Beacon Theater, New York City, NY
New York (Oh, New York how I miss you), 20 April 2007 set list:
Opening act: Toby Lightman
Gonna Move Anyone up for a pastrami on rye? Oh, you steamy jungle of freaky humanity, how I love you! I mean New York, not the band…tonight we have the tour standard funk line, Boogie does his thing, Taylor calls out and New York answers, voice in a Trilby Hat, but wait! A little building bass line at the end, something new there, tease!
Heaven Knows Extra hold on the second verse hairstyle, and ye olde “when I come home…” repeat, in fine jaunty form tonight, slow beat, launches into a faster funk, back to normal speed, a bit of a spitball kind of evening? Bring it, meat! Bring that funk! Segue into…
The Maze Driving beat tonight, I guess he thinks New York can take it. Uh huh, uh huh, to paraphrase Dave White: “Whatchoo got for me, Taylor?” Brian G stands on a corner soliciting stockbrokers coming out of bars at midnight, more call outs, Chatty Cathy tonight, tag: Harlem/Cold Baloney (Bill Withers), “little red light, shake ‘em on down,” tag: Let’s Get It On (Marvin Gaye). Salty soft pretzel, yum.
Compared to What Extra witty cowbell…pop bam pow! It grooves my soul. Brian G brings the hot sauce packets for the take out. Boogie rides the downtown train with scary guy staring at me, and man do it do it do it do it you freaky band you.
Wherever I Lay My Hat Chicken soup from the deli and a side of dill pickle. Taylor calls out for a cab in the rain…Wait, is this an episode from “Sex in the City”?
Heart and Soul T enjoys the hell out of his own song. Sings it like he’s some working musician having a career and touring the country and living the dream…huh! Josh gives us his homeless guy who was once an engineer solo, all harsh and bitter but with poetry and sass, grrr! Loren shakes the board to find change for the paper, Josh back in, gah! Boogie lays it down and Taylor bonds with the audience: “Yeah Yeah” and “Heart and Soul”
Just to Feel That Way Audience feeling it, clearly. Lots of screaming.
Give Me Tonight Rapturous opening from the band, Taylor holding the beat tight, gives it an urgent, yet cautious feel, damn, it’s the New York bass line, Melanie croons behind, and at this point Basenji reveals that she always kind of liked this silly song, but felt guilty about it, and the therapy has helped her get in touch with her feelings. Brian G blasts off a bottle rocket, and the rest of the band does the kick ass ending where the kids follow up setting off black market Chinese fireworks.
Hell of a Day Funkier version tonight with Thack’s hemeola vocals, Loren gets a chance to groove, tag: I Don’t Need No Doctor (Ray Charles).
My Friend With a groove line?!? Kind of fusion food tonight…honky-tonk meets uptown club.
The Deal Fast, furious, a quick snort in the alley before you go back in to face your demons…
Soul Thing Good sturdy version, nice blues breakdown by Boogie, back in for the jazz section, and off they go again…jamming at the end and that climbing bass line again, Loren burning his hands off. Excellent version.
Medicated Goo (Traffic) Happy peppy people, band jams, Taylor shakes his ass (I can tell because the ladies do scream so, don’t they?), Josh medicates me with his awesome guitar solo, (harsh, full, bad, spank me boy), band shuts down so Taylor can start scatting and riffing, band answers him in drum and bass, oh Josh, I think I love you, tag: What’d I Say (Ray Charles) call and response, heart rate up, musical sirens waving and shrieking at me, into it now, so into it now, and Taylor wraps it up and end [“Oh…my…God”’s from audience].
The Right Place Taylor works this like a rack of ribs, damn boy, go! Seriously, really flying and growling and enjoying himself. The “be there” mantra repeat, and the Desperado Loren thing, Taylor finishes up just taunting us with his awesomeitude.
The Runaround Nice energy, not frenetic, more controlled tonight, fabulous and yes, single shoulda woulda song, right? Big Boss Man (Jimmy Reed) harp tease, band builds speed, more more more more, tag: Big Boss Man (Jimmy Reed), through the harp mike, faster faster faster, this is what I needed, works the harmonica, band hot and fast, faster? Faster? Yes, even faster! Boogie’s fingers are worn down to nubs, and Brian G is a train, the harmonica is shaking and flaying and cutting, ohhhhh!
Naked in the Jungle (Van Morrison) Way back when (ok a year ago) and this was it for me, I knew I’d sold my soul to some enchanter. And man it’s even better now, funk line, Taylor calling up the spirits, Felix hitting it hard, “Speak Out” repeat hard and preachy, Brian G is transcendent, Felix back beats it, Taylor works the audience call and response, tag: (I Want to) Take You Higher (Sly & the Family Stone), [Editorial comment: Church is where you repent for your sins, so is he really taking me to church? What black sabbath is this?] “Higher” audience call and repeat, over and over and over, ecstatic musical union, baby!
[And then the cell cert dies a horrible, tragic death. Adios New York…]
– setlist stylings by basenji
Opened in 1928, the Beacon Theater was originally a vaudeville hall. Then it became a “movie palace” with the advent of talkies. Now a nationally registered Art Deco landmark, the theater presents both stage and music performances for almost three decades. It’s an ideal place to catch national rock acts before they play arenas, as well as dramatists and rap, gospel and world music acts.
The Beacon’s graduating rows of cushioned chairs make it easy to forget its 2,800-capacity size, even in the balconies. The open stage allows performers little place to hide and plenty of room to shine. The Beacon also has the fine acoustics of a classical theater and flawless sight lines from almost anywhere.”
– from citysearch
Taylor was just in the Beacon a few weeks ago, sitting in with the Allman Brothers’ Band. Tonight’s performance is part of the Green Apple Festival, the nation’s largest celebration of Earth Day. If you’re going, catch some of the other acts happening this weekend – there are dozens. Except for the fact that their show is only an hour and a half later than Taylor’s, my own choice would be The Wood Brothers. Bassist Chris Wood, who’s day job is with Medeski, Martin and Wood, lays down a good boogie groove, like in Spirit.