As good as those shows were (and they were some of the finest rock shows I ever saw) I was always envious of my friends who had the fortunate opportunity to see the original "Todd Rundgren's Utopia" lineup. Having listened to the first Utopia effort and "Another Live" countless times I always wondered what it was like to see that unique collection of musicians. Who among the legion of TR fans doesn't get their blood going when they hear classic technically challenging pieces like the Utopia Theme, The Seven Rays and the Ikon as well as the touching rendition of The Wheel.
Now with the current touring roster that performed beautifully last night at the Carolina Theater in downtown Durham, NC I have been treated to the best of both worlds. Todd, resplendent as always, join by the original utopians John Seigler, Ralph Shuckett and Kevin Ellman joined by second generation Utopia legend Kasim Sulton and longtime Todd side man and guitar guru Jesse Gress. Yes, we missed you Moogy!
If you are a devout Todd/Utopia fan, you will love this show. Most of the material on the first two Utopia albums are covered. The Utopia Theme, Freak Parade, Heavy Metal Kids, Another Life, Something's Coming, 7 Rays, Do Ya, The Wheel, Ikon, Freedom Fighters and the killer closer from "A Wizard A True Star - Just One Victory.
John Seigler made an interesting point after the show. After 30 some odd years, John points out that they are actually much better musicians -- technically than they were when they wrote, arranged and recorded these songs in 1973 and 1974. Not as energetic perhaps but technical more proficient.
The true beauty in the night was the camaraderie, among the fans gathered under a full moon in the heart of the Carolina's. Friends you haven't seen in a few years, since the last Rundgren invasion of Dixie. The affability, amiability, friendship and basic kindness that has become a hallmark of modern day Todd Rundgren gatherings.
It is a true honor and blessed fortune to have the opportunity to turn back the clock, experience these songs once more.
I have added some images from this show utilizing the words from another TR song from that era:
"I was born to synthesize Like waves on still water the forms reappear Quickly erasing the ones before But forms like these are born only to die But the life in them lives forever"
Thanks to the band. Hope to see you again soon!