Austin Review

Review by Ian Bui (Switch to

Seeing many Toddstock friends for the first time since camp was such a treat. Everyone was wearing big smiles as we greeted each other at Fado's Irish pub (conveniently located right behind Antone's) for our pre-show gathering. Beside the Austinites, there were those who came all the way from Dallas, Houston, Louisiana, Alabama, and God knows where else.

More than a few were also wearing their Toddstock shirts (as if they hadn't even gotten out of them yet.) To be fair, it'd been only four weeks since we left the island so many of us (myself included) were still struggling to get back to our "civilian" life - not that anything uncivilized was going on in Kilauea, mind you. But clearly there was a shared feeling of "still living on island time" among us. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Not everyone at the gathering attended Toddstock, either, so we got to make some new friends as well whom we hope to see again and again at future shows. Yay!

Speaking of the show, what a difference a month made. The band and the sound are much tighter than when we first heard them in Kauai. Unfortunately, Antone's doesn't have a very good configuration. The hall is more wide than long, and the stage is off centered toward one end of the width so the sound is not very well balanced. Where we were standing, up front stage left, near Rachel and Prairie, we could hardly hear any vocals at all, especially the backup singers. Nonetheless, the music was sufficiently clear that it was a very enjoyable experience, especially now that I'm more familiar with the new material and have read all the lyrics beforehand.

There were a few folks I met who'd never been to a Todd concert before but who came away totally impressed. One was a visitor from Holland who just happened to be in Austin that weekend and decided to get in line to buy a ticket (on a recommendation from a Tourist Information person, no less) not knowing a thing about Todd. So I kind of gave her a little prep about OH, his music, and of course his 60th birthday bash. Poor Monique, the Texas-in-July heat was really giving her a hard time. But she stuck with it for our two-hour wait outside because the show was running late for some reason (in fact, Jesse was running past us to the backstage door while we were standing in line).

Anyhow, it was well worth the looooonnnng wait. The house was packed. The Saturday night crowd was in the mood to rock. And the band ripped, totally ripped. Prairie was as hot as I'd ever seen him and was clearly enjoying himself. Matt was very animated. Rachel smiled a lot and even did some high-kicking at the end. Michele came briefly on stage right before the encore. Seeing her immediately sent me into flashback mode, with Toddstock memories once again rushing through my brain. Arghhh... I can't cope!

The show ended shortly before midnight, a little too late for my 12-year old twins, so we didn't hang around for much longer afterwards. But the boys were plenty rewarded for their patience and perseverance. At one point Rachel waved at them and gave them one of her sweet pretty smiles. At another point Prairie tossed two pairs of drumsticks at them for souvenir.

Needless to say, we all came away thoroughly rocked out.

Other reviews for Todd Rundgren Dates
7/19/2008 - Antone's Nightclub - Austin, TX

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