Couldn’t I Just Tell You, it was Just Utopia for Me!

A Dream Lives on Forever

Opening the Show

Opening the Show with "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"

A friend and I went to see our musical idol last night. For 33 years now I’ve been a devoted Todd Rundgren fan and recently, when a coworker told me Todd was playing at Wolf Trap, just a few miles down the road in a beautiful outdoor venue, I got right on it. I only have one friend that is a Todd fan around here and when I let her know he was coming to town she was in.

I got right online to make the reservations and noticed that it was more than just a Todd concert. It was a tribute to the Beatles Sgt. Pepper album — “40 Years Ago Today” is the billing for this performance and while there will be other artists on stage, I am pretty sure my hero wouldn’t do a performance with just anyone, so although Bo Bice was the ticket, I was still excited and ready for a great show.

Lou Gramm of Foreigner

Lou Gramm of Foreigner

We were treated to Lou Gramm of Foreigner, Christopher Cross and Denny Laine, formerly of the Moody Blues and Wings.

American Idol Star, Bo Bice

American Idol Star, Bo Bice

I’d been to Wolf Trap plenty of times over the last 23 years and while I have not sat on the lawn with a picnic in a long time, I had never given the on site restaurant a try. Since this was a moving away treat for my friend, I sprung for dinner Ovations Restaurant. Now, we know I am ummm… choosey, particular, vocal, decisive … ok, PICKY about what restaurants I like/don’t like and this was a total unknown, but the venue was too convenient to pass up and I thought it would be better than yet another chain restaurant experience.

Todd with Denny Laine of the Moody Blues and Wings

Todd with Denny Laine of the Moody Blues and Wings

I wasn’t disappointed. There was a small menu with an option of a buffet — something else I stay away from, but when I took a look at the beautiful salads and vegetables I decided on the buffet. The meat, fish, pasta and potato choices were as you’d expect — steam table fare, but the veggies were wonderful and dessert wasn’t bad.

Dressed up for a performance of, "When I'm 64"

Christopher Cross dressed up for a performance of "When I'm 64"

But hey! That wasn’t what we were there for! We were there for Todd! It was a last minute event for us. I ran across an announcement somewhere, fired off a quick piece of email to my friend and once she replied that she was interested I made the reservations. I had totally neglected to ask about her husband, but knew that he is not a Todd fan, so I was quite sure he would not want to go with us and when asked, it was a DEFINITELY NOT response.

I Don't Want to Work!
I Don’t Want to Work, I Want to Bang on the Drum All Day!

Poor Larry, he had no idea what he would be missing. Of course, I learned last night that he’s not such a big Beatles fan either. WHAT?! Is he American? Does he have a heartbeat? Have you ever heard such a thing? I mean, he’s errr, mature. Not of the age to be a Jonas Brothers fan or anything. Oh wait, teenage guys don’t like the JB’s either, right? Oh, anyway, he didn’t want to join us, but I have a feeling he would have liked the show.

Hello, It’s Me!

A Wizard, A True Star

A Wizard, A True Star

So, for those of you that don’t know who Todd Rundgren is …

One of his hit albums and yes, we called them albums back in the “olden days” is titled Utopia. You need to look no further to find where part of the inspiration for the Justopia name came from. Yep, it was sparked from a Justin.tv obsession, but Todd truly is utopia for me and it just seemed to fit, but my most favorite album is the Something/Anything album. There are two songs on that album that most people over the age of say, 35 would have heard of — Hello It’s Me and I Saw the Light. Todd is not what you would think of as a pop chart artist, but these two songs flew up there and once you hear them, you will recognize them.

He has produced scores of chart topping artists and bands. Hall and Oats, Grand Funk Railroad, The Band and more. As you can see, I can go on and on. The man is a genius … just ask any die hard Todd fan! 🙂

I hadn’t been to Wolf Trap in a year and it was a perfect night for it. The weather was dry and there was a slight summer breeze. We had 3rd row orchestra seats and right smack in the middle of the house. No one was seated on either side of us. It could not have been much better seating. I did notice that about 1/2 of the pavillion was empty which I found rather sad. I don’t know what it’s like to be a performer and see a 1/2 full house, even if the lawn is packed with people. But with the exception of American Idol finalist, Bo Bice, no one on that stage was younger than 45 and most were approaching or had hit 60, including Todd. His voice sounded more seasoned, but it was still nice to listen to and Christopher Cross can still hit those high notes. You will remember Cross from the movie Arthur. If I recall correctly, he won an Academy Award for “Arthur’s Theme,” which he coauthored with Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager and Peter Allen and “Sailing” won 3 Grammys in 1981 as well.

More fun with Sgt. Pepper

More fun with Sgt. Pepper

I’ve got eclectic musical taste and in the past, I’ve seen artists such as Arlo Guthrie, Peter, Paul and Mary and John Michael Montgomery at Wolf Trap.

And yes, you read that correctly … I saw John Michael Montgomery among other country artists at one point when I was in my Country Music period back in the mid 90’s. Lyle Lovett, Trisha Yearwood, Clint Black, Billy Dean…OMG! There are more, but I am getting embarrassed typing these names! LOL Vince Gill? Yep, I think so. And hell, they are all great, so why bow my head in shame. Music is art and beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. It is just strange to have such eclectic taste, running the gamut from one end of the spectrum to the other, isn’t it?

All in all it was a wonderful night out. I didn’t get to cook for you, but I had a night away that was much needed. Tonight, we’re back to a full home cooked dinner with a sorbet prep for freezing tomorrow. And on Wednesday, Gordopia will be in town with my niece. We will be planning a feast to cook for you which should be a lot of fun, so don’t forget to tune into Justopia.com at 9pm EDT.

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7 Responses

  1. Sounds like a fun time was had by all! Boy Todd got old looking – I know – I know he is 60 years old, but I just can’t get my head around that! Was the music LOUD – like in the olden days when we went to concerts?

  2. No, it was all pretty perfect really. Wolf Trap is such a great place to see a concert and Todd was awesome! 🙂

  3. Did anyone get a set list? I really enjoyed the show as well. I left a little early. Were there any more songs after Sgt. Pepper?

  4. I Saw this show @the Westbury Theater N.Y. A very entertaining night indeed.Great Show.
    Peace,EJROCKER

  5. Jep,

    I haven’t seen one, but haven’t looked for a set list yet. They did more Sgt. Pepper songs until the end which was a great rendition of While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

  6. Yay Todd! So wonderful that you got to see him. Sounds like he was FANTASTIC, as usual. So what that he’s looking a bit “long in the tooth”…we ALL are! Just to have a chance to hear his brilliance, what a treat! You are truly fortunate, indeed. I, too, would love to see a set list–to see if he performed anything off of the brilliant “A Capella” album! (Although it sounds like he did not…Boo hoo for me! 😦 )

    I’d love to get a clearer version of the “blue flower” pic–how perfectly silly!

    (Also good to know that Christopher Cross can still fully access his upper range!)

    So glad that you had such a great time, Justopia! Thank for writing this up for us!

  7. Stadol,

    It’s time for you to find out where he’s playing near you so you can have the experience as well! 🙂

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