Todd Rundgren dazzles at the State Theatre

Categories: Concert Review
Photo by Nick Vlcek
When I interviewed Todd Rundgren last week to ask him about his recent tour, I laughed in disbelief when he told me that he would go through a dozen costume changes during his show. Sure enough, as I tallied up the variety of outlandish outfits that Rundgren wore throughout the evening, it came out to an even 12. As he played his 1973 masterpiece A Wizard, A True Star from start to finish, Rundgren showcased an impressive collection of costumes (many of which were designed by his wife Michelle): At times he was an astronaut landing on the moon, a gaudy Elvis impersonator, a man in a fat suit resembling Tweedle Dee, a feathered brown bird, a swaggering chef tossing candy bars out into the audience. And that was only the first half.

Unfortunately, professional photography was only permitted during Rundgren's opening set, in which he played a set of Utopia-era songs with bandmates Roger Powell and Kasim Sulton, but you'll just have to take my word that the costuming and stage production was top-notch.

Photo by Nick Vlcek
Photo by Nick Vlcek
Roger Powell
Simply put, the show was just as much of a spectacle as promised, with a six-piece backing band clad in white tuxedos doing their best to recreate the layers of sounds and effects on Rundgren's groundbreaking album, which incorporated styles as far-reaching as soul (a medley of "Ooh Baby Baby" and "La La Means I Love You"), garage rock ("Cool Jerk"), classic rock ("International Feel"), and operatics ("Never Never Land"), with hints of early electronica sprinkled throughout.

The mostly middle-aged audience was fanatic in their appreciation of Rundgren's show; at one point a woman marched up to the stage and attempted to place a bouquet of yellow roses at Rundgren's feet (he didn't like that), while another man ran up the middle aisle at the beginning of every costume change to snap a photo with his digital camera. My date for the show was my father, who proudly showed off his original, pristine copy of A Wizard, A True Star to the other hippies in our row and stood up and cheered wildly at the end of every wailing guitar solo.

Photo by Nick Vlcek

Sponsor Content

Now Trending

Minnesota Concert Tickets

From the Vault