Phoenix

Date: 25 Nov 96 00:00:14 EST
From: Kate Erickson <102527.235@CompuServe.COM>

Subject: Phoenix show at Gibson's

Opening was Nils Lofgren, acoustic guitar and piano--excellent voice and music,
a class act. He was really impressive, although his music did not vary much in
style. I believe most of his material, if not all, was his own, and held all
attentions except those of the most frothing, rabid TR fans who were already
tanked and impatient to see OH. Nils did a fine job of warming up the audience.

At 9:00 out leaps TR in a satiny vest and those comfy-looking, loose-fitting
calf-length pants, sans shoes, of course. He looked healthy and rested and fit.
I saw no evidence of the 'aging rock star' someone described earlier. If he has
a growing gut, he couldn't have sucked it in that far and still belted out the
songs as he did all night! I saw a pretty buff TR. ',8-D

The opening banter was short, but sweet, because the Gibson's crowd all cheered
when TR said "Weeeell, you won!" (referring to the Arizona St. 56 /Arizona 14
win) and after the cheering stopped he said something about how the house would
have been if they had lost. Todd mentioned that the last time he was there was
for the NWO tour. Cheers and many raised fits. He looked pleased, and said,
"You reeeeemeeeeemberrred!"

Todd was ultra relaxed, performed wonderfully and seemed like he was having fun.
The few mistakes he made, which, IMHO, seemed intended--for no other reason than
to remind us that he is only human--were gleefully embraced by the crowd.
Todd's voice was in excellent form, I thought. When he treated us to "Born to
Synthesize" it sounded lyricly, time and note perfect. I felt that he performed
every nuance of the recorded version. His performance of this song made me
hold my breath. If he was going to flub a lyric or a miss a note, that would
have been the place, but he didn't. Todd the perfectionist was amazing.

TR had some fun with the 'night of the 'grens' --i.e., Nils Lofgren and Todd
Rundgren. He told us that the meaning of Lof is 'long' in Swedish and Rund
means 'round.' 'Gren' means 'branch,' so, he said it depended whether you like
your branches long or round, you could choose. Lots of hoots and loud comments
from some of the more lusty women in the house naturally followed. 8-)~

Set list:

1. Black & White (great opener)

2. Love of the Common Man (we heard this one twice)

3. You've got to Hide Your Love Away (sooo excellently done, everyone around me seemed spellbound --I WAS. )

4. Lysistrata (Oooohs and AAAhs)

5. Viking Song (TR looked like he enjoyed this one thoroughly, and he did it very well)

6. Compassion (what can I say? He could have choked on this one and the audience would'nt have cared. . .beautiful)

7. Free, Male and Twenty-one (again, the showmanship and personality were awesome)

8. Facist Christ (where he cranked up the 'puter--the audience got real quiet to hear the lyrics)

9. Family Values (one of my favorites)

10. Tables Will Turn (always good)

11. Tiny Demons (my notes say "voice!!!" for this one--TR was in extra fine voice)

12. Hammer In My Heart (not as enthusiasticly done as in Houston last year)

13. I Was Born To Synthesize (a cappella part only--one's mouth hangs open on this one)

14. Sometimes I Don't Know What to Feel (a guy next to me was freaking with this one, tears and all)

15. Fidelity (really nice, but not the best of the lot this night)

16. Can We Still Be Friends (the fans hollering for "Hello It's Me" were pacified by this, some next to me actually groaning with pleasure--Todd did this one perfectly)

17. The Individualist (as always, this one grabs you)

18. Beloved Infidel (so well done it brought tears--my favorite TR song any time)

19. Love of the Common Man (TR broke into this one again, because he had to wait for the 'puter. Don't think this was planned, but not many noticed. Who cared? TR could have done anything at Gibson's and the crowd would have loved

it. He could do no wrong this night.)

20. Temporary Sanity (this one was impressive. . .everyone grooved)

21. One World (more groans of pleasure from all around)

TR said goodbye, which no one believed, and amid the applause and clamor for
more, he signed autographs. Finally he waved, and exited the stage. Of course,
he bounded back out for

Encore 1

22. Worldwide Epiphany (The crowd loved this one, too--especially since the NWO
tour was the last time they saw TR)

Again TR signed autographs, said goodbye and ran off the stage. The crowd
didn't let up it's cheering, and out TR bounded back to do

Encore 2

23. Hawking (so very movingly done--creates a dream-state, for me, anyway)

TR said goodbye, and signed even more autographs and shook hands with those he
could reach.

Strains of Herb Alpert filled the club, but no one bought it. Clamoring fans
demanded Todd! Todd! "Oh, you guys!"

Out ran Todd in plaid pants and a white T-shirt, laughing. He then gave us

Encore 3

24. The Wheel (Full audience participation on this one, like a tent
revival--lots of energy from the audience and from TR. We could have stood for
another hour, gladly)

Everyone loved it, then TR said something to the effect that when the house
lights go down, its time to go home. He pointed both fingers at the front door,
and laughed, "Everybody. . . get in cars . . . go home. . .time to go home
now."
So, he signed about 10 more autographs and left the stage amid rousing cheers of
TODD! everyone with arms up, waving goodby. He smiled, waved, and took off.
It was a really good show and it seemed to me that TR enjoyed it as much as we
did.

Hats off to Gibson's for their very professional security staff. They removed
some troublemaker bodily but quietly, and not many noticed. Also, one
overly-enthusiastic TR fan was too busy shouting at Todd between songs to hear
what TR was saying. He sang along with TR so loudly that it was dificult to
hear OH. Very soon, he jumped down from the trunk thing he was standing on and
disappeared for awhile. When he returned, he was quite subdued, and did not
stand on anything from then on. Seems Security discreetly told him how to
behave.

Observation: The majority of the fans sung along with most of the songs exept
for the numbers from "The Individualist." They sounded secure with anything up
to and including NWO, though. I suspect the "I" will sell a bit more after the
concert in Phoenix.

Gibson's is usually a 70's disco type club. They sold out for TR's appearance,
and found they had to remove most of the tables and chairs. The majority of the
audience had to stand for the show. The manager, Brian (who my nephew calls 'a
girl magnet' --after seeing him, I can verify the description) runs a very
professional place, on the patron's side. Don't know how the performers feel
about it. I saw lots of people shifting feet a lot while head nodding to the
music and clapping. I heard some people left because of having to stand, but
the TR fans that I could observe never moved from their spots.

For the record: after hiking for 5 hours or so in the Superstition and San Tan
Mountains photographing Anasazi petroglyphs, I toured the Tempe Law Enforcement
Facilities, and then stood for another 5 hours in Gibson's watching and grooving
to TR. Then another 2-1/2 hours strolling (limping) up and down Mill Street
amongst the pierced folk and hangers on from the football game. We finally
found a place to park buns at a coffee house, where I cheerfully suggested to
management that "Espresso" would be ultra appropriate background music.

I was a wonderful trip, and ONLY for TR would I stand in a club for 5 hours. It
was well worth it. TR, thanks for a really fine performance.

Only crippled a little bit but grinning,

Kate

Date: Mon, 25 Nov 1997 14:46:28 -0700 (MST)
From: Vanessa Sandoval <vmoats@unm.edu>

Subject: Re: Phoenix show at Gibson's

I went to the Phoenix show also, and have to agree the music was great.
BUT, the venue sucked. I'm kinda short, so I couldn't really see over
the edge of the stage. That meant I watched from upstairs, and could see
and hear very well. If I moved to try and visit other Awizarders, somone
took my prime watching place. Sooooo, I had to plant myself and not move
for 5+ hours. Maybe I'm a pup, but I don't like standing that long.
Last time I traveled to Phoenix, Todd played at the Celebrity Theater.
That place was great. Every seat was a good one, and let's face it
folks, Todd's music is great to sit and listen to. I loved the music,
though, don't get me wrong. Just have sore feet now.

peace,
Vanessa Sandoval vmoats@unm.edu


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