January 19, 2008
Playing to a sold out crowd at the Madison Theater in Covington, Kentucky on January 19 during the dubbed, "Freezing Your Ass Off Tour," Todd Rundgren surprised more than a few of his "faithful" fans with a set based largely upon his 1990 and beyond material.
Sporting a youthful vigor, Rundgren played up the angle that rock stars never age – they imbue their audiences with the magic potion of music that enables them to turn back time.
"By the time the show is over, you’ll be too young to get back in," Rundgren joked as he belted out "Soul Brother" from his sharp, incisive 2004 recording, Liars. Setting the clock to 1972, Todd updated the classic radio hit, "I Saw the Light" with devastating guitar pyrotechnics and bruising, throbbing bass guitar. Returning to 2000, he saw the front rows bobbing their heads to his psychedelic throwback, "Buffalo Grass" from the album, One Long Year.
But, it was Rundgren’s penchant for rapping politically onstage that dominated the material from 1993’s No World Order. "Worldwide Epiphany" swirled and turned before the band covered the rock radio anthem, "Lunatic Fringe." "Fascist Christ" shook the walls of the Madison as Rundgren bounced around the stage, shaking his guitar in the air during an extended, fracturing solo. Propelling the set forward with "Mammon" from the Liars disc, Rundgren’s strong suit came from the newer, energized compositions, and several standing ovations followed.
It was a memorable night that played out with a creatively uncompromising artist not at ease with resting on his laurels. Yet, instead, Todd Rundgren kept on with his search for the elusive, demanding chord inside the context of the live arena.