The place was probably three-quarters full, which I thought was a respectable crowd for the world's most straight-laced, conservative city (outside Dallas), and a Sunday night to boot!
The show started promptly at 7:30 and ended at about 10:10, including a 25-or-so-minute intermission.
The crowd was mostly 40-or-50-somethings, many dressed in black, assuring me it was going to be a "Todd" crowd. Good crowd. This theater has a lounge in the basement so the early-arrivals were able to drink beer and wine and swap "I saw Todd X-number of times" stories. I met one guy who claimed to be best friends back in Jersey with the guy who played the Paul McCartney role in the original stage production of Beatlemania. He said the guy looked a lot like Paul to begin with, then had surgery to enhance even that. This guy seemed sincere.
Anyway, the show.
The band walked on-stage without any real introduction. There were three support musicians; a very good drummer who's name I didn't catch, a pretty good keyboardist/ percussionist who looked EXACTLY like Annie Lennox (except he was a guy), and a very good guitarist named Geoffrey Townshend, whose name I'm sure I've heard but can't quite place.
They walked out first, followed by Mark Farner and Jack Bruce. The crowd got real loud when Todd came out, then Christopher Cross, then Parsons.
They ripped right into "A Hard Day's Night," then "Day Tripper," with Todd on lead vocal on both. The crowd stood through both songs. Todd then said a few words of welcome and did "Rain." I thought I was having a wet dream.
Then he completely blew everybody away with "Open My Eyes" which sounded like the Nazz returned from the dead. THEN he did a bluesy version of "Hello It's Me," a song I've never heard him do in the five or six times I've seen him. The crowd got into the refrain big time.
Todd was, of course, all in black. Sunglasses on all night. Black hair well below the shoulders, with a strange tapioca-colored patch over top of it all. Typical Todd hair-style.
While Jack Bruce was on stage with the three back-up guys for most of the night, the other guys kinda came and went pretty frequently.
At this point, Todd left, and Mark Farner did "Taxman" after a few kind words about George. Not a great version of the song. Then he did "Bad Time To Be In Love" and "I'm Your Captain," which again got the crowd into it. They were there to hear the hits. Both sounded great, with Farner giving the audience the "I'm getting closer to my home" part.
Christopher Cross was next. He started with another "Revolver" tune, "For No One." A good selection for him to do, though a touch underwelming. Then he did (of course) "Sailing" and "Ride Like the Wind." He did play his own lead guitar, though, which impressed me. Pretty good guitar player.
Then Parsons (who's really REALLY tall!) did "Eye In the Sky," "And I Love Her," and "Games People Play." I was never a huge Parsons fan, but the crowd really liked it. Cross played lead guitar on "Games" and again sounded real good.
If you care, Jack Bruce was dressed in his pajamas, Cross had a beer belly (like me and most of the rest of the crowd), a ratty T-shirt and torn jeans, and Parsons had on white pants and a lime-green lamee shirt. Farner was very biker-ish with jeans and a black muscle-shirt, though he looks like he's in pretty good shape.
Up next, Jack Bruce, who really brought the house down. This man can rock! Did "Sunshine of Your Love," "Eleanor Rigby" and then "White Room." Townshend played the lead guitar parts on the Cream hits. He impressed me very much. Bruce was walking into the crowd with his big honking fretless bass. An honest to Christ show-stopper! He got the night's first standing ovation, and deservedly so.
In the second set, we started to hear the Beatles stuff, beginning with an acoustic set and the guys all sitting on barstools. They traded off lead vocals on many of the songs. The tunes where one performer did all the vocals are indicated. The band really hit it's stride Beatle-wise in the second set.
"Norwegian Wood" Jack Bruce on vox "Things We Said Today" Todd "If I Fell" Parsons "I've Just Seen A Face" Todd (great version!) "Here There And Everywhere" "Here Comes the Sun" Parsons "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" ToddAnother show-stopper. Of all the songs he did, this seemed to be the one Todd enjoyed most. He nailed the guitar and wore a big smile.
"Hide Your Love Away" Todd "We Can Work It Out" Cross "I Should Have Known Beter" Todd "Eight Days A Week" Todd and Cross "Ticket to Ride" "I Fel Fine" Todd "I Want to Hold Your Hand" Todd/Cross "Birthday" Todd "My Generations" (dedicated to Entwhistle) ToddBONUS
"Back in the USSR" Todd/Farner (TR fucked up lyrics they all laughed) "Revolution" Todd/Farner "Golden Slumbers" Jack Bruce on a surprisingly touching lead vocal.
During intermission, I checked out the T-shirt stand and found a CD called "Todd Rundgren Live!" On it were live tracks from three different shows, including the Bismark Theater in Chicago on October 26th, 1985. I checked with Pitra and he assured me I was there.
This was probably more detailed than any of you had time to read, but what the hell.