After what was one of the best shows I had ever seen to date the night before, I had high hopes that Saturday's show would be even better. It was, after all, the last show the band would be playing in NYC in what could be years and history would indicate that the Crowes love New York, so surely something special was in store for us on the final night of a 5 show run, right? I ate breakfast with my family then headed straight for the bus station to catch a 12:45PM bus into the city. There was a little bit of traffic heading into the Lincoln Tunnel, but nothing like yesterday. A few minutes before 2PM, I was standing under the marquee at the Best Buy Theater (I neglected to mention in yesterday's blog that sometime between July and November of this year the Nokia Theater became the Best Buy Theater. I think the Nokia Theater has a better ring to it, so that's what I'll call it). Since there were only about 10-15 people in line and there were five hours until doors opened, I made my way up to 48th street to check out the music stores. I walked around in Sam Ash for a few minutes then made my way to the acoustic room upstairs, where I played some really nice acoustic guitars for about 45 minutes. I also tried a mandolin for the first time; I might have to pick one of those up to play around with one of these days. After Sam Ash, I crossed the street and gazed at all the expensive gear hanging in Rudy's, including their amazing pedal collection, but decided not to play anything. At about 3 o'clock I made my way back to the Nokia and got my spot in line. I was standing next to a guy named Brian, who had flown into NYC from Colorado for just this final show of the run, and two Australian newlyweds (they got married the night before) named Warren and Robin, if I remember correctly. Ken from the night before walked past me as he made his way to the back of the line, said a quick hello and said he'd meet me in the same spot as last night. The next four hours until doors crawled by, though Luther walked by the line twice so we all said a quick hello, and I'm pretty sure I saw Joe Magistro aimlessly wandering around outside the doors for a few minutes. A few minutes before doors opened, someone tapped me on the shoulder and I turned around to see two people I had met last year at the Stone Pony- Crystal and Greg -that I hadn't noticed were a few people behind me in line the whole time I was there. We talked until doors opened promptly at 7, when once again I decided to hang back on the railing of the second section, so I grabbed the exact same spot I had the night before. It might be worth noting that the one taper I saw in the building the night before was back to tape this show, and instead of setting up shop two people down from me like he did the night before, he was below me for this show. That meant his mics were about two feet from my face, which means that I will probably be heard on the tape. I tried to keep my talking to between songs, but the guy next to me wasn't as considerate. Ken rolled in with a group of people, one of which was a UD alum, so talking to them made the next hour and a half roll by pretty quick. Mike met me inside tonight and we settled on a guess of Soul Singing for the acoustic set opener and Feelin' Alright for the electric set opener. Incense at 8:20, lights at 8:31...
- ACOUSTIC SET - (On: 8:33PM)
JEALOUS AGAIN- My comments on this one are pretty much the same as last night. It is what it is, but it got the crowd moving.
ROLL OLD JEREMIAH- Chris picked up his acoustic and Rich was capoed at the 7th fret, and since this is the only song in the catalog where Rich is capoed that high, I knew this was next. I'm not really a fan of this song, but the jam they add at the end of live version is pretty cool.
THUNDERSTORM 6:54- Holy shit. HOLY SHIT. Rich was handed a guitar that was capoed at the third fret, so my first thought was Nonfiction. When Rich played that first chord in Thunderstorm, it hit me like a freaking ton of bricks. Like Title Song last night, I could not believe it. This is another one of those rarities that I've always been hoping for but never really thought I'd get it, so I was absolutely ecstatic to see it. It sounded fantastic, and the fact that it was so early in the set made me believe that this show would turn out to be even more ridiculous then I expected.
TONIGHT I'LL BE STAYING HERE WITH YOU- I'm glad to see that they brought this song back, because like most of the other Dylan songs the Crowes do, this one sounds great. Another cool cover that I can add to my list of songs I've seen them play live.
WHAT IS HOME- I like this song on Before the Frost, but for some reason it did nothing for me live. I don't know what it was, but I just wasn't feeling it.
OH, THE RAIN- This was the first time the Crowes had played this song since it's debut on 2006-08-01, and while that's a cool stat by itself, I wasn't too impressed with the performance. Like What Is Home, it just didn't really do anything for me.
BALLAD IN URGENCY- No matter who is playing guitar or keyboards at the time, or whether it's acoustic or electric, Ballad in Urgency is always a treat to hear live. This is truly one of the Crowes' best songs and it has been a standout every single time I've seen it, this show included.
WISER TIME- Uh, yeah. See last night's comments, with emphasis on my comments about Sven.
GIRL FROM A PAWNSHOP- Similar to Ballad, Girl From A Pawnshop is always a welcome addition to the setlist at any show I see. The outro alone makes it worthwhile. If I remember correctly, Luther was on lap steel for this one.
THORN IN MY PRIDE- Once again, see my comments from last night.
SOUL SINGING- Nothing special here. They should throw this in the electric set and bring back the jam from '05-'06. THAT would be special. (Off: 10:07PM)
- ELECTRIC SET - (On: 10:20PM)
GIVE PEACE A CHANCE- Chris came out and said something to the effect of "everyone knows the words to this song!", which was immediately followed by Adam jumping into the opening piano riff to this rockin' Joe Cocker song. I felt that this was a great way to start off the second set after a first set that kinda fell flat as a whole in my opinion.
SEEING THINGS- Usually when Give Peace A Chance is played by the Crowes, Seeing Things can be found somewhere close by. When Rich was handed a Zemaitis capoed at the 2nd fret my suspicion that it would be next was confirmed and what followed was nothing short of a religious experience. This was one of the most powerful performances of this song I can remember hearing. The band was quiet during the verses to let Chris preach, then they hit the choruses with a wall of volume that I swear I could feel from my spot halfway to the back of the venue. It was incredible.
GO TELL THE CONGREGATION- After Seeing Things it was becoming evident that we might be getting what was dubbed by the fans (and maybe even the band) back in '05-'06 as a "Sunday Service", where the band would play their more gospel/religion/preachy/peace songs at Sunday night shows (obviously). Go Tell The Congregation, another Sunday Service regular, confirmed that church was indeed in session...on a Saturday. I freaking love Go Tell The Congregation. The riff is just straight up classic Rich Robinson rock and roll.
MY MORNING SONG- You have to be careful when you're at a show where My Morning Song is played in an electric set. If you're not paying attention, it's quite possible that when the band launches into this song your head might explode. Say what you want about lineups and the Southern Harmony arrangement vs. the Croweology arrangement, but it is still undeniable that there is nothing quite like hearing that wall of sound when the band hits those opening chords to this monster. Given the fact that this was a Sunday Service set, I was pretty confident that they would take the My Morning Song break into...
STARE IT COLD- Awesome! They've done the Morning Song/Stare It Cold segue a few times on this tour and it's a pretty cool idea in my opinion. They don't just play a verse or two of Stare It Cold either, they run through nearly the entire song, replacing the gospel outro with the one from Morning Song on Croweology. I'm a big fan of Stare It Cold, so I was very happy to see it live for the first time.
MY MORNING SONG- This was the first time I had heard the new Croweology arrangement of the outro live, and although I think the original outro is one of the greatest pieces of music the Crowes have ever put to tape, I have to say that I enjoyed the gospel outro.
GOD'S GOT IT- Okay, we get the whole "God" theme, but was this song really necessary? It's a throwaway on Warpaint and still doesn't do much for me live. Though as I said when talking about Hotel Illness last night, watching Steve beat the crap out of a marching band bass drum is pretty entertaining.
I JUST WANT TO SEE HIS FACE- I was pretty surprised when the Crowes debuted this song earlier on this tour. The Stones' original is probably my least favorite on Exile considering that, well...it doesn't really go anywhere. Similar story with the Crowes' version, but at least they threw some jamming in at the end. Chris played guitar on this one, and Joe Magistro came out front and played Steve's marching band drum while looking totally uninterested in anything that was happening.
SHOW ME- This is another interesting cover choice that doesn't really impress me too much for whatever reason. Luther threw a Land of 1000 Dances tease in one of his many solos.
ONLY A FOOL- Nothing too special here, but I like this song. It's a cool little tune with some slick riffs in the rhythm guitar department.
HARD TO HANDLE- Bring back the intro and/or outro jam. That's pretty much all I have to say.
AND THE BAND PLAYED ON- This is probably my least favorite song on Before the Frost, but it's not too bad live. The outro jam turns into a freaky Pink Floyd- Breathe kinda thing, only with the chords to the chorus of And The Band Played On, which also happen to be almost exactly the same as Good Friday. I've heard people compare this jam to the '05-'06 Soul Singing jam, and while it's definitely cool, "it ain't the same fuckin' ballpark, it ain't the same league, it ain't even the same fuckin' sport." (Off: 11:34PM)
- ENCORE - (On: 11:38PM)
TORN AND FRAYED- This is another one of those covers that the Crowes own. I'm sure I'll get shit for saying this, but I'll take the Black Crowes' version over the Stones' original. This has always been a cover I've wanted to hear them play and I'm glad I finally got it.
THE LAST TIME- Well isn't this an interesting song to play as the final encore at the last show in NYC before a hiatus. It was played well, but the whole idea of what was going on was kind of sad...the band was saying their goodbye to the New York fans. (Off: 11:50PM)
After the house lights came up, I fought through the crowd and headed down to the rail where I introduced myself to Rafael (Roughale on the crowesbase boards, he PMed me earlier in the day telling me to say hello at this show) who flew in from Germany for the entire NYC run, then Tomer (Hotel Illness on the crowesbase boards) who flew in from Israel for the entire run as well. Both were very cool people who seemed to have had an absolute blast over the past week at all these shows. Good for them that they got to fly out here and enjoy the Crowes one more time before the hiatus. I said farewell to Mike then headed over to the Port Authority to catch a bus home. Got myself another dirty water dog and bottle of water on the way over (for a dollar less then I paid last night ) and got on a 12:30 bus. No traffic this time, so I was home in 40 minutes.
---MY THOUGHTS ON BOTH NOKIA THEATER SHOWS--- November 5 and 6, 2010 are two nights I will never forget. As I said in my blog for the November 5 show, that was one of the best shows I have ever seen. The song choices, flow, vibe, and performances were all outstanding. The second night was different. There were some very high points (Thunderstorm, the first five electric songs), but overall I felt that the first set didn't quite get off the ground and while the second set started off very strong it felt disjointed after My Morning Song. Regardless, I attended the last two shows The Black Crowes played in the Big Apple for who knows how long. I met a couple of new people, saw some old faces, and was treated to six hours music including 19 songs I had never seen live before. All in all it was a great weekend away from the constant headache of my classes, homework, and exams at school.