Sunday, August 09, 2009
Todd Rundgren Concert Part 2
As promised, here are the concert photos taken by Dean Martin's friend TJ.
People may have questioned what the result would be with Rachel Haden on bass. I think that while everybody, for the most part would have had Kasim Sulton play the bass on the tour, they ended up pleasantly surprised. She did a great job and added an element that had not been seen or heard at a Todd concert. Although she is very young, all of the old gray-haired dudes in the audience could drool with for good reason. I hope we all get to see Rachel again on another tour.
Todd Rundgren blew us all away with his guitar on this night. Many would say that he had strayed from the guitar for several years........well.........the man has not lost his touch and he verified why he should be held in high regard as a guitar player. Unbelievable!
It was loud. It was proud. It was exactly what we all needed. The right songs......the right theme......the right volume......the right venue.........and if you missed this show, you are a loser.
Let me put it correctly........if you didn't know about the show you have missed much. If you knew about the show but didn't attend.....then you are a loser.
While many years have passed since Todd first arrived in the music scene, he certainly has not failed to get better and better.......which is hard to do considering he was one of the best from the get-go. He has not failed to please........even though he has ventured into sometimes risky genres. Even if his music is not your cup of tea, you never feel ripped off after his performance. I have no idea where he gets his energy.
Rachel Haden thumped away on the bass as Kasim Sulton was providing some keyboards. Yeah......sure......Kasim can play keyboards.....remember?........remember "Love Alone" by Utopia?...........the man has many talents.
From the moment they took the stage until they walked off the stage two hours later it was non-stop excellence.........and yet we want more.
After playing two songs, I would need to go sit down for a while. Todd plays two songs and only needs to scratch the left side of his head with his right hand......hehehe.....what can I say?
Rachel Haden has come a long way since the beginning of the tour. She has loosened up on stage quite a bit yet she still keeps an intense focus on what she is playing. I have read reviews where people thought she wasn't moving around very much and that she seemed a bit over concentrated. It has been said throughout the years that if you do not remember the bass player in a band, then he did his job well. It would be very difficult to not notice Rachel, for obvious reasons, but nobody could ever say that she didn't have the caliber to perform with Todd.
How does this man scream like he does? Nobody screams as good as Todd does. I enjoy good screams. Now don't get me wrong here.........I ain't saying that all he does is scream..........what I am saying is that when he screams......it's proper.
Did you know that Rachel Haden is a triplet? She is the daughter of jazz musician Charlie Haden.....who also plays bass. Actor Jack Black is her brother-in-law.
What could I say about Kasim Sulton? Everybody has heard him and yet they do not necessarily know it. Aside from his long history performing with Todd and Utopia, Kasim has performed with such artists as Hall & Oates, Joan Jett, and Meat Loaf....to name a few. His voice is angelic and it was Kasim's voice heard singing background vocals on the majority of those Meat Loaf songs. He might just be the hardest working guy in the business. Here he was playing guitar..........is there nothing he cannot do?
There are two things here to take into consideration. TJ was standing right behind me at the concert and I was standing at the front edge of the stage between where Rachel and Kasim were performing. This would explain the numerous pictures of Rachel that TJ shot.........or would it?
If you haven't seen Prairie Prince play the drums.....make a point of it to do so sometime in the near future. He is one of the very best. Okay.......maybe you hadn't heard of him. Prairie was the original drummer for Journey (he left before the records came out) and was a founding member of the Tubes. He has played with Starship and many others over the years and can be heard on countless recordings including XTC........Now you know.
After the show, I asked Todd to come back to Baltimore again. He replied "I love Baltimore". I asked him what he thought of the crowd for this show and he said "They were great!......Was this a good turnout for a Tuesday night?" I told him YES considering it was a work night and the weather forecast had not been good. The venue filled up pretty good considering............but it surely was not a sellout. Now that rock radio is practically gone off the air here, it is hard to know who is coming to town.
I believe this is the bass that Todd bought for Rachel when they got to Austin earlier in the tour. I think that Todd thought Rachel needed a smaller and lighter bass than the Fender.
Jesse Gress was on the left side of the stage. He is one hell of a guitarist. Think of him as a guitar professor............there is not a sound that he cannot make with his guitar.
Todd has a great sense of humor and his between song banters with the crowd are great. Here he is telling us about growing up in a rowhouse, as we have in Baltimore, about 90 miles north.
This was a fun moment on the stage. I don't know the story behind this but I know they did it throughout the tour.
I watched intently as Kasim played his guitar. He never messed up......perfect throughout. I was in heaven........with Todd and Kasim onstage it was half of Utopia and when Kasim started to sing "Trapped", a chill went up my spine....... I had never been so close.
"Earth to TJ.......Earth to TJ...........it's a TODD show"
My music hero......Todd Rundgren.
Did I mention that Kasim can hold his own on guitar?
Three guitars! Wow!
Todd is multi-talented but his voice is often overlooked by many. This man can sing.
Rachel can sing too.
"Earth to TJ.............Earth to TJ..................pay attention"
The show ended all to quickly some two hours into it. The lead guitar solo magical moment of "Just One Victory" wailed and wailed and wailed. The hairs on my back and neck stood up........the crowd in awe of the great one onstage................
.............."Give us just one victory and everything will be all right!"
Thanks again to TJ for the photos. He saved the day.................psssst....hey Rachel.............You have a huge fan named TJ.........let me know when you are coming back to Baltimore so I can make sure TJ knows..........hehehe.