Rock'n'roll political activists are at it again. Last night at the Ontario Theatre, Todd Rundgren, Ian Hunter and several musical friends staged two concerts to benefit the canidacy of John Anderson. The show, the second series of 21 in 12 cities, was short on rhetoric and long on fastdriving music.
On the surface, the pairing of Rundgren and Hunter would appear to be an unlikely collaboration -- the former is known for his spacey shenanigans with the group Utopia, and the latter has a penchant for straight-ahead '60s-style rock. Perhaps the hurried preparations for the tour did not allow time for the personalities to clash. Or the energy level was just extremely high. Whatever, Rundgren gave his most stirring performance in some time and Hunter was a raunchy, rough-edged delight.
Propelled by the tastefully simple drumming of Michael Shrieve, the group bored its way through a series of songs, the highlights being a no-nonsense reading of the classic "Needles and Pins" and an astounding, slow version of the Beatles' "Eight Days A Week."
The public will decide Anderson's fate on Nov. 4, but last night, Rundgren, Hunter and company cast a rousing vote for rock'n'roll. A smashing show!