WBOS Free TR Concert

Review by Brad Page (Switch to

Just thought I'd chip in with a few comments on Todd's free lunchtime show in Boston today.

Between all the construction in town, finding parking, and running around searching for International Place, I finally made it into the show about half-way through "Hammer In My Heart", the opening number. So I didn't miss much, but the place was so packed that it was tough for a short guy like me to get a good view.

The 2nd song on the setlist was "Cliche", and I have to say this was one of the best versions I've heard Todd do in a long time. Probably since the Nearty Human Tour. It's always tough for any musician to perform an early show like this-- and god only knows what the time was in "Hawaii time"-- but Todd sounded great.

"Love Of The Common Man" followed, and again, Todd did a great job. There was a slight flub, but didn't detract from the show at all. " I Don't Want To Tie You Down", "Lysistrata", and "Hide Your Love Away" followed. Decent versions, though not as inspired as the previous 2 songs.

Next came "Bang The Drum All Day" on the uke; not one of my favorite moments, but it was appropriate for the crowd (for those who didn't know, this show took place in a pretty weird venue for a rock show-- it was in an office building! International Place is in the Financial District of Boston, and most of the concert-goers seemed to be business-attired office workers on their lunch breaks. Many who were pretty clueless about Todd, I'd imagine. But for these cube-dwellers, singing along to "Bang The Drum All Day" on their lunch breaks probably made their day.)

Then Todd headed for the piano and played a sweet version of "Can We Still Be Friends". Both his vocals and piano-playing were very nice. The usual fun version of "Viking Song" followed, and then "Compassion". This was his roughest song of the show, but he squeaked by... there was a "dramatic pause" before the first chorus as Todd obviously forgot the chords, but somehow it kinda worked! His voice was rough but very emotional... touching, actually. Which made all the difference. he couldn't quite hit the last hi note of the song, but we all nodded understandingly when he chalked it up to the early-in-the-day performance.

"Free, Male and 21" was next, and I must admit that I just don't see any appeal to this song. Nowhere near as good as the other Up Against It songs, and not as much fun as "Viking" or "Lord Chancellor's...". Still, it was nice to have seen him perform it once, since it is a Todd "rarity".

The piano portion of the show wrapped up with a nice version of "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference", and then back to the guitar for "I Saw The Light", played With A Twist style. Nice version, though I miss Jesse's guitar part.

A rousing version of "One World" wrapped up the main set, then Todd came back for an encore of "The Wheel". I would have preferred it the other way 'round, since "One World" was a better performance and more energetic, but that's a minor quibble.

All in all, it was a really nice show, and Todd was in very good form. Hopefully, he was able to recruit a few new fans with this performance.

Todd hung around for a while signing autographs, but I'm fighting off a cold and didn't feel up to standing in line. I actually had a copy of my band's new CD in my pocket, but I would have felt too much like a schmuck if I handed it to him and said, "Duhhh... here." I did buy a copy of the TRTV CD, though. (I didn't subscribe to PatroNet until the end of November, so I didn't receive one of these discs.)

I'm curious what brought Todd into Boston for this show. I'd be surprised if he came all the way from Hawaii to Boston just to play the 1 free show. perhaps the Ringo band is rehearsing nearby. Or maybe there's some other business opportunity. Just wondering...

One last thing... I'm one of the participants here on "awiz" that raised a ruckus when Todd played poorly, sloppily (usually 'cause he's under-rehearsed) in the past. So I want to take the time to point out when he does a damn fine job.... which he certainly did today.

Can't wait 'till he's back in New England again!

Other reviews for WBOS Free TR Concert

The Todd Rundgren Connection is brought to you by Roger D. Linder & The Linder Logo Rocemabra Web Services.