drag in spots and "Hammer in My Heart" sped up every time the song came back in with the cowbell. Having said that, I still thought he did a good job overall. Note to Trey: Lose some clutter around your kit so people can see ya, dude.

Kasim is still one of the most solid and underrated musicians out there. His playing and singing were top notch all evening. If he made a mistake, I didn't hear it. We were seated to one side and got a lopsided mix. . .lots of drums and backing vocals. . .so it was easy to pick out Kaz's parts. When Kaz would sing harmony with Todd, I would get these Utopian flashbacks. He seemed to get around OK with the messed up foot and I was glad he wasn't pearched on a stool all night. Kaz and Todd are a great fit and I hope they can do more together in the future.

Todd seemed to have a slow start with a few guitar flubs and knowing looks at Kaz but after a while started to find his groove. His voice was in fine form (the cool outdoor air may have helped) and I was thrilled to see him play guitar again. Although I always like to here him do Cliche, I enjoyed his version of "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" in it's place. Todd can drop the Uke bit but what's a Todd show without a bit of levity? I couldn't help but think that for all his diversity and talents, he was in his element fronting a rock and roll band and should do that as often as possible.

I've been going to Todd's shows since 1974 (I've lost count how many) and this was one of the most enjoyable in an (T)odd way. It's obviously a low budget affair, but the lack of pyramids, pods and glass guitars kept the focus on the band and the music. (Maybe next time Todd can afford a fourth band member to fill out the sound a bit) I took my wife and 13 year old daughter to the show and they both enjoyed it as well. It was interesting to see my daughter's reaction to three musicians actually playing together rather than the pre-programmed pabulum that MTV tries to force feed her. I took her to Todd's Pod show a few years ago so she didn't know what the hell to expect this time . . . welcome to Todd-ville, dear.

One bit of unpleasantness did arise. I took my digital camera to the show figuring if it was a no-camera show I could take it back to my car. Well, the only posted signs I saw made mention of video cameras and sound recording devices and I walked right in with my camera in plain view. As the band started the second encore I (along with many others) started to take some final (non-flash, thank you) photo's when an usher comes charging up to me demanding my disk. I gladly gave her the disk since I had just put a fresh one in the camera and had 23 shots on the disk in my pocket, but decided to give her some grief. When I asked her why a couple of dozen of the venue's staff allowed me to go through the gates and show me to my seat without mentioning to me that I wasn't allowed to use the camera I had in my hand (did I mention that it was in plain view?) she blurted out some sort of excuse and apology and ran off. I decided to leave well enough alone since all she got was a blank disk, but fer christsake can Meadowbrook just get their shit together. Anyway, enjoy the "illegal" photo's.

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