Rundgren Rocks Portland

Review by Joe Hahn (Switch to

As has been previously reported, this show was hotter than the blue movies that once graced the big screen at the State Theater. Certainly, there were more folks wetting themselves in this historic location than when it served the local trench coat clad aficionados of porno fare. Though the set list was identical to the previous night in Boston (save Unloved Children), the band blistered through the set, taking no prisoners. How Todd continues in fine voice after ripping out his vocal chords in Liar is beyond my comprehension. Since the songs/effects/musicianship has been previously documented so thoroughly, I have a couple anecdotes to share. First, I brought my wife Rosie and sister-in-law Kim, with her roommate Mike. Mike was a virgin, and a drummer, so he moved for several songs to a place where he could see Prairie laying down the beat. He was impressed at his seemingly effortless style. The girls had seen only two Todd solo shows, the first being "Todd in the Pod" ("Honey, I know you LOVE the guy, but he's just plain WEIRD"*) It took almost 10 years before they allowed me to drag them to another show, the solo concert at Somerville Theater last year. They saw Todd in a new and better light after that show, but were still not really crazy about going to the State this past Wednesday. However, by the time "Buffalo Grass", Rose's favorite song, was played, I could see my three guests were hooked. By the time Todd finished Mammon and Fascist Christ, I could see they were having a quasi-religious experience. Rose whispered at one point, "I'm sorry*I was wrong about this guy, he's GREAT!!!" Some reviewers have commented negatively about Born to Synthesize*to many first-timers I spoke to after the show, this was a real treat. Those of us who have "been there, seen that", I suggest we try to take a step back and see things through those eyes*After the show, we screamed for Kaz to sign a picture I had taken on May 9, 1992, when I was lucky enough to have traveled to Tokyo for the first three Utopia Redux shows at the Gotanda Kani Hoken. Like Elvis, Kaz had left the building. Undaunted, we went around to the back alley, where the tour bus awaited. Soon after, Kaz emerged, and Rose about died, screaming, "You are better looking than you were 10 years ago!!!" (She has seen my Utopia videos many MANY times) Kaz came over and hugged her, and signed autographs and allowed us to take pictures. He signed the poster sized picture of himself in Tokyo, using my back as an easel. Jesse Gress came out, and I said, "Hey Jesse, I shopped for CDs with you in Tokyo back in 1992" (he was completing his Jeff Beck collection), to which he replied, "Yeah, I remember, we went to The Wave, and it's not there anymore"*Rose and Kim couldn't believe he remembered. Finally, when Todd and Michelle came out, he was so friendly and unassuming, and graciously signed and posed with us. Todd said he couldn't believe I flew all the way to Tokyo for the Redux. When my friend Brian pulled out a Christmas card for Todd to sign, Todd commented on how cool it was. I was very pleased, as it was a card I had sent to Brian at Christmas, 1990. The top half of the card was a picture of Todd and me in front of the Palace of Fine Arts Theater prior to the Sessions Tour (taken by Jeff Daniels, I believe, of Fresno). The bottom half I had done at a Print Shop, and I paraphrase: "Todd Rundgren and I wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Utopian New Year. We would like to remind you that Todd's newest album, 2nd Wind, will be available at your local record stores in January 1991*" To be referred to as "cool" by the greatest musician on the planet is something I'll never forget.

Other reviews for Todd Rundgren and the Liars 2004
5/05/2004 - State Theatre (Portland, ME) - Portland, ME

Other reviews for overall Todd Rundgren and the Liars 2004

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