Cincy 8/24

Review by justhefaxmam (Switch to

"Is this place built on a swamp?," Todd asked as he battled (and, on at least one occasion, swallowed) a swarm of flying insects that hovered on stage and were visible in the spotlight. As a veteran of about 50 shows, it sounded like Todd had blown out his voice the night before (the upper reaches were a strain), but the bugs certainly weren't helping matters.

That said, it was an amazing night. Dummy boy here didn't factor in that Cincy is an hour ahead of Indy (from whence I came) so I was literally in the beer line figuring I had an hour to socialize/find my seat when I heard LOCM. Yipes! A mad dash to the seat ensued. Glad I didn't dink around at dinner for another 20 minutes, I'd have been one red-faced, time zone confused fool. :)

Cliche came to a stop when a string on the acoustic guitar snapped. Todd ripped the string off, the guitar tech ran out with another acoustic, but instead TR grabbed "Foamy" and finished on the electric. The band songs were energized. As the Columbus review noted, TR has added a James Brown-esque series of endings to "Hello It's Me" which are clearly improvised and which caused the band (T-Bone Wolk in particular) to double over in laughter. At one point, Wolk and TR were looking at each other and both laughing as TR decided whether to keep going on wrap the song. He kept going, offering a shouted testimonial/sermon which I can't recall and couldn't do justice to even if I could.

Parallel Line is indeed gorgeous.

Hall & Oates, while a very competent live band, really need to freshen the set list. I've seen them about 5 times and they play the same songs, in much the same order, as they did 17 years ago, and seem rather bored. With their deep catalog, it's crazy that they don't mix things up. Of course, "Maneater," which I don't care if I ever hear again, got a huge response, as did their other megahits. Me, I'd rather hear "Las Vegas Turnaround" or "You're Much Too Soon"... even "It's A Laugh".

By the time the encore began, the place was virtually packed. I'd guess there were at least 12,000 people there... maybe quite a few more. I'd estimate that at least a quarter of the crowd was there for TR. The encore is INCREDIBLE. Sure, some of the traded vocals are fumbled, but H&O clearly turn it up several notches and the giddiness of TR & Daryl Hall is evident (they high-fived each other at one point). The three part harmonies on "Wait For Me" are killer... and TR plays guitar on at least 3 songs.

Daryl announced that H&O's new album (which includes background vocals by TR laid down last month) will be out in November.

The skinny-- if you haven't seen this show, get on it... you have a week left. For almost 20 years, I'd hoped these two musical forces might reunite... they have much in common in terms of roots, and TR & DH's vocal styles are very similar (one reviewer once called DH "Todd Rundgren without a conscience"). As a veteran of many tours, this is can't miss for Todd fans.

Clearly, both acts benefit from the other's presence. It would be wonderful if this pairing leads to new collaborations. I have very little doubt that it's giving TR new exposure, sales and fans. As we all know from our personal experiences, getting TR's music in front of people is usually all it takes to generate some interest. Big crowds, a set list that underscores Todd's artistry with a nod toward his commercial successes and an encore set with the opening act that puts TR on equal footing with the headliners and is clearly the evening's highlight, can't help but create new converts while satiating those of us already in the flock.

Other reviews for Miscellaneous Dates 2002
8/24/2002 - Riverbend Music Center - Cincinnati, OH

Other reviews for overall Solo dates 2002

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