Star Theatre, Portland, OR

Review by David Portney (Switch to

Go see this show! Both the hardcore and the casual Todd-fan will love this show!

Todd somehow decided to do what is arguable a "best of" or "greatest hits" type of show, showcasing many well-known and deep cut tunes from his entire career. I like to go to all of Todd's shows, so I saw Global (twice) but missed State because it wasn't' close enough to get to. Boy, am I glad that this tour made it up here to Portland, OR!

The Star Theatre is very small. Todd commented on that, wish I could remember his exact words, but it ended with something like "...but somehow we wound up here". Hats off to the venue's sound -- both the pre-show and show sound was excellent; I didn't need ear plugs though I was about 7 people back from the stage, and there was minimal to no ear ringing after the show, and I could hear all instruments and voices clearly. Yes, one song started with only half the side going, but the tech quickly fixed that. Good venue!

I didn't make an effort to write it down, but It's similar to what others posted, but it was different. For example, he ended with "A Dream Goes on Forever" -- more on that later, please keep reading. Some highlights for me were "Determination", "Drive", "I Don't Want To Tie You Down" and "Open My Eyes" was just fantastic. I don't know why, after all these years, Todd finally decided to deliver the album version of "Hello It's Me" instead of a dance or bossa nova version, but he did, and it was killer -- maybe he just finally decided to give people what they want? Not a total "greatest hits only" type of show, he didn't do "Can We Still Be Friends" and did do "I Want You" and a couple other lesser-known songs. What a killer set list, wish I could go to all or more of these shows. The pacing of the set list was really fantastic, lots of ups and downs, great dynamics.

Todd came out guns blazing, take no prisoners. I've seen Todd shows since Back To The Bars tour, and THIS is the Todd Rundgren we all know and love, his voice, demeanor, stage antics, and guitar playing were top notch. Flubs?-he did forget the words to Facist Christ at one point, so what?-he jumped right back in. The somewhat "sloppiness" we've seen in recent years on guitar was replaced by, like I said, the TR we know -- blistering, killer, amazing guitar playing. It's almost as if the band has a thing going where the person who makes the most mistakes per night has to buy everyone else dinner and drinks or something, everyone was really on their game. Kasim seemed a little stiff or even not-happy for quite a bit, and seemed to loosen up and smile later in the show. Prairie and Jesse -- what can I say, those guys are just fantastic musicians, and John is no slouch either. Todd's solos were inspired, blazing, mistake-free, brilliant, it was as if he's a young man again and got something to prove. Truly amazing playing by Todd.

Sure, I would have really loved it if he finished with "Just One Victory". He finished with "A Dream Goes on Forever" and played the song exactly like the record, but at the very end where the song would end, he extended it with some extra choruses but the chords behind were not the same as "usual" and the arrangement was so beautiful musically that it stirred the emotions in a yearning kind of way -- then, as the band kept playing, he moved in stages toward the back of the stage stopping in stages and gesturing at the crowd with "come on, come with me" beckoning gestures that were sweet, beautiful, and evocative. He had just sang the last lines several times "How much I love you you'll never know, until you join me within my dream" and as the band played on, and as he moved in stages further and further to the back of the stage to exit the stage while stopping to gesture us to "join him in his dream" it was so (I have to repeat these words) sweet, beautiful, and evocative that it almost brought a tear to my eye. The net effect was he "left us wanting more" whereas if he played just one victory it would have been a completely different effect.

I'm left with more respect for Todd than ever. And boy, has he still got it; voice, guitar, showmanship -- this is why we all say "Todd is God(d)". This was an amazing show. Thank you Mr. Rundgren. Someone who can reach him, please extend my eternal gratitude for this killer show.

Other reviews for Todd Rundgren Dates
1/12/2016 - Star Theater - Portland, OR

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