Review by Andru Reeve (Switch to

A pleasantly-full and varied set list -- 22 songs total, of which 8 were covers. After glancing over some of the other set lists from the tour thus far, it appears that Todd & Co. are starting each show with a unique number. This one, in Alexandria, VA @ The Birchmere was a fun cover of Jann Pahechan Ho (you know the song; trust me. It was prominently featured in the film GHOST WORLD and was used in a Heineken ad a couple years ago). Other than that, many, if not most, of the songs in this set list show up in other set lists, too. Muskrat Love was an early highlight -- Todd chose to do the version made famous by "The Captain and The Toenail", which included the requisite muskrat sound effects lovingly recreated by Jesse Gress on his guitar. Some other interesting covers were Fire (the Crazy World of Arthur Brown song) and an uproarious Patches (Clarence Carter) that brought the house down.

We also got one of Todd Rundgren's Johnsons (Kind-Hearted Woman Blues), and Johnny Preston's Running Bear. Then, it was all TR -- nothing rare, mostly tried-and-true gems from his catalog. He also trotted out the extended jazz reworking of Born To Synthesize that many thought was a highlight of 1997's Tiki Bar Tour.

One part of the show that didn't fare so well was a waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long digression about Lorne Greene and why he was one of the most influential figures in modern music. The first part was fine -- a nice country tune called Endless Prairie, which brought thoughts of The Range War to mind. But then TR had the soundman PLAY A RECORD of Greene's first-person account of being a gun (titled, appropriately, I'm A Gun). TR then proceeded to mime the entire song (and this was after a loooooooong lecture about the song's importance to contemporary music's canon). This elicited more than a few boos and catcalls to get on with the show. It was honestly the first time I ever saw Our Hero get heckled. (And I think it stung TR just a bit, too. I don't see the routine on any subsequent set lists).

The highlight for me would be difficult to choose, but Black And White was probably the "rock" high point, while Too Far Gone was the song that made me absolutely glad to be at the show. That was the first encore, followed by the tiki version of I Saw The Light, and finishing with a rousing singalong of One World.

One word about the venue: SUCKED. The Birchmere is just one huge room full of tables and chairs, with chairs on BOTH sides of the table. Makes for some rather awkward viewing. Not very concert-friendly at all, but I guess that's a way to double up the occupancy. Glad I'm also catching the show on November 24 at the Fillmore in San Francisco!


Jaan Pahechaan Ho (Mohammed Rafi cover)
Love of the Common Man
Muskrat Love (Captain & Tennille version cover)
I Don't Want to Tie You Down
Are You Havin' Any Fun (Tony Bennett cover)
Black and White
Kind Hearted Woman Blues (Robert Johnson cover)
It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference
Song of the Viking
Fire (Crazy World of Arthur Brown cover)
Patches (Clarence Carter cover)
Endless Prairie (Lorne Greene cover)
I'm a Gun - mimed by Todd (Lorne Greene cover)
Born to Synthesize (Tiki version)
Running Bear (Johnny Preston cover)
Hello It's Me


Too Far Gone I Saw the Light (Tiki version) One World

Other reviews for Todd Rundgren Dates
10/28/2014 - Birchmere - Alexandria, VA

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