Todd Rundgren – July 8, 2008, Aladdin Theater, Portland, OR

July 9, 2008

Aladdin theater Portland, OR

My husband has been demoted from the category of FAN. See, I didn’t really know what a FAN was until encountering the crowd at the Todd Rundgren show last night. I’m just a little out of the loop on this aging rock star, aging FAN thing.

For example, in the audience last night there was “Rick” (name changed to protect the innocent) who came decked out in Todd T-shirt, Todd laminate, and some other pieces of Todd paraphernalia that I can’t quite recall. Rick joined the 50- and 60-somethings who were worshiping at the stage. And you know, I’m sorry, but some of these people really seem to be stuck in the ’70s.

Todd was clearly pissed. He ragged on the venue and the promoters–railing on about lack of monitors and legs broken en route to the dressing room–but that was the least of “it”. The real temper was in the tunes.

He humored us for awhile, playing classics from the “Utopia” days, but then he moved on into his present-tense passion, material from the new “Arena” CD.

Todd Rundgren Channels Perry Emge

He opened with, “Mad” followed by “Afraid” and it wasn’t pretty. As in, as he pointed out later, no blue-eyed soul.

Loud. Speedy. Complicated. Loud. Todd’s vocals summarized the tone–lots of screaming and wailing, underscoring the words of the songs.

I don’t know how he does that; one moment vocalized angst and the next a loving purr. Then more Loud & Complex. Rather like life, I can see.

Part of life is that, people age. Rock stars age. Some of them stagnate and play all the old tunes forever. (I suspect that to be a FAN you have got to stagnate.)

Some people, such as Todd Rundgren, continue to grow. If we’re lucky, we grow with them.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Roger Linder July 9, 2008 at 1:06 pm

Your last line says it all. It’s good to see someone who “gets” it.

Rick Weber July 23, 2008 at 2:10 pm

I’ve “grown” with Todd for 35 years and he’s always surprised, enlightened and kept his music interesting for his fans and himself.

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