My take is that with this tour, Todd feels like it's OK to indulge himself in doing it his way and playing just what he feels like playing. That's fine- to a point. Unfortunately, I think TR has gone a little overboard in this regard, and has not given enough weight to what he knows people want to hear in order to strike a balance somewhere. Todd is smart enough to realize that it's not just die-hards that attend shows- it's also the more casual fans, and also the bring-along people. I say if you're giving the people what they want, then they will be just that much happier and more receptive to the newer stuff. Hopefully, Todd will sprinkle a few more hits into the mix in future shows
Anyway, here's the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly as I saw it Tuesday night in DC: THE GOOD:
1)TR's voice was back to full strength after having battled a cold for the last week or so- he sounded great
2)Only minor pauses to the flow of the show for technical reasons- most everything seemed to be flowing smoothly
3)Highlights for me: Truth, God Said, Liar, Sweet, Past, Feel It, Want Of A Nail, Hello It's Me
4) Hey- It's Todd Rundgren, right?
1) Facist Christ (stirring up bad memories of rappin' Todd), Mammon (I don't get this one), a way overlong version of Born To Synthesize (TR could have done 3 or 4 crowd- pleasing numbers in the same amount of time), Lunatic Fringe (TR's got better songs of his own to sing than this mediocre stuff- Why not a solo keyboard number instead?)
2) Have to disagree with others who have reviewed that the sound was good. The PA system sound was harsh-sounding and too often it was hard to pick up TR's voice. On "Past', Kasim's distorted bass threatened to swallow the entire band alive.
3) During 'God Said' it seemed like Prairie Prince flubbed a cue, and TR shot him a death-stare and wouldn't even sing for about 5 seconds (Note to TR- "Just get over yourself")
4) Putting your band members in cubicles like so many Rock N Roll Dilberts, unable to interact with Todd, each other, or the audience is not a good idea. It seemed to me like the band never really cooked like they should have.
1) The Trick or Treat costumes of the first set- Uhhh- I don't think so. They're not just so over-the -top that they're cool, they're just over-the-top embarrassing. At least Todd got to shed his frock coat after the first song to look like a 'rock star', but the rest of the band get stuck wearing these ridiculous get-ups for an hour. I doubt that the band is very happy about it either.
2) The shakey K-Nex light arches- what the f***? These things are just so cheesy- looking it's laughable. The music can't soar like it should when placed in this Spinal Tap Stonehenge nightmare of a setting. If TR designed this- well I guess we finally found something that OH is not good at.
The bottom line is that I think this show is for Todd's die-hardest fans. The show left something to be desired in terms of presentation and pacing, but I still enjoyed myself overall because it's freakin' Todd Rundgren. It was somewhat disappointing as a live companion piece to the great new 'Liars' CD, but I respect Todd's fortitude for playing it his way.