Aladdin Theater Sept. 22

Review by Andy Brown (Switch to

The Liars tour landed in Portland, Oregon last night to the benefit of 600+ fans. Warmly welcomed by a near sell out audience ranging in age from their twenties to their sixties, Todd and the Liars performed brilliantly for nearly two and a half hours. Drawing on a catalog of songs crafted over 30 years in music, Todd came out rocking hard with some new music from Liars and quashed any doubt whether or not he and the band were there to play and sing.

The touring band will knock you out. Left (stage right) to right Prairie Prince on drums, Kasim Sulton on bass and keys, Jesse Gress on guitar and keys, and John Ferenzik on keys and keys and more keys .... provided Todd with the instrumentation and vocal support to explore all of the many styles of music he has explored over the years, touching on rock, soul, jazz, blues and even rap.

Todd doesn't come to Portland often, (only twice to play in 1990, 1993, and a rare lecture on Creativity and the New Music Biz model last year) and although I first saw him at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia October 1974 there is a constant to be stated: Todd Rundgren gives you a show you will remember. Todd's voice was strong and did not weaken throughout the show, and it was hard to perceive any effect from the length of the tour and the toll it must take on anyone's voice. His guitar playing was straight and true, and the harmonies and timing of the band was impeccable.

The lighting and set design and wardrobe were all well done, and complemented the musical performance. Todd understands the Northwest well enough to know he was among friends and admirers of his work, and he delivered. Congratulations to Todd and the Liars for a job well done. This tour is just about over. Don't wait so long to come back to Oregon, Todd, to play or just talk to us.

Hello It's Me in the encore brought tears to my smiling face, because Todd sang it with passion and love. So many years later, the meaning remains constant but the feeling expands to other planes. As a former DJ in 70's radio in Allentown, Pa and then Portland, Or. Todd's music has kept me going for many years. Back then I could select his music and play it for others, but these days I must be content to write this review and tell those who will listen that Todd Rundgren continues to excel.

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9/22/2004 - Aladdin Theater - Portland, OR

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