5/1/04 Paramount Center, Peekskill,NY

Review by Robert Raniolo (Switch to

Just about an hour since Todd & the Liars closed out their Paramount Center gig in Peekskill, NY. - birthplace of Mel Gibson and formerlly mayored by now New York State Govenor George Pataki. Todd's band consisted of key collaborators and musicians spanning 20+ years. Prairie Prince (drums) of the Tubes fame and Kasim Sulton (bass & keyboard) of Utopia, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, and Meatloaf were familiar faces and sounds that made this band lineup sound tight and accomplished.

Unfortunately, Rundgren's vocals were drowned out by the band - the sound engineer failed to punch Todd's vocals high enough for this patron of the next to rear row (Row: J Seat 7) to hear what he was saying either when speaking to the audience or singing. The newer songs failed to capture my ear or my heart as I could not hear the lyrics. Older Todd classics were discernible. Todd's performance of Harrison's While My Guitar gently Weeps was one of a number of moments throughout where one knew that they were in the presence of a true guitar god. Jesse Gress on guitars rounded out the sound well. Sulton and Gress also got on the keyboards with the band's keyboardist for a three way jam at one point. I fully expected the 7 Rays to break out of that trio of keyboards but no such luck! I settled for a Bossa Nova version of Born To Synthesize - it amazes even in this Tiki Bar version. Todd's guitar licks seemed particularly up to snuff. He did quite a few guitar solos in a number of songs.

Each member of the band other than Todd stands on platforms that are illuminated with colorful light throughout the concert. The light added significantly to the concert experience. When I saw a rainbow backdrop, I was certain that a rendition of the Seven Rays was on the way.

It's been about ten years since I went to see Todd play out. The Paramount is a recently renovated historic landmark that was a great venue to see a concert in. I highly recommend it to anyone who has an opportunity to see a favorite artist there. If only Todd would tour with Willie Wilcox, Roger Powell, & Kasim again and come to play here - now that would be Utopia...

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5/01/2004 - Paramount Center For The Arts - Peekskill, NY

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