Todd Rundgren might be a Philly guy, but the progressive art-pop pioneer has always had a rabid fan base in Cleveland. After a much-publicized stint with the New Cars a couple of years ago, Rundgren is set to celebrate his 60th birthday with a return to his celebrated solo career. Technically, House of Blues is a tad small for the scope of the songs on his new album, Arena, but then again, it's hard to say what sort of venue befits a performer with a back catalog as crazily diverse as Rundgren's. Just about the only consistent across his 40-year career has been his infamous and infinite level of ambition. In the early '70s, he followed up the AM-radio charm of "Hello, It's Me" and "We Gotta Get You a Woman" with the massive production experiment A Wizard, a True Star. Since then, Rundgren has continued to back up his bravado with innovative results — laying the foundations for power pop and prog-rock, and making some of music's first forays into interactive CD-ROM and internet technology. Oh, and he's also the guy who sings that "Bang the Drum All Day" song they play at ballparks across the nation.
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