Akron 1 AWATS - September 6, 2009

Review by Suzie Richardson (Switch to

It seems like the Akron 1 show was only yesterday, yet such a long time ago. It seems like I waited forever for the day to come, then it passed so quickly. It was a whirlwind. Whoo Hoo. BEST CONCERT EVER!!

Back in the day -the Album ruled! Purchasing it with allowance, reading the liner notes, studying the pictures, looking for the message. I was able to locate my AWATS album. It was in a lone crate of records in the 'Black Hole' of all closets which housed outgrown doll houses, baby clothes, winter jackets, and other things that have no "spot" in the house. There it was 'Todd Rundgren A Wizard A True Star'. Yep, the cut out copy.

Thoughts of listening to albums in my basement as a kid came to mind. I would put the cushioned KOSS headphones on and crank up the volume. I was the only one I knew that listened to AWATS (or Todd/Utopia for that matter - City in my head). I may have backed into it AWATS. Alone but connected. I'd pretend I was a DJ, or Record Engineer, (or sometimes a Rock Star, singer, or guitar hero), but certainly something in music. Never did I dream of being a PTL member, chauffeur, coach, wife, or a corporate worker bee. Was 'Does Anybody Love You' about me? Sometimes I don't know? Was that Todds actual handwriting on the liner notes? Being assured everything would be cool. Keep on keeping on. Who would I be? There it was. Here I am. The start of the end. What a great album for Todd to revisit!

Finally September came. I responsibly took of work, arranged rides for the kids, and my husband and I left for Akron. I kissed the kids goodbye (I'm and old mom) and my daughter said I was "Going into the Weirdness" (her words). We listened to AWATS, and Utopia to "fill him in". We checked into the City Center just in time for the RR party. Not knowing a soul, other than by nickname maybe, we were welcomed. Cool music, cool people, cool party. I danced like crazy. Who knew AWATS was a dance album? Doug and Mel you know how to throw a PARTY! It was perfect in every way..

Then next day, we caught the solo Kasim show ‘appetizer'. We walked to the Civic Center Marquee and took a picture. Us taking pictures of others under the sign, and them of us. And it wasn’t dorky or corny. It was all good And then it gets better. I back to the room to get the tickets and on the elevator with me is Jesse and Prairie.

Then night comes. Wearing our Psychedelic Todd shirts (which I learn glows in the dark) we walk to the Civic. The inside is majestic and beautifully awesome. Old School. The top balcony charged audience waves down to the bottom floor audience in some sort of cosmic wave that I have never witnessed before. Perfect - perfect!

The lights dim and out of the darkness they appear. Utopia (almost)! White T's and Black Jeans like OOPS. Is this happening? The IKON, Road to Utopia, Caravan and Roger Powell & Kasim & Todd! What a surprise, they sounded garage band great (in a good way)! They wrap up for intermission. Are the clouds on the roof of the Civic really moving? Is it a dream? Or did the Appletini's kick in? (they were really moving I was told).

Then it is dark and loud. The opening chords of "International feel" the fog, the fricking Space Suit! Todd walking slowly with heavy gestures as if in slow motion, or am I in slow motion? Next, Todd in a Tuxedo, the magician taking a twinkling Magic Wand from the audience. Taking us forward, and taking us back. Taking us to the place where dreams are born, where time is never planned, for once you have found your way there, you can never grow old. The beginning of one whirlwind concert...one big fun, fantastic, celestial, trippy ride.. tick... tick... tick... tick....

It was better than I imagined. The album, my old friend, came to life through costumes, music and visuals. No one sat down. Is Kasim singing 'Does Anybody Love You' to me? It looks like it. Is Todd singing the best he has ever in his own life? Sounds like it. Are there any glitches? I don't know, I don't care as the extended 'Zen Archer' plays with the awesome Jesse/Bobby solo. The screen flashes the kaleidoscope of the AWATS album and everyone cheers! Is this not the best guitar solos? Does Jesse just quietly rock? Is Prairie not the most energetic drummer on the planet? Is Kasim not the smoothest and most solid around? The image of flamingos coming out of Todd's mouth, Todd bouncing around like a balloon to Onionhead. The soulful singing from Todd sans glasses. Can we not all get more excited as we do the funky 'cool jerk'? I want to jump out of my skin for 'Is It My Name'. I'm singing 'Sunset Boulevard' at the top of my lungs, as encouraged by Todd and I feel like I have those Koss headphones on again. I'm a rock star, I'm a guitar hero, I'm a fan, I'm with Friends who 'Get It', I'm alive and it is so much fun! Whew. It is over, We will survive. But there's more..... at least we hope there is.

A simple "Thank You" to RR for organizing this and the party, and "Thank You" to Todd and the band both seems inadequate - but Thank You. Sorry so long.. I could have stopped at 'BEST SHOW EVER'.

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9/06/2009 - Akron Civic Theater - Akron, OH

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