Great Voice at 55. Todd Plays Vegas 11/21/03

Review by Michael Flatley (Switch to

I think this might've been TR's first gig ever in Vegas. So of course he had to reflect on the Rat Pack. žI probably resemble Peter Lawton, with a little Dino mixed in- especially with this suit"-R was wearing a designer, silk suit instead of a customized outfit like the old days.

The set was very close to all the others from this tour.

Having three different formats: Guitar songs, Piano songs, and Bossanova-P3 songs, provides for a well rounded solo concert.

He puts an acoustic guitar through a distortion box for One World, and Black and White, makes it sound like an electric guitar, going thru a tube-mp, turned up to 11.

Compassion on the grand piano, was definitely one of the highlights.

This was my first TR concert since the Nearly Human tour 12 years ago. I needed a break- I didn't buy anything more recent than Second Wind, and this was only the second time I've seen him play without the support of a band. One advantage, is that the vocals are almost naked- You focus mostly on the voice, and Todd's voice is still great. He pushes the limits of his voice on†most every song, because on average, he was 28, or younger†when these classics were conceived, and there are a lot of high notes, both with and without falsetto. Good falsetto, beyond 40 or especially 50, takes a lot effort, and technique.

The most surprising aspect of the show-. realizing that an alcohol buzz doesn't hinder TR's performance ability, and it might even help it. I cannot play well on alcohol. My piano chops go to hell. †But Elton John could do it. Booze is a tool for a lot of musicians. Another consideration is the relationship between creativity and trance states-Tramsmediumship. That happens to be my particular interest- And why I attended TR's lecture on creativity 10 months ago. The super-onscious states., and how an artist seeks out those states, intrigues me. †I consider booze a hindrance in this regard.††If you allow for†some great musical talents that are not currently alive in a body, etc-and aren't going to reincarnate for a long time, but they watch some of what we do from the other side-and sometimes participate, via channeling. It seems plausible that musicians could form agreement with these beings. Test-riving a lot of relationships until they find the most workable, and profitable situations. Does Todd do this? †I noticed his aura changing fairly often during the show,†more dramitic†then the typical trasmedium. And there's a reason why it's called "spirits." Ask any psychic. †

I like to ponder these things. Do all of us conduct business this way, at least occasionally, even without getting high form booze or other vices, and without knowing it consciously? Wouldn't this help explain a lot of what we know about certain people?

Part of this correlation stems from the fact that I was introduced to Edger Cayce and TR at about the same time. Then, when I got Initiation, I realized that Todd was reading metaphysical books that I liked, too. I couldn't believe that†the "Hello, it's me"†guy could also sing about "the golden cup and the silver rod." That's what initially captured my interest, not the pop hits.

Back to the show:

Plenty of people in the audience were liquored up, shouting out very stupid things-Todd's tolerance for severe retardation has never been great-I think he was just barely able to restrain his cynical side, as he heard people shout the name of the city they saw him play at way back when. The mix of fans these days, in a city like this, is very diverse, but strictly Caucasian. He did not lose his temper at any time during the show, even when there were some minor technical problems with the sound.

Todd must have at least one black fan somewhere on the planet. But I find that blacks are only willing to pay to hear black artists. None were at Chile Peppers, or U2, and I really looked around the sports arenas. I understand there's an African-merican woman in California who's nuts about Dave Mathews. All her black friends tease her about it.†

I harp on that because I love the soulful vocalizing which I assume he learned from listening to the great Motown artists- Or maybe it was the Righteous Brothers-nyway, it's African-erican sounding.

I got to hear much of what I was hoping to hear. The Beatles covers went over big. It was a good show. My date had never seen Todd, and only knew the hits. It was a perfect introduction. And we both laughed at his jokes. Todd is as funny as ever-He loves Hawaii-It's going good for him. The '70s materiel has been a little over-lked for some of us, but my friend was getting it for the first time. Very few people out there have ever heard Cliche, or Love of the Common Man.... these songs still deserve some promoting. And since Todd can still sing them so well, why not?

Other reviews for Miscellaneous Dates 2003
11/21/2003 - The Joint - Las Vegas, NV

Other reviews for overall Solo dates 2003

The Todd Rundgren Connection is brought to you by Roger D. Linder & The Linder Logo Rocemabra Web Services.