Todd Rundgren Concert the 9 of November 2008, at Amager Bio, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Review by Michael Meldal (Switch to

The Concert started with the 6 songs from the past and continued with all 13 songs from "Arena" in running order from the CD. Except when Todd broke a string on his Foamy "Strat" he changed around "Mountaintop" and "Bardo", because he said "the Gibson SG is a fine instrument, but Foamy is needed for "Bardo" (The Robin Trower-ish song from the album).

Todd was in a rare form this Sunday evening. His playing and singing was never better, compared to the Utopia Concerts in Denmark in the 1970's. He can still make those screaming high notes even after all these years of singing and he can vary his voice endlessly, from low whispering to high falsetto so effortlessly.

The same with his guitar playing. Even though he has Jesse Gress in the band, Todd still takes most of the solos, and on this night he was firing on all cylinders from the first song to the last. I think that Jesse got to play 2 solos, the whole evening. All Todd's solos was fantastic, short and precise as are Todd's construction of albums and songs. My wife and I came to the conclusion, that it was only Prince and Stevie Wonder who was able to play, compose, produce and sing like that, on level with Todd.

The audience was very enthusiastic between songs, although the hall was only half full and the audience was from 40-60 years old and was shouting old titles of Todd/Utopia songs to play, but Todd stayed on the agenda of playing "Arena" from the top and ignored the requests.

The band included Kasim Sulton from the Utopia days on keyboard+guitar, Rachel Haden on bass, Jesse Gress on guitar and Prairie Prince on drums. Everybody's singing harmony vocals except Prairie Prince. All very competent musicians, able to translate Todd's studio production to the stage, without losing the ambiance from the record. The sound was a little distorted when they all sang, but it was still quality singing, the harmonies from the records was reproduced very exact, even though Todd is singing all the background vocals with himself on the CD.

With the song "Strike" it was audience-participation-time, when Todd asked us to strike up with your fist in the air, on the bar after the word strike, together with him and the rest of the band. "Mountaintop" is a real simple song to sing along to, and if Todd had had a smart record company it would use it as a single to promote the album. If AC/CD can live of simple simple songs, so can Todd? When they had played the last song from Arena, it was goodbye and thank you.

With the enthusiasm of the audience, they came back to do the usual 2-song encore, finishing with "Just one victory" to the sing-along for us to do with and without the band singing along. Todd even gave an autograph from the stage to a woman close to the stage who he accidentally hit with his shoe during enthusiastic guitar playing in the first song. End of the concert, and people loved it.

This was a very professional and high level event, that show off Todd at his very best at age 60. It is no age for a musician like him and that I hope he will continue making music both live and on stage for many ears to come. This European tour is the first where he play more than Britain, since the '80. We hope to see him back in Copenhagen on his next tour in Europe.

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11/09/2008 - Amager Bio - Copenhagen, Denmark

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