Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center

Review by Richard J. Atkins (Switch to

This was a fun, low-security venue. At 5.30 or so, I walked directly into the seating area of the theater and enjoyed about 10 minutes of watching the band, not in costumes, doing the sound check. Of course, upon my being discovered, the executive director sent a stooge to "escort me from the building." Ah well, such is life. But that was a good start.

I stood out front and waited to find a single seat. As I saw the crowd walking in, I said to my friend that the many of people seemed like dated Todd fans; the kind who would read in the paper that he's coming to town and say "Oh, Todd Rundgren! I love that guy's music. You know, he's the one who does Hello It's Me!" (At this moment, husband and wife turn to face each other, sing "Hel-lo it's me-e", forget the rest of the words, and move on.)

My ticket was for the second-to-last row in the balcony. I sat next to the folks who sold me the seat. The youngest of them leaned over to me and asked, "So, am I going to like this?" A dubious question indeed! After he admitted liking music with an edge, I told him he'd probably like it.

For the uninitiated, Truth is a tough opener - the costumes, the beat, etc. Buffalo Gress (intentional!)followed. Mammon didn't quite connect with this audience - again, because I think they expected the Todd from their high school days. On the album, Mammon is an explosive track. I expect in front of the right audience, it can really be a stinger.

The set list listed Faccist Christ (um, spelling?) as the next track, followed by ISP. After Unloved Children, the band did a terrific rendition of While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

Sadly, the set list called for Temporary Sanity next. It was not played. God Said and Liar closed out the first set. During Liar, the three people sitting next to me - the ones who sold the ticket to me - cleared out. They had had enough. I remember the slogan, "This is not your father's Oldsmobile." The same holds true with the Liars. I guess telling that young man that he'd probably like it was erroneous. Oops!

I took their lead and decided that there would probably be some vacant single seats downstairs on the floor. So while Todd performed Beloved Infidel and Lunatic Fringe, I found my way down to the 15th row on John Ferenzik's side of the theater.

A lady returned to the seat next to me. She indicated that she wasn't enjoying the show and had spent most of it talking to the bartender about Chardonnays. She was expecting to see, you guessed it, the TR she grew up with. After a few minutes, she disappeared to go find her friend.

TR left the stage to the 4 members of the band who did a rendition of Green Onions. Upon Todd's return, they performed Soul Brother, Sweet, and Past. Once again, the next two would-be songs were dropped. We didn't hear Hit Me Like a Train OR Love Science.

A bossa nova version of Born To Synthesize was followed by striking versions of Feel It and For the Want Of a Nail.

By this time, I saw that there were a few empty seats in the first row. I made my way up there to see Hello It's Me (Oh, I love that song! THAT'S Todd Rundgren???) as the first encore followed by Just One Victory. Not bad, considering that I started in the back of the balcony.

The final dropped song from the list would have been World Wide Epiphany. Perhaps we'll see more of these dropped songs as the days go on in this tour.

This was a great venue to see a show. The sound was quite good. As far as the audience goes, It seemed like many weren't expecting that an artist had changed with the times. If you're hip with the new album, and are interested in seeing TR take his music and overall show in yet another new direction, this is a great show.

It was also fun to say hello to Kas and Prairie after the show. How great it is that they are such talented musicians AND they share that with so many. Also, they both are very friendly.

All that and a Perdomo2 Maduro for the ride home made for a great night.

Other reviews for Todd Rundgren and the Liars 2004
4/25/2004 - Performing Arts Center - Westhampton Beach, NY

Other reviews for overall Todd Rundgren and the Liars 2004

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