Review of Boston, 5/6/18

Review by gRAdy Moates (Switch to

Sunday night, I saw a triumphant return after decades of silence, confidently performed by musicians who were thankful for the opportunity to commune once again with their fans. There were times when I forgot to breathe. Ecstasy is a weak word to describe my experience. For me, it was a welcome end to a decade-long Utopia drought -- my last Utopia show was the California Redux show, just before that whirlwind 8-show tour in Japan, 26 years ago _this_month_. Kasim finally getting to share the role of band leader 50/50 again was such a rush! Willie simply tore the place up, and sounded great on the lead vocal for "Princess Of The Universe". And what can you say about Gil Assayas, a guy who had two week's notice, before rehearsals began, to learn all those amazing keyboard parts! His performance was perfectly fluid and his playing was relaxed. When he needed to be the glue that held the backing parts together, he was crazy glue, and when he needed to be the soaring coun!

terpart to Todd's leads or take to the stratosphere himself, he was skimming the boundary of space itself!

This was essentially the same song lineup as the first show. I was prepared for the transitions between songs, and still got major rushes. I get to see another show in this tour, in Cleveland on the 19th, and I can't wait!

I also brought a few friends, all from different backgrounds and viewpoints. We went to dinner afterward and discussed.

One, a local rock guitarist, was completely mesmerized and totally satisfied. He found an unsold seat further back in the room and reported an excellent mix experience, and was obviously transported to that Utopia place.

Another friend, who has seen Todd with me many times but had never seen a Utopia show, was enthralled by the early works in the first set, and made a point of telling me that the May 6th show was an ear-opener for them. A big fan of King Crimson back in the day, this person was also happy with the experience, and said it was confusing to them that Utopia existed in that same time frame, without this person's knowledge.

A third person, a pro-sound worker in film and TV, didn't get a "3-decade drought is over" effect like I got, but did report that it was a Todd show that was just as good as the other ones, and enjoyed it.

And yet. . .

The fourth person has several decades of extensive experience in the recording industry in the Boston area, assisting in the recording of several well-know bands. This person was sitting with me in the "high-roller" seats near the stage, too close to hear the sound system mix further back in the room. This person simply could not "hear through" the unfortunate sound mix in the 6th row, and completely missed the amazing compositions and lyrics, and the tight, powerful, dynamic performances. The other complaint was that the LED graphics panels were too bright. "I just want to hear good music, performed well. The lighting system is a distraction for me."

The fifth person was happy to have been there.

These reactions make me all the more thankful that my parents and my schools gave me the varied musical background I have, which allows me to fully appreciate that "other realm" from which Todd and Utopia's music escaped to come pay us a visit in our universe. So, all the more reason to support Todd's "Spirit Of Harmony Foundation", to get music back into middle- and high-schools. I cannot imagine who I would be without that background, and without Todd.

Other reviews for Todd Rundgren Dates
5/06/2018 - Orpheum Theater - Boston, MA

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