Todd’s On Tour!
I am very excited about Todd’s “unpredictable” tour that is currently underway, and love reading what fans are posting about the shows! It fits nicely with the other fan comments about their favorite Todd songs, previous tours, and other things Todd. Here is a great pic Nancy Sakmar just posted from the Cleveland show:
I have tickets for the show in Evanston and am looking forward to the “unpredictable” nature of the set, perhaps because he is performing one of my favorite Utopia songs:
That was Todd Rundgren performing “The Wheel” at Cleveland’s Agora Theater on 10-12-12 – a great “thank you!” to “rogsteel” for this great fan video from youtube.
“City In My Head…”
Some of you may have read a story I posted that imagined there was no Utopia, and all of their catchiest pop songs were, instead, a “lost” solo Todd CD…you know, full of great Utopia pop songs like “Crybaby”:
I also love the Utopia song “Mated”, which is a beautiful ballad that I saw Todd perform solo as well – and while I LOVE Utopia, Todd’s bio does go into how difficult it was for Todd and the band to have the group separate from Todd’s solo career:
I’m sure Todd’s record label would have fought his interest in “progressive rock”, no matter how great it was…but would the material have gotten more attention:
“What If There Was NO Utopia?”
I’ve already looked at some of Utopia’s pop classics, which would have been a classic Todd pop solo album – so I wanted to take a look at Utopia’s progressive rock and imagine these songs as a “forgotten” Todd solo album as well!
I made a Todd progressive rock album to share with all of you as I prepare to see Todd live. It makes his “Unpredictable” tour all the better to have Kasim Sultan in the band, and to perform one of my favorite Utopia songs as well…
Here is a pic from the “unpredictable” tour that I found online – I couldn’t find out who took it, so thanks to the fan who shared it!
So, if Todd hadn’t formed Utopia, would he have made a progressive rock album in the 70’s? Did Utopia allow him to go in this direction? The great bio book on Todd really made me think about this…
The two bio books talk a lot about the impact Utopia had on Todd’s music and career, and how little respect they got from the record company…but it is classic progressive rock that sounds just as great today!
Rather than start with the “Utopia Theme”, I wanted to begin with another song that I love, and was the great intro to the “Ra” album – a great way to introduce fans to the more progressive sound:
“Mountaintop and Sunrise / Communion With The Sun”
A classic progressive rock song that would open the album on a spiritually “high note”:
Thanks to “jedzxor” for posting this live performance on youtube…
“Ra, climbing the horizon
Rising up the mountain, lighting up the valley below
Ra, giver without measure
Beacon of compassion, shining through the spectrum of life
Day is born, night is gone
One in all, all is one
Communion with the sun
Ra, ruler of all nature
Burning on forever, melting all together in one”
I would go next into the classic song from the first Utopia album:
Catchy progressive rock that also shows the band coming together to create a tighter sounding song…and then it’s on to Utopia’s second album, which was recorded live and included a mix of new material and some classic songs as well…
“Well I could be wrong
But I swear that I knew you
In another life
And I could be dreaming but I swear
That I knew you in another life”
A great song performed live on the album, and here is a live version from
“walkerbrothersmusic” on youube:
What a great live performance from the Akron Civic Auditorium – it’s Todd Rundgren, John Seigler, Kevin Ellman, Ralph Schukett, Kasim Sulton & Jesse Gress from 11/12/2011!
Next on the album is another great song – progressive rock with a catchy hook and a strong driving beat:
“The Seven Rays”
Thanks to “rundgrenfan” on youtube for this classic version of the song live…
I would end side one with the classic song:
This is one of Utopia’s most progressive rock songs – and it originally filled the entire second side of the debut album! It’s 30 minutes of “prog rock” at its finest – and I don’t care if this is too much music for one album or CD!
This clip from 2011 was posted on youtube by “wvbaker”:
Even though that is more than a single album’s worth of great music, there is still another side to go!
Side two begins with the epic, legendary and iconic song that launched Utopia:
Here is a video I found online of the band performing the song at the Highline Ballroom on January 29th, 2011. It was the amazing Utopia reunion:
Thanks to “utopianmindset” for posting this on youtube! Next on the CD would be one of the most beautiful Utopia songs ever:
I posted the video of a recent performance at the beginning of this story, but there are many others available, and it is always interesting to see Todd and the band performing it over the years…here is a classic performance by Utopia from “Live At The Royal Oak” – Detroit 1981:
Thanks to “HarryRunt danu” for sharing this – I own the VHS of this concert, FYI! I love that the band is all wearing camouflage outfits – what a beautiful ballad…
Of course, there is only one way to end this CD – with what was a Todd solo song from “A Wizard A True Star”, but I always remember as performed beautifully on “Utopia Another Live”:
“Just One Victory”
We need just one victory and we’re on our way
Prayin’ for it all day and fightin’ for it all night
Give us just one victory, it will be all right”
It’s Todd’s signature song, usually performed at the end of a Todd or Utopia show, it is just a brilliant, “feel good” song that inspires me every time I hear it…whether from “AWATS” or “Another Live”…here is a live version from the TV show “Midnight Special” from August 1978:
Thanks again “rogsteel” for posting this classic clip!
And thanks thanks thanks to “EllensEyes05”, who posted this live performance on youtube! It’s from Todd’s Utopia reunion tour: Ralph Schuckett (keys & backing vocals), Kevin Ellman (drums,) Todd Rundgren (guitar & vocals,) John Siegler (bass & backing vocals,) Jesse Gress (backing vocals, tambourine &c.) and Kasim Sulton (keys & backing vocals.) Recorded 11-09-2011 at Center Stage Theatre in Atlanta.
Time to keep the band alive by going to Facebook to check out how you can buy terrific Utopia merchandise – you can check it out by clicking here!
Finally, you can read my post that looks at how Utopia songs could have made a fantastic solo Todd CD as well – and I also look at the bio book that discusses how difficult it was for the group to live in Todd’s shadow:
So many great songs, I can’t wait to see Todd and talk about the “unpredictable” show!