Fans of Todd Rundgren are in for a rare treat June 1-2 when he takes the stage with the award-winning Rockford Symphony Orchestra at the Coronado Performing Arts Center in Rockford.
The two concerts will feature Rundgren performing some songs many of his long-time fans have never seen him perform live, despite attending dozens to even hundreds of his concerts during his 40-plus-year career. Tickets for both concerts are available at the Coronado’s website, coronadopac.org/, or by calling (815) 968-0595.
The Rockford concerts will mark Rundgren’s first-ever symphonic shows in the United States. Last September, he performed shows in the Netherlands with the Metropole Orchestra. The producer of the event, Co de Kloet, decided which songs they would perform, and according to Rundgren, the choices were based principally on songs where the original arrangements on the records had an orchestral flavor to them. The symphonic charts have not been performed since.
The setlist for the two shows included songs Rundgren had never performed live, such as his first hit song, “We Gotta Get You A Woman,” and the quirky “Onomatopoeia,” which, as the name suggests, is full of vocal imitations of different sounds. Another song performed during the Netherlands concerts was “Wailing Wall,” a beautiful ballad believed to be performed live only once by Rundgren more than three decades ago.
As part of the agreement for Rundgren to perform with the Metropole, he was given the charts to all of the songs they performed together, and those are now in the hands of the Rockford Symphony Orchestra. Along with the songs mentioned earlier, Rundgren and the orchestra will be performing his popular mainstream hits like “Hello It’s Me,” “Can We Still Be Friends,” “I Saw The Light” and fan favorites such as “God Said,” “Pretending To Care” and “Love Of The Common Man.”
Rundgren announced on a recent RundgrenRadio.com online radio show that he would be performing with the Metropole Orchestra again this fall, but with a different list of songs.
“I’m going back this November and performing again with the Metropole Orchestra, and we’re going to alter the show somewhat — we are going to come up with some other songs,” Rundgren said. “I don’t know which ones are getting cycled out, but there will be some other songs orchestrated.”
Melinda Cain from RundgrenRadio.com said: “Looking at Todd’s calendar for the rest of the year, it appears these two shows in Rockford will be his only symphonic shows in the United States in 2012. The concerts at the Coronado could very well be the only opportunities in the U.S. to see some of these songs performed live by Todd with an orchestra. If he performs in the U.S. with an orchestra next year, he will have new charts from the November concert with the Metropole Orchestra, and the setlist would likely be different.”
Another unique happening for the fans attending the Rockford shows is the addition of guest guitarist Jesse Gress to the Rockford Symphony Orchestra for the two concerts. Gress has served as Rundgren’s touring guitarist for more than 20 years.
From the May 23-29, 2012, issue