Ruth Eckard Hall - 4/15

Review by xarlos - the xrazy fish - fishbro (Switch to

Went to an interesting concert with Todd Rundgren, Joe Jackson and Ethel. Ethel is an "avant guarde" string quartet. Their music sounds like a cross between organized and disciplined mass cat strangling and some kind of strange machine. Ocassionally they will break out to do something with a recognizable key and time signature. I really didn't know what to make of it. I wasn't quite sure I would call it music, but whatever it was they did, they did it well.

Joe Jackson followed. Both he and Rundgren are doing this unaccompanied! I had a couple of thoughts on this: (1) - Damn that takes a lot of balls when you think of others who have tried, and (2) was he - were they - strong enough to pull it off. They did so remarkably well. Jackson's set was mostly newer material and very "edgy", sounding more like Elvis Costello in places than the old sophisticate of "Steppin' Out" days.

Jackson and Rundgren are sharing billing on this tour. Rundgren played both piano and acoustic guitar - managing to break two strings in the process (both of them third strings!). He interspersed a few standards with a lot of - darker - newer material. He did a wonderful version of "Hello It's Me" - sounding as good as 1968. He also did "Bang on the Drum" - on a ukelele. It was perfect.

They ended the show with all of them playing together on an incredible version of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" with Rundgren on acoustic, Jackson on piano and the string quartet backing.

All in all, it was a commendable performance.

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04/15/2005 - Ruth Eckerd Hall - Clearwater, FL

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