Festival Hall Review

Review by Guy Foster (Switch to

How strange that the reviews so far are so polarised. Readers may think the reviewers were at two different gigs. The two camps cannot both be right, the reader mat reasonably conclude. OK, as this tour was to promote the "Liars" album, let me give you the hard truth: it was awful. I could not believe that TR would go to the trouble and expense of bringing a band across the Atlantic only to perform the tedious drivel that he did. And trouble and expense were there to be seen: clever lights, a custom built stage set, costume changes even! But what's the point of the showmanship when the audience has left, either mentally physically or both?

As all true TR fans know, the man has hardly written a decent tune for more than 20 years. That's not a criticism: neither's Macca but does he come out at Glastonbury and play nothing but Wings' greatest hits and obscure tracks off his more recent solo albums? He does not.

We had to wait over two hours (I would say great value for money but the opposite is true here) to get "Hello it's me" and even then he messed it up by playing it half speed and coming over only just the right side of a drunken pub singer. And then finally, FINALLY, we got Just one Victory. This was great, natch. But worth the money/wait/travelling/childcare arrangements? Are you kidding?

Some other highlights and lowlights....

- the stage set....come back Spinal Tap, all is forgiven!
- the orange suit...OK Todd, we know when you've been Tango'd!
- the Simpsons' theme bit in the guitar solo...neat: too bad a string went straight after it....
- the Booker T interlude....bloody hell!
- Born to Synthesise: what is the point in messing this up and .....out of all the thousands of things you could have played...

- While my Guitar Gently Weeps: the point of playing this is what, exactly?

To top it all, there was no break in this marathon set for the long-suffering audience to recharge their reserves of stamina - too much risk of them deciding not to come back perhaps - but at least you could nip our for a smoke without worrying too much that you were going to miss a little gem. I note that TR kept disappearing as well. I don't think he smokes or does drugs so I guess the only explanation was that even he couldn't bear to listen.

Some time ago, I went to see a Caravan reunion gig. They played the whole of second side of "Land of the Grey and Pink". I had never heard them do it live before. They played it properly and it was fantastic (do buy the album if you don't know what I'm talking about). As I dozed away last night, I dreamt of Todd playing the whole of the first side of A Wizard/a true Star straight through. If you've been away for 10 years and you take the trouble to go back on tour that's the sort of thing to aim for. Next time Todd, next time...get it right. Please.

Other reviews for Todd Rundgren and the Liars 2004
7/15/2004 - Royal Festival Hall - London, England

Other reviews for overall Todd Rundgren and the Liars 2004

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