The Rams' Head Tavern, Annapolis, MD 8/4/03

Review by Marc Israel (Switch to

"Let me take you to a place, just pretend you haven't been there before".... would be paraphrasing and combining the typical banter and feeling from the Todd Rundgren show last night in his return engagement at the "quaint listening room" that seats about 200 at a steep price. The intimacy there is unlike any other venue I've ever experienced. Intamacy is defined as really getting up close and personal. Be careful what you wish for.... That goes for you too, Todd!

So we were sent Gary Jules to warm us up. This intense, somewhat clever, anti-hero, got everyones' attention, but wasn't sure what to do with it. I enjoyed most of his set, but dead silence of the attention did nothing to warm us up. 6-7 songs was perfect and the "sucking up to the TR crowd" got the round of applause he must have been looking for. The banter between was more TR reminicent than the guitar playing which was clear, tight, and eventually monotonous. His version of "Mad World" did strike a chilling chord, even if most of the crowd would think "Tears For Fears" some charity based organization.

So here comes OH, who within 5 seconds in front of a mic, had his guitar strap fall off, guitar to the ground. This reminded me of a Jaxx gig a few years ago where Todd came out flat and never recovered. When in Rome.... well, that only works when you are actuall in Rome! The audience worked hard to keep it light and NOT ONCE did they start shouting out tunes, except some guy, stage right, who help up a Hermit album cover saying "play this",. Todd quickly disavowed knowing what he was holding and ran through his set list. Sometimes inspired, sometimes not, Todd delivered his solo tour repetoire that us East Coasters are now pretty used to with some changes.

"Beloved Infidel" really worked while "Born To Synthesize" has a groove that worked, but the snoozing schtick didn't, at least for me. That was way too intimate for over fifty bucks a ticket times two for the second time in 6 months. Yes there wasa loudly sighed "nooooooo..." when the Bossa Nova Set started and Todd put her in her place both before and during "I Saw The Light" which was hillarious, drawing new meaning from the lyrics through his pointing. You gotta love the quick wit, even when he told me to "blow me" when he removed his plasticly uncomfortable lei and heard my " awwwwwwwww". We all laughed in fun...

Others can do the set list blow by blow this time. Overall, we DO enjoy seeing Todd in our living room, but not in his at the end of the tour. Strolling back  to the car last night, I felt like I saw a sequal to a fun movie, but the gags were much repeated, the plot weaker, and the supporting cast tired. It's the end of the tour and we await the new creations, both on CD and live, as his silliness last night proves his brain is still very active and very restless. This is good news, but be careful what you wish for!

Other reviews for Miscellaneous Dates 2003
8/4/2003 - Ram's Head Tavern - Annapolis, MD

Other reviews for overall Solo dates 2003

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