Reunion with a True Star

Review by Al Riviera (Switch to

This was the fourth time I was lucky enough to catch the man on the list of my top three favorite artist geniuses of all time. (The other two on this dubious list are Jean Shepard and Howard Stern)

Many years ago I saw Todd perform the Wizard True Star album on a bill with King Crimson just outside of Philly. Another night in Oklohoma with Utopia's first string members and a year or so later in Phoenix with the second Utopia lineup. Seeing Todd again after thirty some years apart was like a reunion with an old friend; a person who had enriched and changed my life in so many positive ways. We had both grown older from rusting in the rain but the love was still there. The love Todd has for his fans has always been apparent in all his body of work in that he gives nothing less than 100% of himself and the concert at the State theater was no exception. Despite a grueling schedule of previos tour dates he didn't hold back on any of his vocals. At times you could feel his pain when going for the high notes but it never stopped him once. His musical career mimics this pattern. His songs have always been vehicles for ways to transfer the concepts he's learned to his fans in hopes of helping their lives. Compassion has been the theme to his music and the high point of the State theater show for me was when he sang Compassion. Listening to him vamp at the end of the song, my mind flashed back to all of the moments this man's music had been the sound track to my life. Saying I was moved would be an understatment. The magical thing about The Runt is that he has never taken himself seriously despite his fans making him an almost Christ-like figure. Like the pictorial print out in the "Todd" album (the one with his muli-colored hair) Todd equals the sum of his fans and his fans equal the sum of Todd. The evening's show was more like a family get together than a concert. The entire audience knew exactly when to start and end the hands of time clapping during "The Wheel"

I really can't add much to what people have said about the set list or individual songs Todd played except to say that I had a difficult time understanding why there were so many cover toons. My guess was that he wanted to give props to his musical influences the same way Smokey as well as The Delphonics were paid tribute to in the Wizard album. Perhaps the Beatle songs were Todd's way of giving the non-Todd cult members something to sing along with. As for me, I want the Todd, the whole Todd and nothing but the Todd.

Finally all I can say is that Todd should write a book for rock star singers who need to go on the road and save their voices to get them through a tour in one piece. My guess is that he is still meditating and doing the yoga thing. As for me, although I'm still waiting for the bell in my head to ring, Todd is and always will be a Wizard and a true star.

Other reviews for Miscellaneous Dates 2003
4/17/2003 - State Theatre (Easton) - Easton, PA

Other reviews for overall Solo dates 2003

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