Todd Rundgren Clearly Human Virtual Tour 2021

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Todd Rundgren Clearly Human Virtual Tour 2021

Todd Rundgren Clearly Human Virtual Tour 2021 - Review of the 1st night at Buffalo, NY - 14th February 2021

Legendary recording artist, producer, songwriter and tech pioneer Todd Rundgren has commenced his 2021 Clearly Human Virtual Tour, featuring 25 performances, each geo-fenced and tailored to a different US city.

With each performance emanating from a Chicago venue (the most convenient time zone to allow for 8pm show times in every US market – a bit of late night for the UK and beyond but certainly worth it!). The shows have been "localized" to give both the band and the fans a sense of place (e.g. local landmarks appear on the video wall, catering for the band and crew will feature dishes associated with each city, etc.). To make it feel more like a "normal" tour, Todd has remote meet-and-greets and there are on-line options to select viewing from multiple camera angles and to be featured on several rows of video screens that serve as the real-time "virtual audience".

As for this show in virtual Buffalo, New York State, Todd had a ten piece band which harked back to the days of the 'Nearly Human' album on which this tour is based. Released in 1989, it was his first album in four years – a massive gap for the usually prolific Rundgren.

Starting (pretty much on time - 20:04 EST), with 'Real Man' seguing into 'Love Of The Common Man', Todd welcomed the virtual Buffalo audience. The band dressed in dinner club jackets suits and backing singers in gold glittery dresses, along with sixties/seventies swirly background graphics, took us back to a previous world (well before Covid-19) - the vibe was very much swinging and laid back. Even though the 'Nearly Human' album was covered in entirety, it was not in order so every upcoming track came as a surprise, plus these album tracks were interspersed with other stalwarts in Todd's repertoire such as 'Something To Fall Back Upon' and 'Can We Still Be Friends'.


Todd Rundgren by Jim Snyder 1

For a first show and especially in this technology dependent guise, there were remarkably few glitches; Todd's voice had fully warmed up in time for the standout vocal masterpiece 'Compassion' supported by a backing trio including Michelle Rundgren (née Gray). Another nice surprise was that Todd took to his guitar a bit more than in past concerts. A notable guitar gunslinger who can trade licks with the best of them, Todd had his faithful "Foamy" guitar and rocked out in the early part of the show on, amongst others, a bombastic 'Love In Action'.

The flow of the songs worked well and the band certainly had choreographed the numbers and the two hour show shot by – always a good sign of no filler and/or the mundane. The concert closer was the standout track 'For The Want Of A Nail' which charted back in the US Rock charts all those years go, aided then with support vocals by Bobby Womack - in this concert ably provided by Kasim Sulton. A concert (virtual or otherwise) wouldn't be complete without an encore; in this case it was 'Hello, It's Me' with a singalong from the virtual Buffalo audience (plus a small socially distanced physical audience). The final encore was the 'Nearly Human' closer, 'I Love My Life', with Todd in preacher clothes and rapping in his inimitable way.


Todd Rundgren by Jim Snyder 2

The technology really worked - plus the on line merch booth and the ability to have virtual meet and greets all contributed to this being a genuine live concert experience - without the late and cold journey home! There is no doubt the concert and concept was a success – the on-line chat forum was full of praise and many people have signed up for a tour pass.



Todd's band for the Clearly Human Tour featured Kasim Sulton (bass), Prairie Prince (drums), Eliot Lewis (keys), Gil Assayas (synth), Bruce McDaniel (guitar), Bobby Strickland (sax), Steven Stanley (trombone), plus the erstwhile "Global Girls": Michele Rundgren, Grace Yoo, and Ashle Worrick (background vocals).


Todd Rundgren by NoCapsShows 1

This was the first night of this historic virtual world tour; to see future shows, please read the following:

Todd Rundgren's 25-date "Clearly Human Virtual Tour" starts in Buffalo, New York on February 14th and finishes in Seattle on March 22nd. Visit the virtual box office at - http://toddrundgren.nocapshows.com

Below is a list of the 25 concerts. Please click on http://toddrundgren.nocapshows.com for further details:

Todd Rundgren Clearly Human Virtual Tour

Feb 14: Buffalo, NY
Feb 16: Albany, NY
Feb 17: New York City, NY
Feb 19: Virginia Beach, VA
Feb 20: Pittsburgh, PA
Feb 22: Cleveland, OH
Feb 23: Detroit, MI
Feb 25: Indianapolis, IN
Feb 26: Chicago, IL
Feb 28: Madison/Milwaukee, WI
March 1: Minneapolis, MN
March 3: Kansas City, MO
March 4: St. Louis, MO
March 6: Nashville, TN
March 7: Dallas, TX
March 9: Houston, TX
March 10: Austin, TX
March 12: Denver, CO
March 13: Salt Lake City, UT
March 15: Phoenix AZ
March 16: San Diego, CA
March 18: Los Angeles, CA
March 19: San Francisco, CA
March 21: Portland, OR
March 22: Seattle, WA

About Todd Rundgren:

'A Wizard, A True Star.' The title of Todd Rundgren's 1973 solo album aptly foreshadows the contributions of this multi-faceted artist to state-of-the-art music. As a songwriter, video pioneer, producer, recording artist, computer software developer, conceptualist, interactive artist, and author, over the past fifty+ years Rundgren has made a lasting impact on the form, content, and delivery of popular music. His seminal album 'Something/Anything?' (1972), on which he played all the instruments, sang all the vocal parts and acted as his own producer, catapulted Rundgren into the superstar limelight, prompting the press to unanimously dub him "Rock's New Wunderkind." His twenty-one solo albums, plus fourteen with his Prog Rock/Power Pop ensemble Utopia, spawned such hit singles as 'I Saw The Light', 'Hello It's Me', 'Can We Still Be Friends', 'Bang The Drum', and with his band Utopia, 'Love Is The Answer'. As a producer, Rundgren has brought his creativity to bear on nearly one hundred albums, including Patti Smith, Cheap Trick, The Psychedelic Furs, The Tubes, XTC, Grand Funk Railroad, Hall & Oates, The Band, and Meat Loaf's fifty-million-selling 'Bat Out Of Hell'.


Todd Rundgren by NoCapsShows 2

While the concept of Clearly Human lends itself naturally to our current socially-distanced world, Todd actually conceived of the idea years ago as a solution to the growing challenges of touring amidst climate change and a way to reduce his own carbon footprint. Seeing this as "setting the gold standard" for what he predicts will become a new touring paradigm, it's not the first time Todd has been out front with a tech-savvy new idea. he designed the first-ever graphics tablet for Apple in 1979; other "firsts" include the first-ever live interactive television concert (1978), the first live national cablecast of a rock concert (1982), the first commercial music downloads (1992), the first online direct artist subscription service, "PatroNet" (1998,) and the first full-length concert shot with multiple Virtual Reality 360º cameras (2016).

About NoCap:

NoCap, the brainchild of Roxy Theater co-owner and musician Cisco Adler along with an all-star list of partners in the music and tech industries, is both a platform and promoter of venue-based livestream concerts giving fans around the world access to intimate live performances with unlimited capacity. With its easy-to-use text-based ticketing technology and custom concert streaming solution, NoCap is providing a much-needed lifeline for artists, crews and venues suffering during the Covid-19 pandemic that will remain a viable outlet post pandemic while becoming the new general admission creating unlimited profit potential for a new live music model. NoCap gives fans globally a chance to experience live shows by top-tier talent in storied venues, including The Roxy (Los Angeles), Belly Up (Solana Beach, CA/Aspen, CO), SOhO (Santa Barbara), Sony Theatre ( NYC ) and even Drive-In Concert Venues across the country, from home or on the go with visually stunning concert-quality sound, creating unforgettable performances. For more info, visit www.nocapshows.com.

Photo credits: Jim Snyder & nocapsshows.com

Rob McKenzie

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