My brother's spectacular wife, Angela, arranged for DeVange and me to share a pre-show meal with them at McElroy's Harbor House Seafood Restaurant. After the world-class supper, we simply walked next door to the Hard Rock casino and located the venue. The audience seemed revved up for the show. David and I had talked about the peculiarity of the Unpredictable shows, and we were not averse to hearing our musical hero indulge in cover tunes. Todd and the other musicians (the usual suspects -- Kasim Sulton, Jesse Gress, Prairie Prince) seemed to be in good spirits. Once again my brother and I found ourselves in the same room with Todd Rundgren. The concert opened with one of my favorite Cheap Trick songs, "Hello There," so I was feeling it as our host proceeded through his song choices. The manner in which TR advised the band of each song reminded me of seeing the Grateful Dead in April/December 1978 and watching them discuss their next selection as they stood on stage visiting between songs.
Hearing Todd and the band perform covers was fun, and I did not notice any disgruntled fans leaving the show. As Greg Hawkes was playing keyboards, "Good Times Roll" seemed an appropriate tune to play. The musicians seemed to embrace playing "Incense and Peppermint," "Patches," "Chantilly Lace," "Running Bear," "Brand New Key," and "Im Gonna Be (500 Miles)." Todd noted that they were, after all, in Mississippi, so he played Robert Johnson's "Kind Hearted Woman Blues." We heard plenty of TR songs: "Cliche," "Black and White," " I Saw The Light," "Love Of The Common Man," "I Don't Want To Tie You Down," "Too Far Gone," and "Open My Eyes." Todd made sing-alongs of "Can We Still Be Friends" and "Hello It's Me," and the crowd seemed delighted to be an integral part of the concert. My brother and I noted that Todd had performed "A Dream Goes On Forever" at some of these shows, and we reminded each other that we had never heard him sing that live. Sure enough, that was the final song of the night, and we felt mighty satisfied with the entire night's artistry. A standing ovation brought the presentation to a close.
Todd seemed happy and loose, and the band smiled all night. TR did some shredding on Foamy, and we witnessed some glorious "Todd vocals." Because our sweet parents had provided us the supper and the tickets to the show, we texted them throughout to express our gratitude and love. With goodbye hugs and kisses, we parted ways with my brother and my sister-in-law and drove back to Jackson. While I am aware that some Todd fans do not like these Unpredictable shows, I cannot share that feeling. We saw and heard some classic Todd songs, so we weren't lacking in that department. Given Todd's age (and my own), I am of a mind to enjoy each and every time I am part of a TR concert. This man's music has brought happiness to my brother, to my friends, and to me, and if I am able to share in just a little part of that, then I am, as I said earlier, blessed.
Thank you, Todd Rundgren!