Still dazed by the show last night. Bizaar is the work that keeps coming to my mind...
Two sets of music.
First set was Todd plus Roger Powell, Kasim Sulton, and Prairie Prince playing straight ahead Robert Johnson blues tunes. Introduced by Todd as the world premiere of Todd Rundgren's Johnson. I was not impressed.
Second set, after a long intermission was AWATS, performed in full drama mode. In addition to Todd, Roger, Kasim and Prairie, Jesse Gress, Greg Hawkes and Bobby Strickland were all on stage dressed in white "Staying Alive" type suits. Todd changed costumes several times. In all, I found it to be somewhat "campy" by quite entertaining.
A truly unique experience that fits into the "only in SF" category.
First set setlist.
Dust My Broom
Stop Breakin' Down
Love in Vain
Sweet Home Chicago
At least Todd always keeps it new and different...
I was there too and I was generally underwhelmed.
The blues set was disappointing because I was expecting a TR greatest hits/Utopia set, something that he's been doing in other cities (BTW, that wasn't Roger Powell, it was the guitar player Todd's been playing with for a few years now. Powell wasn't there at all; too bad), but it still would have been OK if they had their act together, but it was sloppy at best. Even Todd said "Welcome to our third rehearsal".
It really seemed more like they hadn't rehearsed at all. They made obvious mistakes, lost tempo's and did the worst thing a band can do onstage IMO; stopped at least three songs after they started.
Still, a few of the songs hit the groove and Todd played some solid guitar, and while Todd's voice isn't as strong as it used to be it's still one-of-a-kind and he sounded good singing the blues. For me the few times the set worked it worked well, but overall it was clear they weren't ready to play those songs.
I had forgotten how odd most of the music on AWATS is (A Wizard, A True Star; an early '70s album that Todd recorded all by himself, doing all the instruments, voices and engineering) and along with Todds self-indulgent (rediculous) costumes and routines the songs from that album are for the most part just not strong enough for me.
The sound was not loud enough either, but there were some excellent moments; Sometimes I Don't Know What To Feel is such a great song, and of course Just One Victory is always good to hear, and Kasim Sulton was fucking great on bass, as usual.
Overall it was a much more adventurous project than I've seen from Todd in a long time and his band was strong, but the first set & the album he chose to cover were a bit too obscure, and man those costumes! Todd never has been one to know when he's gone too far.
I kept thinking that the album idea is a good one, but next time do Initiation 1st set & Sun Ra 2nd. THAT would be a smoking show!
A bit of flavor...
Love In Vain (Robert Johnson)
When the Shit Hits the Fan / Sunset Blvd.
Just One Victory encore
Todd needs a band
none of this solo shit live!