TODD RETURNS TO BEARSVILLE
July 30, 2008 WMS
Todd Rundgren's blistering two-hour set at the Bearsville Theater July 28 marked the first time the former Woodstocker played a full concert at the intimate venue, though he spent years building large portions of his impressive portfolio at his Utopia Sound Studio up the road. And he created Utopia Video Studio, now home to radio station WDST, just yards from the theater. But Monday night's show was not the first time he performed on stage at Bearsville. Few seem to remember, but Todd played a handful of acoustic numbers with Jesse Gress during a benefit in the days before Woodstock 1994 in Saugerties, where Todd played his Todd Pod show under a tent on the grounds. Also performing at that benefit were Marshall Crenshaw and Jules Shear. Todd's show this week in front of a packed house just about tore the walls down. Todd was joined by longtime bandmates guitarist Jesse Gress and drummer Prairie Prince, and newcomers Rachel Haden on bass and Matt Bolton on keyboards and guitar. He played -- from start to finish -- all 13 numbers of his latest CD, Arena, which will be released in September. All the advance buzz on the show and the new music was dead on -- these powerful songs are packed with hooks and delivered with blazing guitar breaks, soon-to-be classic riffs and strong vocals. Todd sprinkled in several of his own classics, but it was Arena rock that has invigorated his fan base. See this show! In the meantime, visit our photo gallery for some images of Todd's night in Bearsville: http://www.woodstockmusicshop.com/gallery.