Catalyst Show - Santa Cruz

Review by Powerstance (Switch to

I had an unexpected opportunity to see Todd at the Catalyat last Friday. I was scheduled to work, and, with a rare staffing occurance was able to leave early and drive directly up to Santa Cruz, arriving in the club about 5 minutes before the band hit the stage. This was the 10th Rundgren show I've seen over the past 34 years. When I was a lad, he was one of my musical heroes and inspirations. I've got to say that after "Healing", I've liked only bits and pieces of his recorded output and a few of the shows from the past 15 years seemed like he wasn't entirely there energy-wise. I had zero interest in seeing him play with Ringo's band or in the "New Cars". I love Todd but am really not into nostalgia or seeing him surplant Ric Ocasic. I'm a player myself and am generally less interested in and somewhat jaded about old rockers that are playing the stuff I saw them play 30 years ago without mutual boredom.

That said, this was a positively STEAMING show, with Jessie, Kasim (!), and PPrince maybe being the alltime backup band to my own taste. For what was a spur of the moment thing for me, the whole thing was a nugget. Opening with Buffalo Grass, Todd ripped into the first two solos with a gusto I haven't seen in quite a while. I've seen Jessie Gresse carry the show, but this show had great interplay between both great guitarists throughout. Todd was in good energy the whole time. The set list was basically the same as the sets posted from the East Coast shows (I hadn't seen those lists before I went to the show, so was in for the surprises), and lasted a full two hours. Highlights for me included Broke Down and Busted, L#1CD, Drive, Black and White, Soul Brother, Buffalo Grass, Black Maria (best ever?0, SLUT and Saw the Light (wow), But there were really no clunkers to be found here, it was all great. I think the last TR show I saw that hit me like this one was in Gainesville Fla back in the late 70's with Utopia. One thing that was missing was the sound quality from some of the previous shows, including some that didn't measure up to this one in any other way. It was very muddy everywhere except on the floor, front half in the middle, but I was going to be there anyways. What a great night of music!

I'd encourage anyone to see these shows if you have the chance - there's something special in this mix..

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9/07/2007 - The Catalyst - Santa Cruz, CA

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