Feb. 4 Birchmere Review

Review by Dave A. (Switch to

First of all, let me say that I am a huge Rundgren fan and believe like many that he is one of the most underrated and underappreciated artists that has ever come out of the American music scene. That's probably true of many artists, but in Todd's case there is little doubt. Musician's love him because of his technical skill, innovation and way with a song. Others are simply moved at deeper levels by his music. I fit both of those descriptions.

This was my first time getting to see the man live after following his musical journey for some 20 years now. While I enjoyed the show immensely, I couldn't help but notice how unprepared he seemed and how sloppy his musicianship was at times. For the first half hour he gave off the vibe that he just wished he were somewhere else and his political sarcasm occupied much of his focus. I couldn't help but see some irony in his comments about our current president being "stupid" and then following that with a song like "Compassion". I know, give the man a break he's just human or "nearly human", but the bum notes, botched chords and wisecracks were just too numerous to ignore.

The song set was great and in fairness to Todd he seemed to warm up to the crowd as the evening progressed. His vocals in particular and his playing improved a lot as well. I did appreciate the two encores and cheered in appreciation as loud as anyone and was fortunate to shake his hand, but in the end, I kind of left feeling he just wanted to get the show over with and move on.

We appreciate you Todd, but maybe next time you might pause before taking out your frustrations with the world on some of the ones who appreciate you most.

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2/4/2003 - Birchmere - Alexandria, VA

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