Friday, February 19, 2010

translation of article from the amsterdam show

sent to me by bart v

Multicolored Rundgren follows the record seamlessly

Todd Rundgren as fatty during ‘Da Da Dali’. Photo Andreas Terlaak



After musical legends such as Jagger, Bowie and Brown, it was finally time for a different master on the stage of Paradiso, Amsterdam: Todd Rundgren, the man who invented his own rules for the musical play in the seventies and who is still releasing new albums and wrote world hits such as I Saw The Light and Can We Still Be Friends. However, he wasn’t playing these songs last night. Inspired by the appreciation of the youngest generation of musicians (such as the British Hot Chip and the French Justice) for the way he used the studio back in his days, Rundgren now only plays songs of the record A Wizard, A true star (1973) which was undervalued in the seventies, on which he played all the instruments himself. His choice is a very idiosyncratic statement: it isn’t the audience’s favorite Something/Anything (1972), but the Wizard which was filled with bizarre twists right until the last groove of the record.

And that is how last night’s performance became a trip back to the seventies that the audience had been waiting for for years, judging by their happy facial expressions. Rundgren did everything in his power to please his audience. He performed with an excellent six-piece band – recruited from his old companions – were spread across the stage on half-cylinders. They played the music exactly as it is on the record: a full sound in which shrill keyboards and growling saxophones were dominating.

The guitar solos were now played by guitarist Jesse Gress, since Rundgren himself was too busy with his costume changes. No less than twelve times he appeared on stage in a new disguise; as an astronaut for the opening song International Feel in a velvet suit in Rock & Roll Pussy, as an air inflated Billy Turf in Da Da Dali. Climax was the disguise of a frivolous Icarus for which he waved across the stage, barefoot, in a harness with feathers. All this without any negative impact on his voice, although the vocal climax was the medley with soul songs during which he had the time to unfold his high crooning sound.

It seemed as if Rundgren was afraid of boring his audience – that’s how much visual spectacle was introduced. This could have been at the expense of the musical exploration, because apart from a single deviating sequence, Wizard was followed seamlessly.

However this record on which Rundgren said to have summarized the “many colors of his imagination” in songs of mostly one minute, traditionally offers sufficient variation.

The 61 year-old Rundgren who addressed the Amsterdam fans with „Hello hippies, old and new”, has shown his imagination in all its facets

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