What a different fun show this was. The first note was the LOUD chord and voice “WELL THE JOINT WAS JUMPING”! And the first verse everyone knew we were in for a treat BUT no one knew exactly what kind of treat. You can treat Chuck Berrys Around and Around anyway you want, but this once a tour song (7th time ever) is always great to see and as a set opener at the Beacon? Get out of here… NEVER been an opener. Bobby slowed it up a bit before the end and JK hit the notes into a Mississippi 1/2 step - long jamb with Phil strangely hitting ever note of the crazy finger intro Then slammed into a heavy bass Cold Rain & Snow. Phil has never sounded better here – ever.
Then Bobby started hitting notes for desolation row... then shakes himself off and said into the mike to the audience something like “ this next one will be familiar but different.” They started a funky filled, lyric changed up AND both Bobby and JK sang NEW AND different verses of Don't Ease ME IN. During this instance Bobby flubbed a verse and JK stepped in – after this moment johns sang a verse while bobby saying the chorus again, then JK took verse 2 from bobby and bobby looked over to JK and JK just shrugged his shoulder like – “Dude, what are we supposed to do??” Phil was solid as can be here keeping the whole thing together.
Then Bobby does the craziest version of Desolation Row of ALL times. Now this was a FIRST EVER for this carnation of Further and Bob’s Rat Dog hasn’t played in a while on tour away from home base in a while. Anyways, Phil starts off the song with both hands at his side, then one hand on his hip, then shaking his head no – and putting his arm extended to the amp like I am just hanging out finding my spot. That spot never came – so what does he do?? He takes his pick and starts running it up and down the bass strings creating a screech that had the dogs in the streets of New York barking and howling in delight. It was NUTTS!! Then he just starts jamming demanding the temp drive – and after Bob sang a couple new verses, mixed old verses, and hit a few marks somewhere in between it was over. Nothing but pure AWESOME for BOB fans – and not so much for everyone else… Anyways then Phil leaves his spot into Bobs domain and says, “what the fuck was that?” and Bob replies my fucking teleprompter was all screwed up – Phil says that was more than a bad teleprompter – look it works as he points to it and Bob just shrugs his shoulders. Take a look at the pictures I got from this exchange. Crazy FUN!
Ship of fools was launched. Now this is only the 5th time ever playing this song with these guys and most of the time sung by a guest…Last time over 1 year ago in NYC with Elvis Costello on vocals. I have been waiting for a live showing from JK of this song AND this version was a crazy reggae tempo one. I mean some people called it Jazz – I called it Reggae.
Mexicali blues was nice with Bobby still being pushed a bit… Then another surprise. Wednesday I called this as an encore before they changed it up on us big time for The Weight. Touch of grey - Phil dropping bombs and smiles Bobby left - no be right back....
Also, Bobby was not sporting his bi-vocals on his shirt color and its nice to see he bought some new shirts for the tour ☺ . I love you Bobby – lets get together and work on a daily regime to stay healthy. I will be your personal trainer.
How about the new jazzy backdoor Jack Straw to open set 2. The a surprise with a bobby back-to-back Hell in a Bucket! Bob was all over the lyrics here and Bucket took very strange flow. Phil kind of looked a little bothered. Then JK hit a pretty sweet Althea – VERY hot with JC and JK both on top - Phil still dropping the bombs. The middle of the set was awesome with Phil leading the pace and China Cat>Uncle Johns band (Phil pushing hard on this one including ALL THE vocal verses).
Thought I heard the note of Death Don’t Have no Mercy and JK plays a RIVITING China Doll. Here is where the backup singers (some like me with they were in the front of the stage!!) Sunshine and Jeff P really add the X Y and Z Factor to this group!
Then JK does the Phil and Friends No More Do I, I did LOVE it! And PHIL DROPS the big, big, big bomb for PASSENGER…. Now I thought Passenger was starting when BUCKET was played – so not much of a surprise here. Then an awesome jam – I mean awesome rider. John and Phil were off the hook.
SUGAREE was a great encore. Now let me add something else…..
The SET LIST did NOT have Desolation Rose. It had MEMPHIS BLUES!! (Another RARITY only played 3 times – not in 2 ½ years)
Maybe that’s why Phil was so disturbed. Thank goodness he kept the rhythm and bass thundering.