Todd Rundgren at Toad’s Place, New Haven CT, 12.18.07.

Review by Dan Styklunas (Switch to

This was a fun trip as I got to hang out with Grady Moates a little bit since we decided to car pool down to New Haven from Boston. As many of you know, Grady’s a great fan, and started us off on the right foot by showing up with a nice surprise – a little moonshine. That is, a bootleg of the Northampton show we both saw three days before.

Grady always seems to find himself in a good spot. Maybe it’s his little GPS device on his crackberry, which came in handy when I wanted to find a gas station. Regardless, it was his fault that Kasim came over to greet us at the pizzeria next door before the show. He wanted to pay props to his sometimes stage partner: (

After a little stroll outside for some fresh air, we wandered back to Toad’s and some guy cut in line in front of us. Just walked right into the club without paying. Pleasant fella, smiling and waving… an older guy with a long skunky hairdo… looked familiar, like I’d seen him somewhere before… I musta been having a déjà vu, man.

Toad’s is a great venue. You can quickly see why the Stones chose this place for one of their secret warmup club gigs before one of their mammoth tours. A small club with a nice wide stage, informal seating (only about 8 rows deep, 16 wide), plenty of room to stand with great sight lines all around. The sound mix here was a little disappointing, after having been spoiled with a top-notch mix 3 nights earlier. Here it was a little boomy with the high-end getting pushed a little too hard. Not terrible though, and still well-balanced, except Jesse’s guitar was too low most of the night.

Todd’s hoarseness was a little more apparent on this night. But he was not holding back in the least, and his effort was not lost on the crowd at all. They were way into it, and it was easy to spot MightyQuinn leading the way, seated right up front and occasionally turning to the crowd, letting them know that yes it was ok to stand and cheer with gusto at the end of certain songs. A well-received gig, many were wowed and appreciative, which was great to see on this last stop for this leg of the tour.

# 1 LCD really stood out tonight, set up nicely by Todd’s randy sex talk that Grady captured in his review. Tiny Demons was again a standout of the set, as was the blues medley, Mystified/BD&B. Of course Trapped again gets the best response of the night. Otherwise a very strong set overall, no surprises.

In my review of the NoHo show I sang the praises of drummer Michael Urbano. He was great again here, but I don’t want to give the impression I’m down on Prairie Prince. It’s still Prairie’s chair, and I look forward to having him back in it next year. But as Tony Rogers said, keep this guy’s number handy.

My brother John was on board for this TRip as well. (And yes Grady, he has had visions, but so far no one has put him in chains. Although I do remember hearing him tell war stories about surviving Catholic school.) John has seen many Todd shows, but he’ll remember this gig for more personal reasons. The last time he was at Toad’s Place was when his band (The Chandler Travis Philharmonic) played a gig opening for the Sun Ra Arkestra. He loaned their bass player his nice music stand and accidentally left it behind months ago. Luckily he was able to identify it after this Todd gig, and took it back home. Between that and Grady’s bootlegs, it was a special holiday bonus affair with each of us taking home some schwag.

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12/18/2007 - Toad's Place - New Haven, CT

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