I was fortunate to attend the show with someone who's lived in Philly all her life, and who dated the manager/sound guy at this venue many years ago. She practically lived in the place for a decade. So, I got a history lesson and a summary of the changes to the place. It has been a music club several times and a performance theatre several times. It's had it's seating removed, reinstalled and removed again. Lately, the balcony has been enlarged and new emergency egresses have been added so that the fire code limit on the venue is now 1,000, up from 800 in it's previous incarnation. So, TR didn't sell the place out.
But rock the place he did. No surprises in the set list, but the rapport with the "homeys" was immediate and sincere. Todd was in great spirits, in spite of several technical problems he was having, such as the placement of his effects control foot-button box (way too far to his right, couldn't reach it without moving his face off-mike), and monitor problems. His humor was great. . . right before doing "Mammon" and "Fascist Christ" he said something like 'I don't want Imus to get all the credit for offending people. . . and I plan to offend everyone in this room before the night is over.' Later, just before "Slut" he informed us all that the song was an equal-opportunity offender, that it could apply equally to men and women.
The band wasn't as tight as Todd with TNC, there were some sloppy moments in several songs, especially the ones with unusual syncopations, but there was a heart and soul to the performances that more than made up for that.
Hawking was very special tonight as the first encore. The crowd was much more attentive than other audiences in past years, and Todd really released himself into the song with an intensity I've not seen since Hawking was new. Maybe the song has gained a new life now that Stephen Hawking has experienced weightlessness (in case you haven't heard about this, do a Google search on it).
The sound was a bit muddy near the center of the room and about eight "rows" of bodies from the stage, and the guitar leads simply disappeared into the mush, but I learned from my friends that things were better further back in the room. The place really needs front fill speakers to fix this.
At the door at the end of the show, someone was handing out free, 2-color posters commemorating the opening of "The Fillmore at the TLA" with Todd Rundgren, and I got a couple.
I saw several friends from other shows, had some great pre- and post-show conversations. I ran into Tony Levin the next morning (while fixing the air conditioning system at my friend's brother's bread and sandwich boutique) and had a short but warm-and-friendly conversation with him. All in all a nice little piece of rock history to add to my memory collection.