Utopia Live In Columbus Ohio 1980 - DVD
mharkins | Tucson, AZ United States | 10/20/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Long-time Utopia fans are going to love this DVD! The "Adventures in Utopia" tour catches Todd and the boys at the height of their popularity and during one of their strongest periods of musical output and creativity. Although there are a handful of odd camera shots and slight glare from the concert lighting, the audio quality is well above average and the overall video quality is fine (for the period). The track list on Live in Columbus is amazing and Todd's energy level, musical chops and voice are in rare form on this DVD. This DVD is divided into three (3) Parts:
Part 1 consists of material from the "Adventures In Utopia" and "Oops Wrong Planet" albums (with Faithful's "Love of The Common Man" breaking up the set at the mid-way point). Part 2 spotlights lead performances from each band member and contains a beautiful medley of 3 Rundgren pop classics "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference", "Can We Still Be Friends" and "Hello It's Me". Part 2 closes with a couple of Todd's most poignant songs, "Bag Lady" and "Cliché". Part 3 features Utopia at its progressive best with their most demanding and intricate material. The performances in this set show off Utopia's exceptional musicianship and gorgeous 4-part harmonies. The DVD (fittingly) closes with the familiar anthems that thousands of Utopia fans sang along with at the close of each concert during that period, "Love Is The Answer" and "Just One Victory". There are countless (recently recorded) concert DVDs that feature better video production quality but considering the fact that this performance was recorded 23 years ago, the end result is exceptional. In fact, I actually prefer the overall production quality of this DVD to the output from last year's Power TR-io DVD release, "Todd Rundgren Live in San Francisco" which was recorded 20 years later (just 3 years ago). Die-hard Utopia fans (with whom I have I have spoken) are absolutely thrilled that this concert footage was captured and is finally available on DVD. Considering the limited number of Todd Rundgren and Utopia DVD releases, I don't see how any fan will be disappointed with "Utopia Live in Columbus". Finally, there is a live concert DVD that captures the magic of Todd Rundgren and Utopia at the peak of their game! Sanctuary Records' "bootleg series" provides both long time Rundgren and Utopia admirers (as well as the uninitiated) with a collection of DVD (video) and CD (audio) releases that capture this "wizard a true star" at his best and provide a glimpse into what makes this artistic genius so special. Do yourself a favor and add "Utopia - Live in Columbus, OH 1980" to your Concert DVD collection."
A Must Have for Todd/Utopia Fans
Michael J. Kazazis | Longwood, FL United States | 08/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Some 25 years ago when I was in high school and being avid Todd fans (not an easy thing to be back then), we had a pretty large group go to Nassau Coliseum and Central Park to see this tour. In my book, this was Todd at his peak; a big arena tour, wailing guitar solos, state-of-the-art video projection...a real multimedia event. Since that tour, I've seen Todd maybe 40+ times, but I always remembered that tour as a special time in my life.This release by Sanctuary, while not offering perfect video quality, is an amazing piece of history. Complete with all the set changes and cool instruments (Powell Probe, Ankh guitar/bass, motorcycle drum kit) the video has it all. Well ok, they did leave out Bolero and Something's Coming, but this release will help you relive those wonderful Utopia years.The release also includes a current interview with Todd where he talks about touring, deciding what songs to play, etc. If you had to pick out just one Todd/Utopia video to ever buy, I'd probably recommend this one."
Very close to being there
Scott J. Cowan | Frozen Tundra | 02/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"June 5, 1980 was indeed a magical night at Vet's Memorial Auditorium in Columbus. I too was one of the lucky ones to be in attendance. It was my first Todd Rundgren concert. I had heard the songs like Hello It's Me and Can We Still Be Friends, but it was Q-FM-96's playing of the Last of the New Wave Riders that got my attention. We had front row balcony seats, stage right. All I can say is wow, and then after all these years, I get to relive it again.
Yes, there were some equipment problems during the show, but Todd and Utopia were always leading the way with new high-tech equipment, and being a pioneer means you have bugs. In addition, anyone that's a fellow live luthier knows how easy it is for equipment that normally works flawlessly to obtain gremlins and guitars to go out of tune. It was clear that Todd and the guitar tech's struggled for the first few songs. And while Todd's wireless mic failed at a real bad time, they recover, and go on to rock for three strong sets.
Needless to say, this concert had a huge impact on me, I own all their albums and even had my own band for 6 ½ years. In addition, I've seen them many, many times since, both as Utopia, Todd solo, another foursome here and there, and... well you get the picture.
If you're a Todd fan at all, the greatest part of watching this video for me was how happy they were, they didn't look road weary at all, and all the songs were played with great feeling and a super beat or tempo. Not all concerts I attended in later years looked or sounded anywhere close. And while the audio is not digitally perfect, a good surround sound set up made it rock for me. They were on their game that night and it showed.
The only thing I am curious about, and it's only been twenty-five years (almost twenty-six), but I thought I recalled an awesome drum solo by Willie, and the drum kit spun around and the lights lit up... Also, the video for You Make Me Crazy didn't seemed a little edited or different, as I seem to recall when he sings about 100 cigarettes, you see a quick-time pile of what looks like hundreds appear on the table or in the ash tray. Same with some of the lighting for Todd and the boys as they sang back up on Love Alone (I recall them having a blast when the back up harmonies came in and out on this one). If you were there, maybe you can clear these up for me.
The smile on the very horse Todd at end says it all, as they really gave it their all that night, and this DVD is worth the money. We waited out back after the concert for them to come out and the few of us that were there were able to applaud, get grateful waves of appreciation, and even shake a hand or two. I still have the bumper sticker and the Q-FM-96 patch from that night stuck to my vinyl LP. This DVD brings back the magic very well, but it will never copy the electricity that was in the air that night along the banks of the Olentangy.
Scott J. Cowan | 11/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is a wonderful addition to my ticket stub and pictures from Pittsburgh, PA at the Stanley Theater on April 11th, 1980... There is no better way to re-capture the moment of Utopia, over and over again... A dream lives on forever ;-)"