Todd Rundgren, Park West, Chicago, 1/31/08

Review by Ken Davis (Switch to

We were stuck in bumper to bumper on Lakeshore Drive for almost an hour but thanks to my longtime Todd-buddy, seat-saver par excellence and closest friend Pat, we sat four people back from centerstage.

The boys lifted off at about 8:20 or so and the set list was as previously reported. Todd was wearing his spinaltapian "Volume turned up to 11" tee and the same patterned spandex pants he wore in Indy.

Kas modeled a sharply cut black sport coat, while Prairie's B&W checked pants matched his natty fedora. Jesse's winter Russian army cap boasted a point above its red star and Todd subsequently dubbed it a "nipple hat" and used it briefly as a guitar slide.

"Buffalo Grass" grew slowly but surely lush and green and the sound mix was fertile all night- even Kas' bass seemed well rooted this show.

When Todd started to intro the third song, some overeager fan shouted out "Black Maria" causing O.H. to grimace, "I hate the internet!" But the performance stacked one transcendant guitar solo on top of another-and another.

Though his hoarseness was most evident when he spoke, and S.L.U.T. especially suffered a bit because of it, Todd as usual seemed to fight his way through and nailed several falsettos later in the evening, making "Hawking" a near vocal tour de force.

Though he'd cut the rants to a minimum, (perhaps due to his throat) Todd did zing neocons as being "all about the empowerment of the emotionally and mentally ill."

He queried if "we were all crapping our pants waiting for Super Tuesday" adding than he'd like to see elected either the first black president- or the first woman president- but he wasn't sure- or wouldn't say- which one as yet.

After the joyous audience wide singalong on "One World" and the aforementioned "Hawking," it was difficult to imagine Everest let alone, K-2 but we got there just the same- "Trapped" was way over the top and "Worldwide Epiphany" was just what the title promises- a view from the heights.

I drove home on an expressway where you couldn't see the lane markings and semis blew by at sixty plus despite the severely limited visibility- not to mention traction- but the evening was certainly a salve of sorts for my soul... brother.

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1/31/2008 - Park West - Chicago, IL

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