Wednesday, 30 May 2012

My Morning Jacket - 4 April 2012

A bit flatout at the moment so I won't do the usual long rambling post on this show.  But really you only need to know two things - a really really good show, and an excellent recording (to the point where, beyond a couple of tracks, this could almost be a soundboard).  Download it!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

St Vincent -

I've mentioned before (in the Manchester Orchestra review) that something about the HiFi seems to attract people that, how to say this, dicks.  Although the crowd at this show were generally really good, there are a handful of people that seem pretty intent on competing with the band to be the centre of attention.  Fortunately, they were far enough away from me that they don't feature too much in the recording for this one.

Prior to this show I'd listened to Marry Me lots, but Strange Mercy only a few times.  Having listened to Strange Mercy a few more times I think this show suffers from the same flaws as that album (partly because most of the album got played).  While Strange Mercy is an interesting album, and the musicians are all very good, its very sterile and emotionless.  This show was a bit like that, highlighted all the more by the moments (like the new track Krokodil) that really crackled with excitement.  Having said all this, I know that lots of people really love Strange Mercy, so hopefully they'll enjoy this set a lot too.  The sound for this is pretty good again, so if you attended and/or love Strange Mercy this should be worthwhile.

(If you're wondering what the picture is about I was looking for a poster for this show and this picture came up)

Save Me From What I Want
Black Rainbow
Champagne Year
Neutered Fruit
Strange Mercy
She Is Beyond
Northern Lights
Year of the Tiger

The Party
Your Lips Are Red

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Crosby, Stills & Nash

This show started out with some disappointment and a tinge of excitement as Graham Nash came out to inform the crowd that David Crosby was sick and had been told to cancel the show.  Instead, Crosby had decided to play on, but wouldn't be able to sing (the couple of times he croakly addressed the audience confirmed there was no way he could sing much).  Refunds were offered if anyone wanted them, but 'they'd be missing one of the most interesting Crosby, Stills & Nash shows ever'.  In the end this simply meant that a couple of Crosby-centric songs were played without him.

The loss of Crosby was certainly felt.  While Nash's voice has held up fairly well Stephen Still's voice is pretty shot (on the positive side he's still a great guitarist).  Maybe they normally manage to hide this a bit by having the three of them singing, and not having Stills sing lead on as many songs, but tonight that wasn't possible.  It also hurt that there were some songs that aren't possible without Crosby (including gems like Almost Cut My Hair, which I'd been looking forward to hearing since getting a ticket).  Stills managed a pretty decent version of Long Time Gone, but other than that this was pretty much the Stills/Nash show.  Unsurprisingly, the set was substantially shorter than advertised.  Understandable, but still disappointing that they dropped songs off the setlist - Woodstock was listed for the first song of the encore but wasn't played.

The sound for this is very good, but that really highlights that, vocally, these guys are a bit past it.  This one is worthwhile for those who were there and the hardcore fans, but for those unfamiliar with their work, look for something from their younger days.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


Sorry things have been a bit quiet here, I've been sick so didn't have a chance to do much.  However, I've now had a burst of activity and will have most of the shows I've got recorded ready to go in the next few days (I'll probably set them up to go up every few days, rather than all at once).  The only one that I'm not sure about is Justin Townes Earle - acoustic shows are proving very hard to record, because the performance is very quiet, but the crowd is loud, so finding the right audio level is tough.  We'll see what happens with that one, but St Vincent, Crosby, Still & Nash, and My Morning Jacket will soon be making appearances.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

John Fogerty - 27 March 2012

I was intrigued to see how this show went, since my previous experiences of entire albums being played have been poor - the whole thing loses the excitement of not knowing what is next, and for the band the opportunity to play different things each night.  This show avoided that by making the playing of an entire album (for tonight Cosmo's Factory (fwiw my prefence would have been Willy and the Poor Boys)) around half the set, with the remainder made up of greatest hits.  The format worked better, but mainly because the downsides of playing an entire album only lasted for part of the show.  Maybe for big CCR fans the opportunity to hear songs that they almost certainly wouldn't have otherwise heard made up for this, but for me, I'd rather just a straight greatest hits show.

As you'd expect, John Fogerty is an experience showman and put on a good show, despite the crowd being fairly uncertain about engaging.  The set (after Cosmo's Factory) was a good mix of solo material, covers, and classic CCR.  I'm sure that there were lots of other songs people would have liked to have heard, but with a back catalog like this that is pretty much a given regardless of the setlist.

Soundwise this is another recording I'm very pleased with.  The guy sitting next to was pretty into it (you can hear his comments on the recording, and yes, he did look like he really might have been at Woodstock), but generally there isn't too much crowd noise, and the comments that are audible aren't so frequent that they're annoying.  Overall, this is another solid, but not spectacular show.  The whole album as part of (rather than all of) the set format doesn't quite work for me, but I wouldn't mind seeing another couple of similar shows before making reaching a definite verdict (damn you Roger Daltrey for cancelling).

Ramble Tamble
Before You Accuse Me
Travellin' Band
Ooby Dooby
Lookin' Out My Back Door
Run Through the Jungle
Up Around the Bend
My Baby Left Me
Who'll Stop the Rain
I Heard it Through the Grapevine
Long As I Can See the Light
Hey Tonight
Born on the Bayou
Blue Moon Nights
Hot Rod Heart
Keep on Chooglin'
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
Oh, Pretty Woman
Down on the Corner
Bad Case of Loving You
The Old Man Down the Road
Fortunate Son

Rockin' All Over the World
Proud Mary