Todd Rundgren will perform with Utopia.EXPAND
Todd Rundgren will perform with Utopia.

Todd Rundgren and Utopia Return to Their Pop-Rock Repertoire

No major rock star has spent more career time confounding expectations than Todd Rundgren. In his early solo career, he out-Nyro'd Laura Nyro, culminating in the two-disc 1972 blockbuster Something/Anything upon which three-fifths of his classic-rock radio repertoire resides.

Then Rundgren proceeded to forget the pop-rock blueprint and took his prog jones to a far extreme with Utopia, a loose-membered aggregate of musicians who contributed to the writing and singing of the material, but were called Todd Rundgren's Utopia for the first eponymous album.

That record showed its prog-rock cosmos cred by including a track longer than any on Yessongs with "The Ikon," which went over 30 minutes, and crammed so much sound on the vinyl that they were willing to risk bad audio quality in order to bring their noodling to you in its entirety.

After three albums, touring with a gigantic pyramid, and ignoring requests for "Hello It's Me," the foursome sent fans to head-scratching with a return to pop-rock with "Love Is the Answer', which England Dan and John Ford Coley covered, and a pastiche of Beatles' greatest hits with Deface the Music.

This reunion will probably steer clear of sitcom-length songs, and dressing in Egyptian pajamas like Earth, Wind & and Fire. But since these guys are in the main sexagenarians, expect to see comfortable men's leisurewear on display.

Todd Rundgren and Utopia perform Sunday, May 27, at Comerica Theatre. Tickets are $35 and up through  ticketmaster.com.

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