Fireworks

Concert Reviews

Todd Rundgren http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/1e/0f/02/364_toddrundgren_1275319506.jpg Hot

Added by James Gaden     May 31, 2010    
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
6502   0   1   0   0   0

Todd Rundgren – HMV Apollo, Hammersmith – 6th February 2010

The last few years have been a good time to be a Todd Rundgren fan in the UK, and despite the fact that this is only one of seven shows to celebrate his ground-breaking ‘A Wizard, A True Star’ album (five in the US, one in Amsterdam and this one), this is his fourth visit to our previously neglected isle in just under six years. At the US shows the band supported themselves doing a set of Utopia material due to the fact that three-quarters of that band were involved, but keyboard player Roger Powell was too busy to do the European shows alongside Todd and bassist Kasim Sulton so Todd had arranged something quite different. Under the banner of Todd Rundgren’s Johnson, Todd, Kasim, drummer Prairie Prince and guitarist Jesse Gress played a set of songs that Robert Johnson basically invented rock & roll with back in the 30’s.
To be honest I’m not familiar with many of these songs even though they’ve become blues standards, but as Gress is playing most of the lead guitar during the main set it was at least a chance to hear Rundgren letting rip with some raw and vibrant guitar solos. ‘Dust My Broom’, ‘Stop Breaking Down Blues’ and ‘Walkin’ Blues’ are basic twelve bar songs that must have been pretty radical when they were first heard back then, and with some cool playing from Prince and a bearded Sulton (“Shut up fuzz-face” Todd was heard to quip during an onstage conversation after Todd started a song in the wrong key) I made a mental note to check out the original recordings of these songs. ‘Love In Vain’, ‘Sweet Home Chicago’, ‘Red Hot’ and ‘Come In My Kitchen’ are more of the same and it’s great to hear musicians interact like this when they obviously haven’t rehearsed that much, and the familiar ‘Travelling Riverside Blues’ is followed by a version of the slightly more recent ‘Crossroads’ to bring the set to a close. Rundgren has done a few bluesy things on his solo albums over the years and it’s great to hear him singing in that style for a full set and playing in scales that he’s hardly used since The Nazz.
From the position of the curtain that Todd Rundgren’s Johnson played in front of it was obvious that there was some kind of stage set behind it, so as the curtain opened it revealed two large podiums at either side of the stage to accommodate his white-suited band. One had Prince, Gress and Sulton on it, the other had three keyboard sets for Greg Hawkes (The Cars), Bobby Strickland and Rundgren alumni Mark ‘Moogy’ Klingman, the latter of whom played on the original album and has replaced Roger Powell for the European shows. Between the two podiums is a doorway through which Rundgren enters in mock slow-motion dressed as an astronaut to sing ‘International Feel’ through his headset microphone. With so many different players and singers onstage, as well as Strickland switching frequently between keys and a variety of saxophones and other wind instruments, it must have been a soundman’s nightmare, so kudos to him for getting perfect sound early on and keeping it that way.
It would be impossible to describe the music on ‘A Wizard, A True Star’, suffice to say that it’s one of the most varied albums ever made so it’s no surprise that Rundgren’s frequent costume changes (almost one for every one of it’s nineteen tracks) are suitably wacky as well. The song order is subtly tweaked in order to place the short instrumentals (‘Tic, Tic, Tic – It Wears Off’, ‘Dogfight Giggle’, ‘Flamingo’) where there’s a costume change needed, from the skin-tight lycra suit for ‘Rock’n’Roll Pussy’ to the feathers for the “pretty bird” in ‘Zen Archer’ and the fat suit for the whimsical ‘Just Another Onionhead/Dada Dali’. Elsewhere the orange suit for the soul medley is quite shocking, as is the one for ‘You Don’t Have To Camp Around’, and where there isn’t an instrumental for Todd to leave the stage they can always use a silly dance by Strickland or get Kasim to sing ‘Does Anybody Love You’. Rundgren dons a chefs outfit and throws out sweets during ‘Hungry For Love’ and another lycra suit and the legendary psychedelic Gibson SG greets the straight-forward rock of ‘Is It My Name’, whilst my personal favourite, as on the album, is the extended progressive rocker ‘When The Shit Hits The Fan/Sunset Boulevard’, complete with great synth solos from Hawkes.
With a single encore of the anthemic ‘Just One Victory’, complete with an appearance of Mrs. Rundgren, Michelle, on backing vocals, it was a pretty short headline set for the money (yes, I did pay for this one!). If we hadn’t already had forty minutes of Rundgren as the support band I might have felt a little short-changed, but as a one-off spectacle and celebration of such an influential album it couldn’t possibly have been much better.
Phil Ashcroft
Share this on the web.

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.

 


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


busy

Member Login



Calendar

<<  August 2019  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
     1  2  3  4
  5  6  7  8  91011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031 

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 1 week, 4 days ago
  • SeaDog57 : Thanks Berny got it
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: Not sure why the password disappeared, but it's back. Pls. download your copy from the usual place (i.e. Fireworks - > Bonus CD 87 on the TOP menu). Have fun! :)
  • SeaDog57 : Berny looking for the link and password to Issue 87 free music
  • Berny : @yvesrock: Apologies for the troubles. I've just sent you an email.
  • yvesrock : Hi,I ordered the 11th june the new Fireworks' magazine (issue 87) and I didn't receive it. Can you see if you sent it ? Best wishes Yves
  • yvesrock : Hi,
  • Berny : @Gazza2005: Please accept my apologies for the delay in processing your order. You should have received a confirmation mail by now. We are really trying our best to fix the payment issue as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience! PS: It seems as if you sent the payment twice, we sent you a refund.
  • Gazza2005 : I have bought issue 80 and I still ha e not had confirmation of my download. Please could this be sorted out
  • Gazza2005 : Hello. Can someone direct me to my download please
  • Gazza2005 : Can someone help please
  • Gazza2005 : It’s Fireworks 80
  • Gazza2005 : Just paid for my online version / download but I keep getting failure message. All paid for so what is going on
  • Berny : Sorted! Thanks for your patience, enjoy the magazine! :)
  • HenningHallq : Hey guys! I purchased FIREWORKS #87 yesterday and paid by my paypal, but there is still no download link on my account. Can you help me with this? Thanks a lot!
  • Siodmak : Really thanks !!!!
  • Berny : @Siodmak: Pls. do not worry about the error message, we currently have to process orders manually because of a n issue with our payment system. I do not want to bore you with technical details, but the redirection from PayPal to our shop does not work as it should, that's why your purchase is not assigned automatically. We are working on it! Sorry for the troubles & thanks for your understanding. We hope you like the new issue of Fireworks! :)
  • Siodmak : Hello guys : - ) same problem as with previous number: just purchased Fireworks Mag. 87, and this is the message: "We are sorry, but it looks like your transaction failed". I've paid it with paypol. Thanks for your help!!
  • Berny : @Raphone @colorvine: You should have received your download instructions by now, if you haven't, pls. send a mail to «email» - Sorry for the troubles!
  • colorvine : Hello! Purchased FIREWORKS #87 yeasterday and paid by my paypal, but there is still no download link on my account.Can you help? Thanks
  • Raphone : Hello! Purchased FIREWORKS #87 yeasterday and paid by my paypal, but there is still no download link on my account.Can you help? Thanks
  • Berny : Fireworks Magazine #87 is out now!
  • SeaDog57 : Thanks again Berny
  • Berny : Hi SeaDog57: Apologies!Password can be found in the forum, link was (again) added to the "Fireworks" menu.
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; need a download link for #86 and the pg number for the Code
  • Berny : @Siodmark: Pls. check your mail! Apologies for the troubles, we hope you enjoy the magazine! :)
  • Siodmak : Hello guys! Purchased FIREWORKS #86 and paid by my paypal, but there is no download link on my account. Can you please help me? tnks ; - )
  • Hombre 444 : Got mine reading it now,best Rock Mag out on Market by far.
  • Berny : Fireworks #86 is out now!
  • Johns Band : Happy New year Everyone. Will the music film return.
  • Rocktopia Te : The Rocktopia Team would like to wish you a Merry Christmas! :)

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us

FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoogle

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site