Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

August 15, 2013

Closest thing to Utopia on stage Thursday in Buffalo

Night & Day — On Oct. 31, 1982, I witnessed a show that changed my life. Todd Rundgren, Kasim Sulton, Roger Powell and Willie Wilcox, collectively known as Utopia. Within a few weeks, a friend of mine who was a local disc jockey for a rock radio station began sharing cassette tapes of the band’s live performances, and soon afterward began what most and my friends called an “odd obsession.”

The advantage of being a Utopia fan is that the band members lead you in many musical directions. Todd’s production work leads you to big names like Grand Funk, Meat Loaf and Cheap Trick. Keyboardist Roger Powell toured with David Bowie and even is mentioned in Pete Townshend’s autobiography. Drummer Willie Wilcox’s resume includes work with Hall and Oates and Stacey Q. Finally, bassist Kasim Sulton, his list includes Joan Jett, Meat Loaf, Celine Dion, Bon Jovi, The New Cars and Blue Oyster Cult.

Utopia last performed together in 1992. Since then Kasim Sulton is the only member of the four piece unit that has worked with Todd Rundgren on a consistent basis. Sulton will be part of Rundgren’s band in Buffalo along with guitarist Jesse Gress, keyboardist John Ferenzik and drummer Prairie Prince.

Both Rundgren and Sulton will be in town Thursday at the free Buffalo Canalside show.

Since his days in Utopia Kasim’s services have been in heavy demand. For this tour he had to decide whether to continue to tour with Blue Oyster Cult or go on the road with Todd.

“The way Blue Oyster Cult books their shows is very different; if they get an offer for a show in a week they may take it. When the Todd tour came along there weren’t many BOC shows booked for the summer so I was caught between a rock and a hard place,” Sulton said during a recent phone interview from his home in the New York City area.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Night & Day
  • NAD Cover 042414 White Party set to celebrate the Falls It's a white party -- which means all the people in attendance should be wearing white. But a pair of white bermuda shorts will work just as well as a white-feathered boa. Really, any color clothing is welcome, organizers said, but, white is the color of the day.

    April 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • NAD Jennings column art 042414 JENNINGS: Lou Gramm teaming up with BPO for show We are just days away from Artpark announcing the rest of their summer lineup, but in the meantime organizers of the three-day Latitude 43 Music Festival rolled out their lineup for their music festival at Artpark. Latitude 43 runs from June 13-15, and each day is themed, the 13th features blues artists, the 14th rock and the 15th country.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Buffalo Niagara International Film Festival offers variety of movies When the earliest motion pictures were shown, in newly built "cinema auditoriums" and repurposed vaudeville houses, folks on the Niagara Frontier were quick to jump on the bandwagon.

    April 24, 2014

  • NAD Calleri review art 042414 CALLERI: Something remembered is the theme of two new movies "The Railway Man" and "Finding Vivian Maier" both touch upon what memories mean to individuals. One is a documentary, and the other is based on a true story, that of an Englishman whose obsession with trains serves to act as his salvation.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NAD civisca art 2 041714 Falls native Michael Civisca returns to stage April 24 for fundraiser

    Niagara Falls native and American standards crooner Michael Civisca will join some of New York City's top nightclub entertainers for "Life is a Cabaret," a show celebrating the Buffalo Community Music School's 90th anniversary. The event will be held at 7:30 p.m. on April 24 in the Mary Seaton Room at Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • NAD Jennings column art 041714 JENNINGS: One of two Queensrÿche's in town this weekend The summer concert scene is filling in its final pieces, North Tonawanda's Niagara River Rocks series should be announcing details of their series soon, and Artpark has announced they will reveal the rest of what is already the best lineup in Western New York, on April 28. Tickets for their remaining shows going on sale May 3.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NAD Raising Matt Christian art 3 041714 'Raising Matty Christian' examines struggles of boy without limbs

    A movie profiling the life of a young man born without full limbs or a tongue will be part of a film festival being held by an organization created to highlight the abilities of people with disabilities. 

    The film “Raising Matty Christian,’ will be shown by the Museum of disABILITY History and People Inc. as part of the Spring 2014 Annual disABILITIES Film Festival and Speaker Series. The movie will be shown twice on April 25. The showings will be at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Dipson Amherst Theatre, 3500 Main St., Buffalo. A reception will be held at 5 p.m. at the museum at 3826 Main St. in Buffalo

    The purpose of the event is to educate attendees, challenge stereotypes and celebrate the contributions of people with disabilities.

    April 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • NAD Calleri review art 041714 CALLERI: From Britain with a warning, and a lot of style and talent Two new movies visit frightening aspects of the human condition. Both are from Great Britain, which may tell us something about the nature of creativity there.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 3 Doors Down 3 Doors Down latest Artpark concert announcement

    Another addition to the Wednesday concert series at Artpark was announced Monday.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Biz column art 041414 Intimate Goo Goo Dolls show a real treat for fans There is at least one person who will not be reading this review -- Johnny Rzeznik -- who told an intimate crowd at Seneca Niagara's Bear's Den on Saturday that he is "too neurotic" to read reviews.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page