• Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024
Todd Rundgren appeared at The Foundry at SLS Hotel Casino on May 7
Todd Rundgren appeared at The Foundry at SLS Hotel Casino 

Todd Rundgren has long been one of classic rock/pop’s all time great musicians, known equally well for his own musical talents and performances as his production skills; he has produced music for everyone from Meat Loaf to Bad Religion! Rundgren has remained active for nearly half a century, spanning his early 60s music with Nazz, a prosperous solo career, work with his band Utopia, and roughly a decade ago, singing for The New Cars. To say this is a man who keeps busy in the music world is certainly an understatement.

Todd Rundgren-Mag--3Rundgren’s show took place at the Foundry inside the SLS Hotel/Casino (formerly the Sahara). For this rock and roll fan, the night marked two firsts; first time seeing Rundgren in concert, and first time attending a show inside the Foundry. The venue is half-circle shaped and quite large, with much of the space devoted to standing room area on the main floor. It maintains a classy atmosphere, yet is definitely the kind of space that could accommodate a good many different kinds of shows. It also pleased me to see that this particular gig was advertised as all ages; too few venues/shows accommodate younger fans getting to see the great classic artists so many of us know and love (though admittedly I didn’t see anyone too young inside).


I admit, I am not as familiar with Rundgren’s back catalogue as I am a good many classic rock artists, but I have respected him as an artist and loved his music for years. As such, this was one of my most eagerly awaited shows of 2016 for a number of reasons.    Todd Rundgren-Mag--11

It was great to see Rundgren in a fairly small and intimate venue, but also one that could accommodate legions of his fans. Throughout the night, he clearly enjoyed performing, having plenty of energy even at age 67. Sometimes when you see an aging performer, it can be dreadful to see just how little stage presence they still have, or a lack of chemistry with the rest of the band. This was certainly no problem for the legendary Todd Rundgren! In everything I saw, the man had plenty of energy and did justice to hits and deep cuts alike.

For Rundgren, assembling a setlist is difficult because of his lengthy career and multiple bands/projects. Would he just do the solo hits? A grab bag of stuff throughout his career? Some unexpected new material? Everyone knows classic hits like “I Saw the Light,” “Bang the Drum All Day,” and “Hello It’s Me” (originally a song by his old band, Nazz). But he definitely satisfied with a diverse, interesting, and above all, entertaining setlist that combined hits, deep cuts, and even Nazz and Utopia songs! There were many underrated deep cuts I did not recognize, and on one song, he even sounded like he was rapping! This is one of the most interesting things about Rundgren; he is musically diverse and always manages to both surprise and impress listeners. Some major credit must be given to his equally talented backing musicians as well.

Todd Rundgren-Mag--19

This was an excellent night of classic rock and pop songs brought to life by a true musical innovator. Fans of Todd Rundgren will be pleased to know that the man still has stage presence and knows how to attract and please a crowd. The amount of people that attended on this evening goes to show just how strong and good of a following he truly has. Do not hesitate to attend his live set if the opportunity arises!


Photo Credit:  Abigail Buckler for ZRock’R Magazine-  ©2016 ZRock’R Entertainment – All Rights Reserved

By Taylor T Carlson

Taylor T Carlson Assistant Editor/Senior Staff Writer Taylor T. Carlson was born August 17, 1984, and has called the Vegas Valley home his entire life. A die-hard fan of classic rock and metal music, Taylor has been writing album and concert reviews since he was 16 years old, and continues to do so, having done well over 1,000 reviews. He is also a fan of video gaming and cinema, and has reviewed a number of games and films as well, old and new alike. His thorough and honest (some would say brutally honest) reviewing style has won him the respect of hundreds of music fans and musicians alike, both local and abroad, and the ire of just as many others. Despite being one of the youngest attendees at classic hard rock/metal shows around Vegas, he is also one of the most knowledgeable, having gained the unofficial nickname of “The Eddie Trunk of Las Vegas.” In addition to reviews, Taylor has written and self-published three books on classic hard rock bands, and is a regular participant in rock and roll trivia contests. Taylor also holds a masters degree in special education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and has appeared on the hit History Channel television series Pawn Stars. His dream is to be able to one day make a living from writing music books and reviews.

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