We entered at 7:35PM to join an already huge crowd that was eagerly awaiting the show, as you feel the energy in the crowd. There was no opener and the band came on at 8:15PM, left to right from the lip of the stage, each with a microphone.....Jesse Gresse, Todd Rundgren and Kasim Sulton, with Prairie Prince straight back on an elevated drum platform.
The Madison Theater is a very nice place, renovated in an art-deco motiff. There is a highly-elevated stage that overlooks a sizable dance floor which terraces up to a large area with tables and chairs. The bars are at the rear of the venue on the second terrace. Overlooking is a huge balcony that is comprised solely of seats with table-tops like you have in college classrooms. The stage is flanked by two LARGE speaker-set columns that generate plenty of sound to fill the entire place.
This was the third show of the month-long "Freeze Your Ass Off" Midwest Winter tour, so there band was full of energy to match the crowds. Smiles abounded from all the members of this tight band, including from Prairie in the rear with his shades on.
This was a mixed bag of Todd's catalogue with songs old and new, including a TOTAL BLOWAWAY cover of Lunatic Fringe. With so much material to choose from, it was a bit of a surprise to hear the band do this song.....but II can clearly see why they decided to do it.....it ROCKED and was amazing to hear....for sure!
Yes....Todd played "Foamy" on every song of the night, except on "Tiny Demons" when he played a Maroon Gibson that was an exceptionally beautiful guitar. He came to the absolute lip of the stage (on both sides) for tremendous solos all night long. We all thought TR was a monster on the guitar and Jesse Gresse's multiple lead opportunities were quite impressive too! Kasim and Prairie were rock solid all night long with a tremendous backbone and groove to all the songs. Quite simply, this is one EXTREMELY TIGHT BAND!
Todd's voice was in fine form and he kidded pretty much throughout the evening about everybody going back in time with music.....even back to their diapers! Everybody appreciated his adding such color to demonstrate that he got a kick out of playing some of his older material. The whole band seemed really fired up for the show!
The show seemed to build momentum throughout the evening and culminated in a three-song encore that was pretty unbelievable, ending the show at 10:15PM for a solid two-hour ROCKIN' night!
Hawking Trapped World Wide Epiphany......were the encore songs.
As much as we loved the entire show, we all agreed that the encore was the very best part, including Prairie standing up from his throne and clapping his sticks way over his head to get every clapping with him on the anthemesque WWE to end the show.
It was definitely a "Freeze Your Ass Off" evening, as it was only 7 degrees outside, with a wind-chill below zero. It was very warm inside, especially with such a hot band.
If you get the chance, be sure to go see this show ..IT ROCKS!