TR show at Warner Theater in Washington, DC, 4/26/05

Review by Deborah Akel (Switch to

It was a good show. Not the kind that makes you hop a train to see it again at the next venue, but the kind that leaves your mind swirling with possibilities.

Ethel was an interesting, eclectic, focused, and very talented string quartet. Their biggest contribution to the show, in my opinion, was the dimension they added to the finale, While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

Joe Jackson was charming. His interaction with the crowd was genuine and personal. My favorite JJ moment came during his last solo number, "Is She Really Going Out with Him," when the audience yelled "there" in perfect timing and unison, as if they had rehearsed it. He laughed so hard, he had to stop playing for a few moments. The buzz was that he was fighting a cold, but he never made mention of it or complained.

There was an intermission after JJ, then Todd came on stage. He performed the following songs:

On guitar:
Love of the Common Man
I don't want to tie you down
I Saw the Light
Black & White

On piano: Viking Song It Wouldn't Have Made any Difference Hello It's Me

On ukulele: Bang on the Drum

On guitar: Beloved Infidel Afterlife Lysistrata

Todd gave an amazing vocal performance with "Pretending to Care" with Ethel backing him up. Then everyone did "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", with JJ on piano, Todd on guitar, and Ethel on strings. It was the highlight of the show. At that moment, my mind began to wander through Todd's prolific repertoire, imagining some of it performed with full accompaniment. We can only hope.

As far as technical quality goes, I would agree with a previous reviewer that the audio levels were not good at this venue, especially during the finale. (I was sitting in the 5th row, center.) I've read some of the unfavorable reviews from earlier shows on this tour, and whatever difficulties that plagued them in the beginning seemed for the most part to have been ironed out. Todd's technical performance tonight was virtually flawless, from what I could determine.

I will admit that I'm not the best person to consult for objectivity where Todd is concerned. Having been a fan of his since the early '70s, I would rather hear his flat notes and flubbed chords than just about anybody else's perfect pitch any day. And even a mediocre show by TR is a pleasure to behold. Go see it.

Other reviews for Todd Rundgren, Joe Jackson and Ethel 2005
04/26/2005 - Warner Theatre - Washington, DC

Other reviews for overall Todd Rundgren, Joe Jackson and Ethel 2005

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