Location: Hoboken New Jersey USA
couple quick thoughts on last night's hoboken show...
going in, i feared that this show would too similar in vibe to last year's wetlands gig or _glorious & idiotic_ -- but i needn't have worried. similar structure, yes (start slow, build up...), but not as much of a similar setlist as i would have expected and a really smooth pace. i think this show was the most fluid jbc gig i've seen. it all ran together effortlessly and pat, max owen and even steve seemed to be enjoying it all very much. i suspect the lack of a broken amp may have contributed to the state of flow.
i was enjoying too much to keep close notes on the setlist, but it ranged from the usual suspects to some unexpected treats (well, unexpected to me since i haven't been paying close attention to the posted setlists).
noteworthy event: for the second song of the encore, steve, for some reason, neglected to appear. pat jokingly asked for a volunteer and he got what he asked for as one audience member hopped right up on stage and manned the bass, professing to know both A and F. with some trepidation, they kicked into "zombie love" and ... it was fantastic! the guy could play and even knew the song. pat and the unnamed bassist even did the ol'guitarists-leaning-on-each-other-while-playing thang. pat, max, owen and the audience alike were pleasantly surprised.
a soundboard of the show was made (not by me). if/when a copy falls in my hands, i'll let y'all know.
I can only second the praise for this show. At an objective and sober distance it still strikes me that this was a helluva gig. What I thought was particularly striking was the difference between this and the Boston show; that was good, but sometimes a little hesitant (Bigfoot Motel, She's on Drugs, Mr Odd in particular didn't sound totally "natural") but here, after nearly a month on the road, everyone was so clearly more familiar and flowing with each song. I really enjoyed the way certain songs had gained new verses or instrumental passages, Bigfoot sounded like the "original" Hamburg version - i.e. maniacally energetic - I thought Owen sang really strongly on his Don't Let Me Keep You, and Mr Odd and She's on Drugs were awesome here. Diamorphine is a great song from the new album (no wah-wah this time, when did that drop out?) , Niagara sounded a lot stronger this time around, the sound was very good (I swear this was one of the loudest gigs I've ever been to, but then again I was standing 3 feet from the main LH speaker) and everyone had a great time. Pat thanked the crowd at the start for coming out on a Tuesday night - certainly it was a good turnout (200+?) and enthusiastic too.
Except perhaps Steve...Owen told me afterwards that he's been having pretty bad nosebleeds for a while, which explains why he didn't come out for Zombie Love - and after the show Pat came out and a little self-consciously asked if there was a doctor in the house. There wasn't (so what happened with the JBC drawing an educated crowd??!) so he went off to hospital. I only hope for his sake, and for tonight, that he's better - congratulations to his stand-in on Tuesday, who did really, really well and looked to have the time of his life - but I don't think they're all just A & G!
So, if you had any doubts, if you go to one concert this year, get yourself to the Mercury tonight...