TR was obviously struggling vocally through the opening songs Real Man and Love of the Common Man. They were lots of sympathetic wishes in the crowd, and personally it was painful to watch. But Todd apologetically reassured us, "I'm game if you are." Drawing on my physical assessments as a high school boys basketball coach I would say he was at 80% performance level. I cringed thinking he was just going to lose more voice as the night went on, but trooper that he is, he actually got better as the show progressed.
He said his set would include the songs his fans would request if he wasn't such a "prick" and actually play requests. There were some real surprises. I loved hearing Determination and Lucky Guy live. All Jacked Up with full band was awesome. He played around with the "squeak" intro to Hello, It's Me throughout the show, and as a lead in to Love Is the Answer. Only Todd can make a corny song by Lorne Greene cool. He broke out our favorite expletive featured song Flaw and Soul Brother from Liars. He called I Saw the Light a real "babe magnet" song after drawing the ladies up front to dance along.
As far as the venue, it was way nicer than when I attended the chair-less, standing only theater for the King's X/Galactic Cowboys tour there in the late 90's. At that time it had just been reopened for live shows after going through the hardcore porn use that so many of our great downtown theaters have endured before the revitalizing of the neighborhood. Kudos to Tucson for the nice Rialto Theater. The house was packed for TR, the seats were a bit too tight for us old folks, but the show was great!!
Any rumors that a sick Todd Rundgren is not worth going to see are misplaced. Kasim Sulton was featured on a few brief Stanley Clarke-like bass solos and the boys did their usual excellent support on vocals and instruments. Todd did a couple of his patented leaning-at-the-edge-of-the-stage screaming guitar licks. Michele Rundgren was working the merch table. Definitely worth the 8 hr. drive.