Concert Review - Chicago 1/25 - Park West Chicago

Review by Susan Richardson (Switch to

Todd Rundgren/Park West Chicago = Good! Traffic into the city was fierce, and the light snowfall didn’t help matters. We decided to spend the night downtown, so we parked the car, dropped off the bags, and jumped out to hail a cab. I knew it was going to be a good night, when the hotel attendant that was helping us get a cab, calls over their hotel driver to take us - Sweet! We told “our driver” (lol) that we were going to see Todd Rundgren, and he comments “Runt - Cool”! As this was sold out/standing room only - we got there about 2 hours before the doors were to open, and already there was a small group of nice people in the lobby. Our ‘driver’ says – “Let me open the door for you, maybe they will think you are important an let you right in” HA HA.

The Park West has a small lobby – with three doors. Feeling like I’m in the audience of “Lets’ Make A Deal” the group rumbles that it is door number three that will open. The lobby starts packing in. We checked our coats as we were waiting. There is only 10 minutes left for the door to open, we are still up front, things look good, then Security comes out and tells us to all go outside! In the snow. And lose our place in line. How crappy is that! My husband goes through the mess to try to get our coats back, (the coat check person is no where to be found) and while this occurs – most bail outside, and inside still waiting for our coats. I felt bad for all those who got there early, just to get kicked outside again. BOO! The very front of the line got a little ‘tense’ for a bit!

But all is good, as once all are let in, I think (and hope) there were plenty of ‘choice’ seats left . There are tables on the floor, and we picked one in the front right by Kasim and to the right of Todd. Our table was on a raised section of the floor, so we had a great vantage point. We also sat with some nice people. We sat by a couple who brought their daughter with them. I thought about bringing my 10 year old, but she doesn’t like loud music. (I often wonder if she wasn’t switched at birth, surely not mine)!

The Park West wait staff are now equipped with handheld devices. They come to your table to get your drink order, and it beams right to the bar. A runner then brings the drinks back before the waiter has left your area, and quicker than you can say “I’ll-have-another-one”. Sweet again! I had no dinner, my lunch was about 11:00 a.m. that day, and the Captain Morgan and cokes are coming out quickly and going down nicely!

They opening act was a young girl, (young to me LOL) who played keyboard and guitar accompanied with a cello and guitar. The crowd was polite, but anxious. Did I mention how quickly those drinks came out? So I’m primed and ready to ROCK AND ROLL! And so was TODD! I didn’t know what to expect, but no piano in sight. It was definitely looking like a Rock and Roll show! How refreshing!

They started out with Buffalo Grass. The song list has been posted but in my opinion, Black Maria, Soul Brother, Fascist Christ and Black and White rocked the house! I think the biggest crowd reaction came from “I Saw the Light”. As many times as I saw Todd perform, this is still one of my favorite of his “hits”.

Todd ROCKED ON like he was still 30 something! He wore black leather pants and looked better than I’ve seen him in a long time! Not back to the shape he was in when I recall seeing him wear a tight pink sequenced jump suit – back in the day - but heck, either am I! He had a minor guitar issue with Foamy (he mentioned getting a shipment of bad strings). They gave him the red guitar and he commented it was a bit longer. His voice at sounded a bit course (possibly a sore throat) – but came through when needed. My husband though he heard Jesse telling Todd he skipped a song, and was not following the play list, but so what. He congratulated the crowd for ‘getting in early’, as this was the 1st of his two visits to Chicago. I am always proud to live in - a City that still loves and supports Todd!

I could NOT stay in my seat during ‘SLUT!’ So myself and a few other crazy/fun fools bopped up to dance. (I recall trying to spell out the letters S-L-U-T with my arms, like is done during ‘Y-M-C-A’). As he sings “You're so clean, so refined, you don't care to get messy just to have a good time. She's got saggy thighs and baggy eyes, but she loves me in a way I can still recognize” – yes, he’s singing right to me! Fun, Fun stuff! Then ‘When the Walls Come Down’ – starts - still dancing - everyone is having fun! I hear the beginning of One World, and I’m up by the stage. Another fan calls me up next to her, and I’m in the front of the stage to “Hawking, Trapped, and Worldwide Epiphany” Whoo Hoo!

Personal highlights of the show for me, was it was a no ‘bullshit’ zone. There was no ‘Bang the Drum All Day’, No ‘Twist – mini boom box’, no ‘ain’t I cute I forgot the words to ‘Hello it’s Me’. No big costume changes, or elaborate sets this time. This was just a solid Kick Ass Rock and Roll Show. I thought there was a house full of respectful Todd Fans, and no hecklers. Personally, I felt Todd is gearing up for the future, and not just sitting back on his laurels. He certainly has a repetiore of music to pick from. Of the many times I’ve seen Todd through the years, this was one of my favorite shows. The great thing about Todd concerts are that they are always different, and interesting. Thanks for letting me share my night!

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1/25/2008 - Park West - Chicago, IL

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