The pandemic landscape has all but halted the music industry. Leave it to visionary and tech-savvy Todd Rundgren to go on tour.
His virtual tour – The Clearly Human Virtual Tour – yields 25 performances, each geo-fenced and individually tailored to a different US city featured on the tour. In reality, Rundgren will be performing all shows from Chicago. The 25-date trek resembles an extended residency you might see in Las Vegas.
You can expect a two-hour-plus show, complete with Rundgren, a horn section, a trio of backing vocalists, and Rundgren stapels like guitarist Bruce McDaniel, bassist Kasim Sulton and drummer Prairie Prince. Each show will be comprised of unique features of the city being “visited” that night, complete with appropriate digital artwork that drapes the backdrop of the stage, to the dressing rooms serving up the staples of the individual towns on the tour.
There is a small live audience in each show, accommodating a small number of people to stay within state guidelines. Mixed in, there are banks of monitors with live feeds to fans watching at home.
“Having that connection to the fans is something that is needed” Rundgren said. “It’s a must to give them a top-not concert-going experience,”
Rundgren said he thinks this might be the future of the touring business in some aspect. Bands are increasing made aware of their carbon footprint and he feels this might be a way to be conscious of that.
“If another pandemic were to happen again, I’m ready,” he said.
For some, this might be the best way to see concerts – right from the living room of your house, close to the bathrooms, great views and the beer is cheap.
“Doors” open at 8 p.m. local time of the tour city.
Check out the Clearly Human Virtual Tour.