Rundgren’s Return Even Better This Time Around

Concert Review
Todd Rundgren
Rapids Theatre
Niagara Falls, NY
Monday November 20, 2017
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto

The iconic Todd Rundgren returned to the area Monday evening as he played the Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls. It had been just six months since his prior visit in May. The show was just the 2nd date of his 2nd leg of the White Knights tour. Although the shows were different legs of the same tour there were many differences between them. In other words, anyone who decided to sit through the show again may have enjoyed it even more so this time around. If you missed both shows shame on you.

The most noticeable difference was the annoying screen that Rundgren and his “Global Girls” sang in front of while the band played on from behind was gone. Wise choice because the talent behind that curtain deserved to be seen. The same cast was on hand this time as well. The band featuring Cars keyboardist Greg Hawkes, The Tubes drummer, Prairie Prince, guitarist Jesse Gress and bassist Kasim Sulton seemed to play with more authority than they did behind “steel curtain”.

The band took to the stage with the exact set they played some six months ago. It was a little surprising since Rundgren had just done a few “unpredictable” shows in which he mixes up the set nightly with Utopia rarities, covers and his solo material. While the majority of the set focused on some of his newer music, Rundgren did some songs that have become standards in his sets such as “Buffalo Grass”, “Love Science” and the show finale “Just One Victory”.

The song of the night came in form of “One World” the Utopia classic. It was the first tune of the encore and was a very powerful performance perhaps served even better as the final song of the night. “Hello It’s Me” quickly followed and kind of brought the tone down a bit following such a riveting beginning to the encore.

The Rapids used their unique set up with tables and chairs on the main floor and chairs on the raised portions of the venue. It made for a comfortable evening although many diehards went to the rail about halfway through to get an up-close experience.

Rundgren has played the area many times over his career. He is never one to go through the motions and has always been a forward-thinking individual. One look at his discography as an artist and producer clearly back up that claim. He is as experimental as well and is never afraid to take chances. What is next for Rundgren? While nothing is certain you know it will be like this show was, worthwhile to see.

Set List
Come
Truth
Evrybody
Rise
Look At Me
Sir Reality
Deaf Ears (Tape)
Let’s Do This
Buffalo Grass
Strike
Secret Society (Utopia song)
This Is Not A Drill
Tin Foil Hat (Tape)
Beginning (Of The End)
Love Science
Sweet
Party Liquor
Past
Chance For Us
No World Order
Buy My T
God Said

Encore
One World (Utopia song)
Hello It’s Me
Just One Victory

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About Joseph Suto

Location: Buffalo, NY Photographer/Reviewer
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