Wilshire Theatre 5/17

Review by Dumb & Deaf in LA (Switch to

I hit the box office shortly after 5pm. An Ice truck arrived out front, and when the delivery man rolled the ice through the door, I slipped into the theatre with him. Seconds after taking my seat, Todd appeared to do his soundcheck. He started with "Love of The Common Man" using new chords that sounded gorgeous, I tried to get my brother on my cell phone so he could listen. He didn't respond, and Todd eventually abandoned those chords at showtime, and stuck with the traditional. He also played "Drunken Blue Rooster" during the soundcheck, so I was anticipating the possibility of a show somewhat different from the others so far. As it turned out, the set list contained no surprises.

One of the reasons I like Todd so much, and have followed him for so long, is that he has the coolest, and nicest voice. We just don't get to hear it anymore. And there's nothing we can do about it. I pretty much spent the entire evening pondering why it is, and what it is, that makes Todd intentionally ruin his songs, such beautiful songs, with the most irritating, ear-burning, chrome plated, ventriloquist-does-pseudo-opera voice. I swear, he sang "...in a life without Compassion" -- a five word phrase -- without moving his jaw. Oh, I forgot, he's offering us something "new."

Evidently, he enjoys that harsh, shrill, icy, Motorola vocal tone, but if you ask me, he destroyed Love of The Common Man, I Don't Want to Tie You Down, Beloved Infidel, Compassion, Lysistrata, and Pretending to Care with it. The "lasso" Todd sings about is not around his heart; it's around his throat. His playing was up to par, all he had to do was relax and sing with more warmth, and less attitude.

Black and White, as much as I love this song, sounded absolutely awful. It just isn't solo material. His guitars, btw, weren't loud enough most of the night.

Song of The Viking is one song I don't mind if he screws up, because not only is it very difficult to perform without a snag, it's not a serious song to begin with. I thought he did it well.

Surprisingly, the gem of the night (in my opinion) was Hello It's Me. I'd like it better without the clowning around, but that's asking for too much.

Bang the Uke. The novelty is long dead. The next time I have to sit through this stupid crap on my dime, a flying egg with Todd's name on it is coming his way.

Black Maria was the show's only technical fiasco, with Todd's guitar malfunctioning. It also gave Todd an opportunity to showcase his hideously juvenile anger-management issues. Like Black and White, however, Black Maria wasn't suitable for the occasion.

Joe Jackson was impressive, Ethel were fine musicians, and Todd is always a trip. I've learned years ago to never attempt to introduce friends or coworkers to Todd via a live performance. The outcome could be disasterous, as he proved once again.

Other reviews for Todd Rundgren, Joe Jackson and Ethel 2005
05/17/2005 - Wilshire - Los Angeles, CA

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

The Todd Rundgren Connection is brought to you by Roger D. Linder & The Linder Logo Rocemabra Web Services.