Todd Rundgren ‘Live at the Warfield Theater’



Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#845 in the Series) is Todd Rundgren, Live In Concert at the Warfield Theater

It was 23 years ago today, Todd Rundgren brought his band to play.  Esoteric Recordings presents the Todd Rundgren Archive Series and if this is any indication, this is the start of something good.

Todd Rundgren’s 1989 release Nearly Human was a bit of a re-visitation of his Philly Soul/R&B roots. Received to some critical acclaim, the album was recorded with a minimal amount of overdubs and this created a perfect live platform for a big 12-piece band. This recording documents the final show of this tour and has been newly mastered from the original master tapes, making its first appearance on CD.

Opening with a rousing rendition of “Real Man” and followed by three tracks from Nearly Human this powerful high-energy set runs through much of Rundgren’s R&B-oriented material while also making room for a couple of stripped-down numbers, a medley that includes Marvin Gaye material, and some Utopia tunes. As this show is the end of the tour, the band is super-tight but there is no doubt that this is TODD’s band as he leads from his soul yet he can still drive as a member of the band, as evidenced in the “democratic” Utopia tunes of “Secret Society” and “Love In Action.”

As this R&B tour would suggest, there isn’t a lot of screaming Rundgren guitar onboard here but “Love In Action” and “Feel It” are exceptions to the rule that show evidence of Todd’s ‘mad axeman’ side.. Contrasting that with the dynamics of “Compassion,” one wonders if this hot band could conquer anything! The pacing of this show and the spectacular set list is fueled by Nearly Human, which contains some of Todd’s best songwriting in his hugely diverse catalog. Rundgren’s vocal prowess, combined with thick backing vocals, is wonderful throughout the show and just when it seems Todd is about to blow out his voice, like on the scorching “Rock Love,” a magical and wonderful ‘bounce back’ occurs as he sets into a song like hauntingly beautiful “Hawking.”

The packaging is based on an original poster for the gig, contains great photos, and excellent liner notes by Mark Powell that shed further insight into this important chapter in Rundgren’s wonderful career. I certainly welcome more of these archive issues.

— Jeff “Weavil” GaussPlease visit and LIKE our facebook page

Track Listing

Disc One

  1. Real ManTodd+Rundgren
  2. Unloved Children
  3. Parallel Lines
  4. Can’t Stop Running
  5. Compassion
  6. Secret Society
  7. Something to Fall Back On
  8. Love of the Common Man
  9. Tiny Demons
  10. Cliché
  11. Can We Still Be Friends
  12. Mated
  13. The Waiting Game
  14. Love in Action

Disc Two

  1. Lost Horizon
  2. Marvin Gaye Medley: What’s Going On/Mercy Mercy Me/I Want You/Lost Horizon
  3. Feel It
  4. Rock Love
  5. Hawking
  6. The Want of a Nail
  7. Hello, It’s Me
  8. I Love My Life


  • Todd Rundgren –  Guitar, VocalsLive-At-Th
  • Byron Allred – Keyboards
  • Michele Gray – Vocals
  • Max Haskett – Trumpet
  • Scott Matthews – Percussion
  • Jenni Muldaur – Vocals
  • Shandi Shinnamon – Vocals
  • Bobby Strickland – Saxophone
  • Larry Tagg – Bass
  • Michael Urbano – Drums
  • Vince Welnick – Piano
  • Lyle Workman – Guitar

Look for Todd’s new release, State on Esoteric Recordings on April 9, 2013

The songs on the playlist below are not from the album, but they are from the same tour.

Here are some more LIVE albums that we’ve featured

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Posted by Larry Carta

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