The crowd responded well, however. Overall the folks were polite and other than the occasional shout-out for The Ikon or You Left me Sore they were great. I was taken back by the reunion atmosphere. People were gabbing like crazy and everyone I encountered was having a good time. Joe made a comment about it being his first time in Cincy. The crowd erupted when he suggested the the signs at the city limits should read, " Welcome to Cincinnati - We're not Cleveland!"
Joe' s set was very good. I've been a fan of his music but I can't say I''ve owned any albums. That will change now. Overall his playing and singing were excellent. I used to call up a local radio station all the time to request Stepping' Out over their lunch requests because it's such a timeless song. I didn't realize Joe was so tall, though.
Todd played well and sang with a lot of feeling. All of the usual songs were well done. Beloved Infidel was very powerful but Pretending To Care... so moving, so soulful, so Todd. And this brings me to "the difficult side" of my humble review. I was excited about going to see Todd at the Taft because it was where I first saw him way back when he toured the first Utopia album with Moogy, M. Frog and the rest. That night so many years ago I saw the pop-rock, songwriting/producing/performing genius I had become so impressed with make a big and most wonderful turn towards cutting edge prog-rock that was years ahead of the music industry.
Friday night I found myself looking at that stage in that theater I remember so well, seeing Todd up there with Joe Jackson accompanying him on piano and the out-there strings of Ethel and I was overwhelmed by the notion of how he continues to morph and yet brings us that wonderful spark that touches us all.
Here I am with all of these folks, many of whom were there when Todd did play The Ikon. And there is Todd, giving his all singing Pretending To Care, tugging at all of our heartstrings and reminding us of why we love this guy so. I know some have complained about set lists and TR's voice or his playing and yeah, I would have like to he heard the Wheel or Afterlife but that's not what is important. What matters is that after all of those corners Todd has turned he still comes out to play for us and we come out to be with him and together, shining still. Since Todd does read these sometimes I just like to say that your fans aren't pretending, we care about you and wish you the best. Thank you for sharing your time and talent with us.
Wait another year, Utopia is here!