From: MX%"email@example.com" 17-DEC-1995 04:34:37.79 Subj: Dylan/Patti at Electric Factory (show 2, Dec. 16, 1995) Date: Sun, 17 Dec 1995 03:06:01 EST From: "Anthony J. Rzepela" Patti's set tonight was about 41-42 minutes, and opened with "My Generation". She announced Tom Verlaine by name, dedicated "Walkin' Blind" to her son Jackson, "Southern Cross" to Michael Stipe, and "Ghost Dance" to her niece Simone. Unlike Friday, there was no "Because the Night" or "About a Boy"; "Southern Cross" wasn't in the first show, so she seems to be making a damn good effort to include as much material as possible in this engagement. At 2 shows, she's done 10 songs, and hopefully, that "land" that we got to hear only as a soundcheck from outside on Friday will fully materialize tomorrow. The official list (I snagged one before it fell to the ground :) "My Generation" (she still says "fucking shit", but doesn't say "hope I die because of it", but rather "hope I live"....) "Dancing Barefoot" "Wicked Messenger" "Ghost Dance" "Walkin' Blind" "Southern Cross" "Rock and Roll Nigger" "Not Fade Away" Just some random comments: I am becoming increasingly impressed with her increasing lucidity during her 'babel' on "Not Fade Away". It's still unique to each performance, but she had NO trouble finding the right words at the right time, and thus avoiding another one of those embarrassing gobbledygook runs. Not only was she articulate, she was focused, as she started off with a "warm, yellow river" and the leaf she used to clean herself, and, for once, ended up painting a scenario which provoked thought, laughter, joy, doubt, and a whole host of things you don't usually get when she gets lost and can't recover. As this applies to "About a Boy", I'm guessing that the strong backup of the full band relieves her of the pressures she may have felt performing the song in her solo shows - only her first take of it at the TLA made any sense when she got to the part about what the character "left behind", and, being my first audition of the thing, it was difficult to digest. With the full band, she concentrates on her own chores, and it is under these circumstances that the depth of the song - the rich and powerful ambiguity of the syntax; the simultaneously incriminating and forgiving tone - stops being an intellectual concept, and becomes a visceral part of the performance. Her opening segment for these Dylan shows, as short as it is, is a powerful one. The band is spectacular, she is in fine form, and the whole environment she's got going here is just not going to be repeated again. The future may hold bigger and better, but when the whole lot is tearing through something, even as quiet as "Walkin' Blind", you're just in a moment - there's no other way to describe it. I'm SURE that the future will bring us not only more of her unfolding scheme for a return, but a return littered with glib and oversimplified "analyses" of what exactly she means when she sings "My Generation" now (fucking Baby Boomers - they take a shit and think we're supposed to get all excited when they tell us how they feel about said shit) - and the possibilities for what she could possibly be thinking by resuscitating it ran through my mind. I mean, NO ONE looks more like a housewife from Jersey than Patti in her tattered sweater trying not to outshine Dylan, but in the same space, in the same outfit, she played "My Generation", whatever her goals, without a false note. (I'm rambling. I'll stop now.) Tonight's sweet moment: Dylan used her FULL name ("Patti Smith", not just "Patti") for the intro and kept clapping for her after the lights were turned off. SM2: Patti trying to keep her stage gestures to herself during "Dark Eyes". SM3: Tonight's reaction to her set was the strongest of the 3 I've seen. Still, the steady and loud chant of "Pat-ti!" wasn't enough to break the rules. :( * Celebrities: I saw "Sheryl Crow" again tonight - she was "just" a waitress. And I think my sighting of "Dave Grohl" was just Michael Stipe in disguise. * Dylan fans: Have they always been such assholes, or is this just a recent development, since Garcia died and Deadheads have no place else to twirl? Say what you will, I've NEVER, until now, seen a character try and worm his way into a blind girl's standing spot by pushing her slowly to the side. And keep any "one bad apple" comments to yourself -- You can't get close to the stage at Electric Factory for these shows without an unreasonable waiting time, thanks to what I've deemed, after two days' experience, the "Bobfia": four people "holding spots" for a dozen more, who go off for several hours to nap, shop, or whatever, inflating minimum-required-line-time for first coupla rows to about 3.5 solid hours for everyone else, and even then with nothing close to guaranteed success. And don't - DON'T - get me started on the morons in the anti-Patti brigade. ------------------------------------------- Tony Rzepela <rzepela@XXX.XXXXXXXXX.XXX> "My show is spontaneous. You know how I know? Usually I spit over there, but tonight I spit right here." - Madonna, 1990
Home point for Tony's Patti reviews.