Iconoclastic rocker and producer extraordinnaire Todd Rundgren played to a full house of his faithfuls Monday night at Cleveland’s House of Blues. Rundgren, a staple since the late 1960s, played for a little over two hours, providing the crowd with a whole lotta new music. Touring to promote his latest effort White Knight, the 68-year old rocker saved his most-well known tunes until last.
For the better part of two hours, fans were given a light and sound show. A large video curtain was set up about eight feet back from the front of the stage; the backing band was placed behind the opaque wall as the audience glimpsed them only when a second video wall lit up behind them. It was an interesting effect and really brought Rundgren and his two dancers front-and-center.
With twenty-six albums under his belt, Rundgren has constantly strived to find something new and interesting. Not to outdo himself, his last tour was a DJ, his two backup dancers, and himself in a largely-EDM style show. While some fans were put off by the approach, you gotta give him credit for constantly pushing himself into new directions.
Last night’s show wasn’t as radically-different as 2015’s tour, but it provided enough of the new album to give fans a taste of the direction that Rundgren has taken since the early 1990s when he started flirting with music videos and interstitials to compliment his stage show.
Perhaps just as well-known as a producer as he is a musician, it would appear that he had a large role in putting together the choreography and staging of the newest tour, the “White Knight/Chivalrock 2017” tour. A second didn’t pass where there wasn’t interesting lighting or stage effects to punctuate the music.
Towards the end of the set he told the audience that they were gonna get “what they came for.” Understanding last night’s audience, primarily folks who graduated form high school when Jimmy Carter inhabited the White House, he pulled out “Hello It’s Me” and the place went nuts.
I guess you could say that they were in Utopia.
Sorry, I couldn’t resist that one.