Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Patti Smith - 3 January 2003 (a flashback)

I found myself thinking today about the first time I saw Patti. January 2003. The 9:30 Club. And what a crazy, phenomenal show that was. So I looked up the setlist:

3 January 2003, 9:30 Club, Washington, DC, USA

Waiting Underground
Dead City
Kimberly (For Kimberly)
When Doves Cry
Redondo Beach
Beneath the Southern Cross
One Voice
Mickey’s Monkey
Strange Messenger
25th Floor
Don’t Say Nothing
Dancing Barefoot
Summer Cannibals
Paths That Cross (For Beverly)
Where Duty Calls
Not Fade Away
Jumpin’ Jack Flash
Pissing in a River

And then found my old review:

...the glorious primal energy of Patti Smith at full steam, belting encores through the 1 am 9:30 club smoke full-tilt rock-and-roll - Jumpin Jack Flash and Gloria - her version - brilliant not only for it's opening line "Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine.." and it's fantasy sequence - shifting from a boring party to a dream about a girl (!) leaning on a parking meter outside the window - but for the way she teases you, playing with the van morrison chords and motown motifs "oooh she looks so good/oooooh she looks so fine/and i've got this crazy feeling /.. i'm gonna make her mine" .. until she breaks into the chorus, breaking out the letters - G, L, O, R, I - drawing them out I I I I I I I - until they become nonsense symbols.. and the band churning away beneath it all. Bacchus himself would be blown away..

It was wonderful to see her.. it took her a good 1/2 hour to get warmed up, but once she did (and we stood - as we did for the White Stripes a year ago - within 10 feet of the stage) she was charming and open and joyous. Giving. What impresses me most about her is her organic musicality - her sense that everything out there (although her musical vocabulary doesn't quite stretch back to Uncle Dave or Lonnie Johnson) is worth listening to - integrating smokey robinson and the MC5 and Television to the Rolling Stones and stream of consciousness poetry (that only works out loud). Its theatrical. Its visceral. It's cereberal. And theres not much out there that combines all three at the same time (unless of course you're talking about the RTR, but thats an entirely different plane)..

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