Review of Todd Rundgren Show at Canal Club

Review by Mortimer McWilliams (Switch to

Todd Rundgren performed solo in front of a small, but adoring crowd of about 200 at the Canal Club. The show lasted close to two hours, including a three-song encore that followed an enthusiastic standing ovation.

Todd’s set mostly featured him on acoustic guitar and grand piano as well as his ever-present pointed sense of humor. However, he did sing a handful of songs from his With A Twist CD over pre-recorded MP3 tracks. He also played a mean ukulele solo on "Bang On the Ukulele Daily", a re-working from his last studio album of his hit "Bang On The Drum All Day". The MP3 karaoke concept seems hokie on the surface, but he made it appear hip. And besides, how can you afford to bring along a full band just to play for 200 people?

The acoustic guitar was run through a multi-effects pedal that provided some raunchy distortion for "Black and White" and a tremendous and energetic version of Red Rider’s "Lunatic Fringe". At other times, the acoustic guitar sounded like an acoustic guitar. Such was the case when he did a humorous, country version of the Beatle’s "You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away" during which he joked between verses about his country music talents over an alternating bass note rhythm. His grand piano playing was wonderful as he presented "Hello, It’s Me" and "It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference".

Even in his mid-fifties Todd has a great voice. He hit notes some people didn’t know existed while singing "I Want You", "Can We Still Be Friends" and "I Saw The Light." Marvin Gaye’s "What’s Goin’ On?" was another vocal standout that fit in well with the many anti-war jokes and comments.

The combination of the intimate setting and solo acoustic performance gave the feel of having Todd performing in your living room. Also, the stripped down approach to the songs put the emphasis on the quality of the songwriting and his vocal abilities. Unfortunately, with so few people there, I doubt we’ll be lucky enough to see Todd Rundgren again in Richmond.

Other reviews for Miscellaneous Dates 2003
8/3/2003 - Canal Club - Richmond, VA

Other reviews for overall Solo dates 2003

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