The electronic pioneer returns. With help from guitar maestro, journalist and educator Jesse Gresse and The Tubes drummer Prairie Prince, Todd Rundgren blew our minds with a perfectly choreographed live DJ performance. Synchronising his Reason 7, iPad and Rack Extensions to create an exciting visual and sound show with the most vivid and over-powering light-show I have seen for some time.
Wearing his State ski goggles and a diamond patterned shirt which picked up the luminance of ultra violet rays and made him look thinner and younger he opened the set with Imagination. This eight minute song gave Todd the chance to show off his sequencing skills, vocals and guitar playing which is all too often reduced to two or three songs in most of his recent sets. It was a blast and very exciting to watch.
In a blink and miss it moment TR recreated the look of the State album cover whilst programming parts for Smoke and Collide-A-Scope. In essence the show was about change and finding new ways to play to an audience. The ease with which he moved from computer technology to guitar, then merging both together is not new for him but shows how comfortable he is with change and his ‘this is me now, take it or leave it attitude’ shines through.
More searing guitar solos followed with hints of great riffs from the past, Unloved Children was sampled at the start of Secret Society, which five songs in, gave TR the opportunity to play the longest solos of the night and the under capacity crowd the chance to hear a Utopia live favourite.
Todd mixed up the setlist with songs from this interactive album No World Order (1994), I still have the original CD but could never get it to work fully as intended, how well they work now with powerful beats and heavy metal guitar they could easily be songs written by Trent Reznor. Covers included the crowd pleaser and The Tubes hit Prime Time and New York Dolls song Personality Crisis. Of course all TR fans know that he was a big influence on many and when hooked up as producer he was often a co-writer on many of the songs as he was on these, credited or not.
Todd played the Wizard and conjured up a neat bag of tricks to delve out to the crowd who appeared to be as diverse as the music and the lighting with people wearing Shinedown, Anthrax and Barry Manilow t-shirts. Not all of the pieces worked live in this theatre but most did, Hello Its Me was stunningly done at the end but the brilliance of it lost in a medley. A bigger audience deserved to be here to hear a true star play live for what was a laugh and fun. Clear!
More photos from the Official State visit are here: https://rockshotmagazine.com/7784/photography-todd-rundgren-official-state-visit/
And here the set list.
More live reviews follow the website link: Live Reviews