I was at a concert of Todd Rundgren at the Paradiso in Amsterdam last night!
He played with the Metropole Orchestra , a dutch orchestra consisting of a full big band, a 25 piece string section, a woodwind section and two percossionists.
It was a wonderful concert, Todd’s not only a phenomenal guitar player but also an incredible singer.
He has a great range for a 63 year old rocker and sings with lots of expression and emotion, and he’s also very funny!
They played a selection of his hits, like ‘Hello It’s Me’, ‘I Saw The Light’ and ‘Can We Still Be Friends’ and also some lesser known songs.
The arrangements were wonderful and made good use of the porential of the orchestra.
The highlight was a song with just strings and Todd’s vocal, goose bumps all over!
Hermit of Mink Hollow was my favorite record for a long time. He’s one of my all time faves. I’m really jealous (both for Amsterdam and Todd). I hope I can catch the radio show. I’ve seen him solo and with Utopia a number of times. The shows were anywhere from embarrassingly bad, to mind blowing good. Sounds like this was on the really good side.
I “discovered” TR just a few years ago. I’ve always sort of known that there is a person with that name but, you know, you can’t listen to EVERYTHING, can you? The I fell over an interview with this Todd and he seemed to be a reasonable person. A few years went by and YouTube popped up ans showed me some moving pictures and … MUSIC! Great goggelimoggli! So maybe I should have a little collection of Todd Rundgren as well haha!
The odd thing about TR is that he was/is always at the cutting edge of technology and distribution. Because of that a lot of the video and web stuff seems primitive. But, he was actually making music videos before well MTV was even a station. He made a interactive music sharing/publishing/fan interaction application for mac, PC and Amiga about the time MSN was in beta (early 90s?). He’s also an accomplished producer as well, although almost without fail the bands that used him made their first polished album.
Hermit of Mink Hollow: amazing pop/rock/psychedelic/r&b and soul record.
A Wizard a True Star: Same as above, but a technological marvel for its time.
Todd: Weird songs that are very “Todd”.
A capella: Listen and just be in awe for the amount of work and details went into it.
Utopia : one of the original psychedelic prog albums. Again, way ahead of its time.
Adventures in Utopia: Awesome pop rock, very unique even though it is pop rock
RA: Fun record, don’t take it too seriously … the opening song is kick ass
Just a few personal faves there. Almost everything has something worthwhile in it, although I haven’t cared for things after Nearly Human, which is a great album also.
I listened to Todd constantly throughout the 80’s and early 90’s. He’s been an influence on my music more than
any other artist I can thnk of.
Todd’s been touring a lot lately, and doing something very smart IMO. Since he’s got such a large back catalogue,
each tour he does is to support a particular album or two. This enables him to keep his fans coming back to see him again and again - because each time they’ll be seeing him perform one of his old classic albums in it’s entirety. Just this past spring I saw him do the ‘Healing/Todd’ tour, and it was outstanding! He’s 63, but he doesn’t look it. He’s all over the stage, energetic and giving the crowd his all - and I’ve never seen him in better voice, or better on guitar.
Recently his keyboard player from the first Utopia album, Moogy Klingman, was diagnosed with cancer, so they put that original lineup back together to do a benefit show in NY for Moogy. Apparently it went well, and they’re now touring to support that album - plus some of his other tunes to round out the night. I’m going to see that show on Nov 18th in Peekskill.
Did you not like ‘Second Wind’, which came right after Nearly Human, and with the same band? That was a good one, but after that I, too, drifted away from Todd after he released a few disappointing experimental albums like No World Order, The Individualist, With A Twist…but then he redeemed himself in 2004 with ‘Liars’, which is an outstanding album where he got back to songcraft again. I’d highly recommend Liars.
He also released his own tribute to the music of bluesman Robert Johnson and called it Todd Rundgren’s Johnson - and also an EP of these songs, called (what else) Todd Rundgren’s Short Johnson.
Saw him in the 70s with Utopia. I was (and still am) a total synth geek, so seeing him with Larry Fast was … well … Heaven…
Then in 2001(?), I was hanging out at a little tiki lounge on the Esplanade at Burning Man and some guy is doing Bosa Nova verions of Rundgren’s pop songs to an old Roland beatbox. I recognize the music and (while laughing my ass off at the irony of hearing TR at Burning Man) say out to my friend (a Grammy winning percussionist) “hey, those are Todd Rundgren tunes…”
To which he responds…
“Yup, that’s Todd Rundgren playing them, we’re having dinner with his camp tonight.”
Steak and Lobster dinner on the Playa that night with Todd and his whole camp. One of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. Talk about heaven…
For those of you who are interested, I’ve now got a recording of the show, Todd Rundgren & the Metropole Orchestra, Paradiso, Amsterdam, sep. 24th, 2011.
It was a high quality stream from the Radio 6 website that I recorded in 320 kbps mp3.
I will host it from my website for a short while. Send me a PM when interested and I’ll send you the link.