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Jim's early report
The Memory County Jail Review
(more reviews coming)
The show details.
The third show was played in a misty rain. With the temperature in the 30s, a mist over the stage made a great setting. I hope someone got some good pictures.
No surprises in the setlist. Neil seemed happier than the first 2 Denver shows, and absolutely went nuts for Like a Hurricane -- ripping up every guitar string. He got as much sound as he could out of it and set down Old Black like it was a sacraficial, religious thing. Then, after Mellow, as some of the band was heading off stage, he gathers them up and did Watchtower as a final encore. (But not as blistering a version as the one done with Chrissie on Wednesday.)
Surprisingly if the place wasn't sold out it was close to it. The crowd was much more rowdy, due to the cold as well as to the Friday night drunks.
Neil miscued on From Hank To Hendrix, and then stopped to say the bass was too loud. He restarted, saying something like "Here's Hank To Hendrix, Part 2". He also thanked the crowd for coming three nights, saying something about how someday he can catch Willie -- I think referring to the many times Willie Nelso has played here.
All in all it was a grand time. I can't wait for the DVD!!
Take care. (Now it's back to the real world here in Colorado...)
Well, the show went on as scheduled last night at Red Rocks. And it WAS cold! Local TV weather was predicting 40 degrees F for the Denver area last night and that seemed about right to me. I noticed The Weather Channel was predicting snow in Denver, but that didn't happen: only in the higher elevations to the northwest. They (the locals) are predicting 2-4 inches for Denver tonight, though. And it DID rain! Actually, heavy mist was more like it -- you'd have been pretty well soaked after five or ten minutes without protection, but it never really rained.
Pretenders were excellent. Hadn't seen them since 1980 or so, or whenever it was that their first album was released. Good, typically spunky and raucous Chrissie Hynde performance, crowd very supportive -- they were brought back for an encore, unusual in my experience for an opening band.
NY & Co.: I haven't seen any previous shows on this tour nor have I heard any recordings but they seemed on to me. Both bands seemed honestly touched and energized by the fact that so many people came out in that weather, and kept commenting on it. From Neil we got four "How ya doin'?"s, three or four "We love you"s, a bunch of "Thanks for comin'"s, a comment on the beauty of Red Rocks, and a band intro. Also, a complaint to the sound crew that the bass in the stage monitors was overpowering.
Music was wonderful -- so grand to hear some of those rarely-done tunes. And this was much more of a ROCK band than I was expecting. Unfortunately, due to atmospheric conditions, I did not compile a set list but I don't think there were any surprises -- well, maybe one: Dance, Dance, Dance. You know the one I mean: "Mississippi mud never touched her fingers, California sand is in her hand..." I haven't been following the set lists closely but I didn't recall seeing that one played. My only (minor) criticism of the music is that all the chestnuts (Powderfinger, Tonight's The Night, etc.) were taken at a lugubrious tempo: much more plodding certainly than the recorded versions and previous concert versions that I've heard.
But the band was tight and focused. Ben Keith in particular stood out. Neil was the most animated member of this group, most of whom were practicing a catatonic John Entwhistle performance style. This made Neil's guitar solo/seizure, "foot tapping the stage like a counting horse" gyrations all the more humorous, like, here's this crazed rock star dancing around a bunch of Buckingham Palace guards. Actually, that's not entirely fair: Astrid and Pegi moved to the groove all night, but I wonder how much of it for them and Neil was due to the near-freezing temp. (Makes you wonder what's running through the other guys' veins... Except for Keltner -- he moved too.)
Back-up singers were brought coats/jackets and gloves mid-way through the show, and Neil was brought what looked like a polar fleece vest. Again, other musicians seemed unfazed by the cold. Go figure... Those who were moving about seemed coldest.
Anyhow, standout tunes for me were Words, Mellow My Mind, Unknown Legend (the Harvest Moon tunes sound SO much better rockified, so did Daddy Went Walking), BS Again, Tonight's The Night (with Neil on piano, Spooner on Wurlitzer, Ben Keith on slide guitar). The whole thing was terrific. So glad I was able to catch this tour.
Memory County Jail
(finally heard my handle sung live last night!!)
(more reviews coming soon... --RE*AC*TOR)