Unlike Ric Ocasek and the rest of the country, Northeast Ohio has forgiven Todd Rundgren for the New Cars. It stands to reason: Rundgren’s regional following is as famous as he is. So naturally he would get a free pass for the money-siphoning ruse of playing complete albums in concert. Last year, Rundgren pulled into Akron for a short tour celebrating 1973’s A Wizard, a True Star. To up the nostalgia factor, a Utopia lineup even opened the show. This year, Rundgren and his longtime sidemen Jesse Gress, Kasim Sulton, and Prairie Prince return to the Rubber City for readings of Healing and Todd cover-to-cover — the first time both albums have been played that way. With perfectionism and business acumen dictating most artistic “direction” these days, Rundgren is likely to provide great rock theater as well as some nostalgia. And why not? Everyone from Roger Waters to Aerosmith to Rush (Moving Pictures live in 2010, but no Cleveland date?) is cashing in on their biggest albums. For his part, Rundgren could do anything — even take his talents to South Beach — with little criticism from one of his largest fan bases. Todd Rundgren plays the Akron Civic Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $25-$175. —Peter Chakerian
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