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Todd Rundren's Utopia: Live at the Chicago Theater (CD/DVD/Blu-ray)

Wow...if you weren't on hand in person at the Chicago Theater on May 22nd, 2018, by watching or listening to this stellar reunion concert from Todd Rundren's Utopia, you'd swear you were right there in the front row enjoying this mighty spectacle. Together again for the first time in over 30 years, Todd Rundgren, Kasim Sulton, Willie Wilcox, and new keyboard player Gil Assayas tear through 24 Utopia classics, from their prog rock beginnings all the way to their more new wave/pop later years, and everything in between. Spectacularly filmed and recorded, this is top notch musical entertainment of the highest order.

For the most part, the band tackle the setlist chronologically, kicking things off from the early prog albums, with gargantuan tracks "Utopia Theme", 'The Ikon", "Another Life", "Do Ya", "Freedom Fighters", and "The Wheel" all showing off the bands ability to blend daring instrumental virtuosity with pop hooks. Rundgren & Sulton share the vocals, and both still make a formidable pair, with Todd's guitar skills still top notch and providing a great foil for Gil's array of keyboard textures. Other highlights in the first set include a rocking "Back On the Street", an epic "Overture/Communion With the Sun" from the excellent Ra album, and climaxing with a supercharged, heavy rendition of "Last of the New Wave Riders", complete with some scorching guitar courtesy of Rundgren.

After a break, the band come out for a nice selection of their more pop/new wave hits, including rousing versions of "Road to Utopia", "Play This Game", "Swing to the Right", "Love In Action", "Set Me Free", a hard rocking "Trapped", "Love is the Answer", and of course "Hammer In My Heart" and "One World". Throw in the Todd classic "Just One Victory", a tune the band always played live, and you have a jam packed set list of so many great Utopia songs. What's missing? Well, I would have loved to see "Caravan" inserted here, as well as perhaps "Freak Parade" or "Hiroshima", but you can't have everything. All in all, this is a must own for any Todd Rundgren & Utopia fan, either for those who happened to see them on this short tour and especially those who missed out.

Track Listing
1. Utopia Theme
2. The Ikon
3. Another Life
4. Do Ya
5. Freedom Fighters
6. The Wheel
7. Back on the Street
8. Something's Coming
9. Monument
10. Overture Communion with the Sun
11. Last of the New Wave Riders
12. Road To Utopia
13. Play This Game
14. Swing to the Right
15. Trapped
16. Set Me Free
17. Love In Action
18. Hammer In My Heart
19. Princess of the Universe
20. I Will Wait
21. Rock Love
22. Love is the Answer
23. One World
24. Just One Victory

Added: May 11th 2019
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Artist Facebook Page
Hits: 977
Language: english

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