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Todd Rundgren's Utopia bassist says reunion tour will be a celebration of band's whole career

Credit: Danny O'ConnorTodd Rundgren's old band Utopia hits the road next week for its first tour since 1986. Three-quarters of the group's best-known lineup -- Rundgren, bassist Kasim Sulton and drummer Willie Wilcox -- will participate in the trek, with a fill-in musician named Gil Assayas handling keyboard duties.

Sulton, who played with Utopia from 1976 until 1986, and has continued to serve as bassist in Rundgren's touring band, tells ABC Radio that a reunion often been discussed, but "our schedules were such that nobody had free time at the same time."

He points out that "for whatever reason, it just worked out this year that we all had the same time free, except for [longtime keyboardist] Roger [Powell], who decided that he'd be much happier in retirement than living on a bus and out of a suitcase for two months."

Founding Utopia keyboardist Ralph Schuckett initially had signed on to take part in the reunion trek, but, as Sulton explains, he bowed out because of "health reasons."

Utopia was formed by Rundgren in 1973, and started out as a prog-rock act, although the group eventually transformed into a pop-rock band with some New Wave leanings.

Kasim tells ABC Radio that the show will be "a celebration of Utopia's career from the very beginning…till the end in 1985 [when the band's] last record [was released]. So, we'll be performing songs from most of those records, from '73 to '85."

Sulton adds that fans can expect a show that features two hour-plus sets.

"The first set…will be the proggy set. Then we take an intermission and [we'll] do…the pop material," he reports. "So, there's something for everybody in this show, that's for sure."

Here are all of the dates on the Todd Rundgren's Utopia reunion tour:

4/18 -- Jim Thorpe, PA, Penn's Peak
4/20 -- Englewood, NJ, Bergen Performing Arts Center
4/22 -- Houston, TX, House of Blues
4/23 -- Dallas, TX, Majestic Theater
4/25 -- Fort Lauderdale, FL, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
4/27 -- St. Petersburg, FL, Mahaffey Theater
4/28 -- Atlanta, GA, Tabernacle
4/29 -- Durham, NC, Carolina Theater
5/1 -- Huntington, NY, Paramount Theater
5/2 -- Washington, D.C., Warner Theater
5/3 -- New York, NY, Town Hall
5/5 -- Upper Darby, PA, Tower Theater
5/6 -- Boston, MA, Orpheum Theater
5/7 -- Ridgefield, CT, Ridgefield Playhouse
5/9 -- St. Louis, MO, Peabody Opera House
5/10 -- Cincinnati, OH, Taft Theater
5/12 -- Milwaukee, WI, Pabst Theater
5/13 -- Minneapolis, MN, State Theater
5/15 -- Grand Rapids, MI, 20 Monroe Live
5/16 -- Toronto, ON, Canada, Massey Hall
5/17 -- Detroit, MI, The Fillmore
5/19 -- Northfield, OH, Hard Rock Rocksino Live
5/20 -- Northfield, OH, Hard Rock Rocksino Live
5/22 -- Chicago, IL, Chicago Theater
5/24 -- Denver, CO, Paramount Theater
5/26 -- Las Vegas, NV, The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas
5/27 -- Phoenix, AZ, Comerica Theater
5/29 -- Los Angeles, CA, The Wiltern
5/30 -- San Francisco, CA, The Masonic
6/1 -- Seattle, WA, Moore Theater
6/2 -- Portland, OR, Revolution Theater
6/4 -- Sacramento, CA, Crest Theatre
6/5 -- Riverside, CA, Fox Performing Arts Center

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