San Diego Fires On All Cylinders

Review by David Portney (Switch to

Against my "better judgment", Tracy and I decided to take a half day off from work and make the 2 hour (if no traffic) drive to San Diego from L.A. to see Our Hero and Crew, again. Luckily, there was no traffic... It was kinda spontaneous and we figured it's the last West Coast show within reasonable driving distance. Oddly, when they played The Coach House in Orange County we decided to go at the last minute but were thwarted by a garage door that refused to operate and let us in so we could get out.

Anyway, we got ourselves situated near the House of Blues in downtown San Diego (a nice downtown area) and proceeded to hang out for a very happy happy-hour or two at the HOB, said hi to other Toddstockers and Matt and Rachael when they walked by, then Jesse, and had fun hanging out with a guy who's actual name is Jesus Christ (parents with a sense of humor, eh?) Then we proceeded to get some sushi at Ra Sushi around the corner (how could we resist with that name??) before the show.

But I digress, on to the show... Large crowd at HOB, no cameras allowed so no pics this time from us. The set list is the same, but TR and crew have all congealed well. I had safely predicted that after the DVD shoot and with the tour on its downhill leg that they'd all be relaxed and having fun, and that was exactly right. It was easy to predict as I've had similar experiences doing shows where you reach a point where you're really beyond having to worry about your parts and you can just rock out.

And rock out they did, again, everyone firing on all cylinders. Matt was even more animated than before and really rocking out and having fun. Rachael very comfy - still concentrated on parts at times, but looking like she's loosened up a lot since Toddstock and Key club shows. Prairie was hamming it up to crack us up and wearing a toga, clearly very relaxed and enjoying himself. Jesse clearly relaxed and cutting loose (boy, he really is good), and Our Hero also relaxed and cracking jokes; he also said "some people are spreading rumors that I've been falling over amplifiers on purpose..." and proceeded to not fall over an amp during the whole night.

You might like this: TR, Jesse and Matt did the "Utopia can-can" (spelling?) during Couldn't I Just Tell You", Rachael doing a quick mock couple of kicks herself to TR and smiling right before the boys did it in "earnest".

So, there's not much new to report from the Arena show concert scene, crowd seemed to have sprinklings of TR fans who are really there to see Arena and other songs, the rest of the crowd seems to be there either hoping for a TR hit parade or perhaps to be part of a scene, or I don't know what, but when I looked around, very few were rocking out or moving at all. And of course during JOV, not many know what to do during the Utopian National Anthem.

Finally, I suggest you support TR and go to the show, more than once. Rock out and have fun - as I've said before you will like this show best if you like a hard rock sound, but you will get some nice "oldies" too. Buy some merchandise to further support Our Hero. You can afford a T-shirt. And, Lucky You, they're selling Toddstock posters and other merchandise I thought would only be available there, so get it while you can and be part of the Toddstock experience even if you couldn't make it there in person.

Anyone who wants to contact me can feel free to email me at

David (Tracy says hello to all)

Other reviews for Todd Rundgren Dates
7/17/2008 - House of Blues - San Diego - San Diego, CA

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