Todd in San Antonio

Review by Bill Avey (Switch to

Todd in San Antonio August 27, 2015 @The Aztec Theatre

Well . . .it was certainly different. I need to preface this with I just don't like Global or State. I tried it, but it's just not my thing. On the other hand, I really didn't like Liars when it first came out, and after further review and seeing the live concert, I grew to LOVE that album. I so hoped this show (and it was a show, not a concert) would make me leave saying, "You know, I'm gonna start listening to Global more." Unfortunately, it did not. That is not to say it wasn't a great show because it was. It was just really different.

I can only surmise that Todd's shooting for a younger audience with these last two albums, or maybe he was just bored again and wanted to try something new. Might be both, but the "attract a younger audience" ploy did not work. I am 52 years old and the vast majority of people in attendance were at least my age, with most of them being older. My 21-year-old-son, who adores Todd's vintage material, was most likely the youngest person in attendance, and most of the "older" crowd did not research this show because the utter look of disappointment on their faces was pretty sad because, all things considered, the show was really fun. First of all, Todd has shed a lot of weight, and when I'm his age, I could only pray to be able to do the aerobic workout he did over the two hour span of the show. The boy can dance! Who knew? Secondly, his voice was vintage, circa 1980, good tonight. He hit every octave in the stratosphere with crisp, powerful precision. Honestly, it's the best his voice has sounded live in 20 years. Third, the animation going on in those mesh screens and the lightning was mesmerizing. Fourth, those two young ladies performing with him were highly entertaining and not hard to look at either, not trying to sound like a dirty old man. However, they changed costumes more often than OH played guitar, which was only on five songs. Lastly, and probably most importantly, I haven't seen Todd so happy doing a live show in a really long time. He legitimately was having a blast, and a lot of times on his "in-between-albums" tours where he is playing the classics mostly, while he gave us our money's worth and usually more, he didn't have that "God, this is soooo much fun" persona that he had last night. Watching him have that much fun did my heart good.

As far as the "show" goes, he made me appreciate two songs off Global (Everybody and Soothe). But I am so spoiled by attending 24 Todd CONCERTS in the past 34 years, that I wanted to see a band, OH playing guitar like he's capable of doing, and hear him on the piano knocking out "Can We Still Be Friends" (and a multitude of others) the way he recorded it, or at least close to it. I don't want to hear them dance-tuned up. Sorry. I did, surprisingly, enjoy the dance version of "One World" quite a bit. However, the medley of "Can We Still Be Friends," "I Saw the Light," and "Hello, It's Me" was just horrible and really hard to listen to. He should have just left them alone or played them close to the way he recorded them. I understand after 30-40 years or more, he has to be tired of singing those songs, but he just has to, or not. I would have rather him omit them from the set list than to have sung them in that dance-tune format. Again, the show was highly entertaining and his voice (oh God, that voice that just feeds the soul) was spectacular, but the set list was less than desirable to me.

The ending of the show was pretty spectacular, though. WWE straight up rocked, and then "International Feel" was riveting, and for the 24th time for me, the show gloriously and sadly ended with, of course, "Just One Victory." I saw the last Hall and Oates tour, which they captured in a video "Live from Dublin", and as Darryl introduced "She's Gone," he said that it feels like the first time every time they do that song. I can honestly say that it seems the same for Todd with "Just One Victory." He sings the hell out of it every time, with unbelievable passion and just rips your face off with that solo at the end of song.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Rick and his wife. Rick has been going to Todd concerts for 44 years, owns a recording studio in Austin, and although he doesn't actively record like he did for 26 years, he does remaster albums/cds at Figment Studios in Austin, Texas. Rick joined me, my son, and what appeared to be about 100 other fans who camped out by the tour bus. After about 30 minutes, Todd came out. He was jovial, funny, and genuinely appreciative of the fans. He talked with each person, took multiple pictures with each person, and signed everything people brought him. I got another picture, so did my son, and Todd signed my son's vinyl album of Something/Anything. What a joy the after-the-show experience was.

A few years ago during the Unpredictable Evening tour, I was blessed to see that concert three times in five days after a three year hiatus of no Todd concerts. He just wasn't close enough to San Antonio those years. I loved every second of every concert. I wouldn't want to see this SHOW three times in five days (or maybe not again at all), but I sure am glad I did see it. Hell, he is OH! If he did an album of AC/DC covers in polka, I'd buy it and go see the show. I'm that big of a fan, and I just feel thankful every time I see him. The joy he had tonight, the quality of his voice, the SHOW, and the final three songs (along with the back-to-back songs "Truth" and "Secret Society") made it worth every penny. Keep doing what you do, Todd, and please come back to San Antonio.

Other reviews for Todd Rundgren Dates
8/27/2015 - Aztec Theater - San Antonio, TX

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