NEPA Scene Staff

Prog rocker Todd Rundgren hosts ‘Unpredictable Evening’ at Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on July 29

Prog rocker Todd Rundgren hosts ‘Unpredictable Evening’ at Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on July 29
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

From a press release:

It was announced today that Philly-born singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Todd Rundgren will bring “An Unpredictable Evening with Todd Rundgren” to the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on Sunday, July 29 at 8 p.m., presented by the Gallery of Sound.

The tour lives up to its name by featuring a flexible setlist that changes each night, songs that span his entire career and some that he co-wrote with other artists, cover tunes, and more.

Tickets, which are $25, $35, and $49.50, plus fees, go on sale this Friday, May 25 at noon and can be purchased at the Kirby Center box office (71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre), online at, and by phone at 570-826-1100. A Kirby Member pre-sale begins Wednesday, May 23 at 10 a.m.

“A Wizard, a True Star” – the title of Todd Rundgren’s 1973 solo album – aptly sums up the contributions of this multifaceted artist to state-of-the-art music. As a songwriter, video pioneer, producer, recording artist, computer software developer, conceptualist, and interactive artist (as TR-i), Rundgren has made a lasting impact on both the form and content of popular music.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Rundgren began playing guitar as a teenager, going on to found and front The Nazz, the quintessential ’60s cult group. In 1969, he left the band to pursue a solo career, recording his debut offering, the legendary “Runt.” But it was 1972’s seminal “Something/Anything?,” on which he played all the instruments, sang all the vocal parts, and acted as his own producer, that catapulted him into the superstar limelight, prompting the press to unanimously dub him “rock’s new wunderkind.” It was followed by such landmark LPs as “Hermit of Mink Hollow” and the aforementioned “A Wizard, a True Star,” as well as such hit singles as “I Saw the Light,” “Hello It’s Me,” “Can We Still Be Friends,” and “Bang the Drum All Day.”

In 1974, he formed Utopia, an entirely new approach to the concept of interactive musicianship, and embarked on an extensive round of touring and recording. Standout Utopia offerings include “Oops! Wrong Planet,” “Adventures in Utopia,” and “Oblivion.” Along the way, Utopia combined technical virtuosity and creative passion to create music that, for millions, defined the term “progressive rock.”

Rundgren’s myriad production projects include albums by Patti Smith, Cheap Trick, Psychedelic Furs, Meatloaf, XTC, Grand Funk Railroad, and Hall and Oates. Rounding out his reputation as rock’s Renaissance man, he composed all the music and lyrics for Joe Papp’s 1989 off-Broadway production of Joe Orton’s “Up Against It” (the screenplay commissioned by The Beatles for what was meant to have been their third motion picture). He also has composed the music for a number of television series, including “Pee Wee’s Playhouse” and “Crime Story.”

In 2012, Rundgren performed his iconic 1973 album “A Wizard, a True Star” in concert in its entirety for the first time ever and, last year, he did the same with a double bill: Todd & Healing. His most recent studio album, “White Knight,” was released on May 12, The record, which debuted in the Top 5 of both iTunes and Amazon’s rock charts, features an illustrious cast of guest stars that spans genres and generations, including Robyn, Trent Reznor, Daryl Hall, Donald Fagen, Dam-Funk, Joe Walsh, and Bettye LaVette. He continues to tour with Ringo Starr as an erstwhile member of the All-Starr Band and to perform with symphony orchestras both domestically and internationally.

In 1998, he debuted his PatroNet technology which, for the first time, allowed fans of a musical artist to subscribe directly to the artist’s musical output via the Internet. This caps a long history of groundbreaking early multimedia “firsts.”