There was life after prog for Utopia. After years of hi-tech bombast and electronic freakouts, the band and their music lost ballast. By 1980, they were playing new wave-inflected pop-rock and Beatles pastiches. Bassist Kasim Sulton wears a skinny power pop tie and synth whizz Roger Powell looks like a Buggle on acid. The highpoints are the extremes: Todd Rundgren crooning "Hello It's Me" and "Cliché" alone, and the group in full-tilt cosmic mode for "Initiation".

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Utopia—Live In Columbus, Ohio, 1980

There was life after prog for Utopia. After years of hi-tech bombast and electronic freakouts, the band and their music lost ballast. By 1980, they were playing new wave-inflected pop-rock and Beatles pastiches. Bassist Kasim Sulton wears a skinny power pop tie and synth whizz Roger Powell looks like a Buggle on acid. The highpoints are the extremes: Todd Rundgren crooning “Hello It’s Me” and “Clich