AT THE QUEEN ELIZABETH THEATRE
Todd Rundgren is not one of standing still, literally of musically. Despite closing in on 70, Rundgren continues to be an energetic performer, and he showed this tonight with his defiantly non-prog rock set as support act for Yes.
It isn’t that Rundgren can’t do prog-rock (his extensive back catalog from the 70’s is testament to this), it’s just that he wants to do his own thing. When you have the pedigree that Rundgren has earned over the years as an artist, I think it is hard, or even impossible to deny him this freedom.
Obviously before heading to the show, I had checked out the set lists from earlier dates on the tour for any signs of Utopia classics, and wasn’t disappointed to find a couple in there. However, these were mixed in with a good number of Todd’s more recent outing from White Knight and Global and State, providing a more techno sound. IT also gave Rundgren the opportunity to dance (better than I could) with his two female vocalists and dancers.
Overall I don’t think there were too many complaints on the night, sure it wasn’t the same style as Yes, but Rundgren is a performer. His voice still sounds solid, and his guitar playing is still on point. Add to this a bit of showmanship and overall it was an enjoyable hour.
A few lucky people even got a t-short out of it as Todd, and ladies threw them into the crowd at the end of Buy My T, which laments the state of the music business currently.
After this late bit of modernity Rundgren returned to the classics to close out the set. An updated rendition of the Utopia classic One World even had a few of the die-hard rockers on their feet, and a few stayed there as he returned to the 70’s to close out with Hello It’s Me and Just One Victory.
Photos: Stewart Johnstone