Being a flight attendant, I am doubly blessed when I snag a layover where Todd is performing. My flight and hotel is paid for; I just have to get myself to the venue.
On the flight to Honolulu I asked my crew members, "Who wants to go to Blaisdell with me tonight and see Todd Rundgren play songs of the Beatles?" A pilot asked, "What time? How much? Do you have a ticket?" I replied, "I have no idea, but I WILL be there!" A flight attendant friend, Lupe, who's seen Paul McCartney as much as I've seen Todd, said she'd love to go with me. We met for Mai Tai's and seared ahi pupu's before walking the four blocks to Blaisdell. I wore black and white aloha print pants and my black TR-i tank top from the Power Trio tour. Lupe brought a flask of vodka and a Mexico flag (her homeland soccer team is playing the USA in the World Cup tonight).
We went to the Ala Moana Shopping Center to pick up a lei for Todd. I found a green plastic maile lei at Long's Drug and a real tuberose and pink carnation lei at Foodland. "Yipes, the show starts in five minutes and we're still three blocks away!" The sun was just setting and reflecting beautifully on the ponds surrounding Blaisdell Arena on Kapiolani Boulevard.
We heard Todd singing "Rain" as we were seated in the 7th row, front and center. Pretty good seats for arriving at the last minute. The tickets claimed "A Walk Down Abbey Road: The Only Show This Summer Where You'll Know Every Song". I found out we'd missed the full-band 12-string opening songs "Hard Days Night" and "Day Tripper".
Todd looked splendid in a black suit, vest, white shirt and skinny black tie. The boys were lined up left to right: Godfrey Townsend, Mark Farner, Jack Bruce, Todd, Eric Carmen, Christopher Cross, and Alan Parsons. John Beck on keys, behind Alan. I don't know the long, blonde drummer's name, but he was hot.
The rest of Todd's set was "Open My Eyes" and "Hello It's Me". Perfect opportunity to "lei" Todd and bestow him as the Hawaiian Dung Beatle. The leis looked crisp against his black suit and the crowd cheered for their "local boy".
Todd introduced Eric Carmen for his set, and we didn't see Todd on stage again for over an hour (darn it). Eric entertained us with "Help", "Go All the Way" and "All By Myself".
Mark Farner took advantage of this leg of the tour and brought his family to Hawaii for a vacation. He was proud his son surfed "all the way to shore". Farner's set: "Taxman", "Bad Time to be in Love", and "I'm Your Captain" (Alan Parsons on flutophone during "I'm getting closer to my home").
Christopher Cross started with "John's favorite song of Paul's" -- "For No One". To introduce "Sailing" he said, "Nothing validates you more than 'N Sync doing your tune." When he told his young daughter he wrote a song for "Charlie's Angels", she thought he was talking about the Drew Barrymore Angels! She told him her friend's grandma likes his music. I think Christopher will share duties with Todd as one of the witty front men this tour. Cross, from Texas, next played, "Ride Like the Wind" while my friend Lupe waved her Mexico flag when he sang, "taking me down to Mexico".
Alan Parsons, the maestro of the second annual "A Walk Down Abbey Road", joked, "Wait til your kids say 'My grandma USED to like your music!' " His set was: "Sirius/Eye in the Sky", "And I Love Her", and "Games People Play".
Jack Bruce's set was: "Sunshine of Your Love", "Eleanor Rigby", and"White Room" -- thundering applause and standing ovation for this Rock 'n Roll classic! All the boys returned to stage for the last song of the first set, "Back in the U.S.S.R."
The second set, all Beatles tunes, started out with everyone on guitar:
"Norwegian Wood" -- Jack Bruce on vocals "If I Fell" "No Reply" -- Todd drawled, "O brother, where art Thou?" "Here, There and Everywhere" -- Chris Cross on vocals "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" -- Todd on vocals "Here Comes the Sun" -- Godfrey on vocals "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" -- Todd on guitar!!! "We Can Work it Out" "I Should Have Know Better" "Eight Days a Week" "Ticket to Ride" "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" "Birthday"After show, Todd came out wearing his civvies and leis, ready to sign album covers and pose for photos. His son, Randy, proudly gave Todd a Happy Father's Day hug. While the rest of the boys in the band get to stay in Hawaii a few more days, Todd will head out alone for his Jethro Tull and private gig in Texas. They'll all meet up in San Diego next week for the mainland leg of the tour. Sadly, Todd was not the "Fool on the hill" tonight -- and gladly, he didn't "bang the drum". We wished Todd and the band "Mahalo, aloha, and we'll see you next week at the Greek in LA."
Encores: "Revolution" "Golden Slumbers . . . and in the end . . . "
Alan Parsons once again pulled together cream-of-the-crop rock and roll talent for this year's tour. I noticed a few roadies from last year, and Larry on house sound. Tonight the band was tight and rockin' as if they'd been on tour all summer -- even using several pieces of rental equipment. This show's gonna get better and better as the summer rolls around. So, when "Abbey Road" comes to your town --- DON'T MISS IT!