Saturday, February 19, 2011

The house was almost sold out for the first time, five tiers.
"Mostly white people."
And alot of men. Three rows solid behind us were packed with 'em.
"Lions Club," I muttered. "Oh, no, K of C," he came back.
And a fella mentioned he ought to bring his wife sometime. I just didn't like the way they kicked the back of my seat.

As usual, the band was a little slow to get warmed up. Starting with "Octopus's Garden," I really began to think they were doing a great job. The drummer, who had been the foley artist/jack-of-all-trades during The Wall, sang with a heavy, put-on Liverpudlian accent that captured it. He had done "Oh! Darling" before but his voice was too gruff, as if he had actually achieved what McCartney wanted but failed to accomplish: the sound of having sung all night. But it didn't fit the original.

I ought to say that the mic on the first guy who had sung "Come Together" wasn't at the proper mix level and was fairly inaudible for a quarter of the show. He used another singer's mic for "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window," then dashed off stage. When he returned to his mic, it sounded much better. I don't know what the guys at the sound board were doing but I can't believe they didn't fix it sooner.

I was dreading "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" because it's almost 8 minutes of grunging, heavy guitar. But hearing it performed live I got an appreciation for what a tight song it is musically and with each measure or so the lights changed and even intensified until the abrupt ending. It was my favorite up 'til that point in the show.

And what could be brighter after that than "Here Comes the Sun?" It's so plucky. After that Harrisong, the guys behind us remarked with a degree of relief, "Now, that song I liked." During the intermission, Jeff and I compared notes and we had both thought that if they liked only that song so far they were certain to like none of the rest!

There was a time when I thought "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" was a deliciously wicked number but my opinion now is that the album might be better without it! Lennon and Harrison turn in great performances on this album but Paul contributed some real throwaways. He wasn't there. "Oh! Darling," maybe and "Golden Slumbers."

I noted for the first time how many of the verses are just "Ahhhh, ahhhh, ahhhh" on this album. Compare that to the swooning "Whooo" of "I Am the Walrus" (Magical Mystery Tour), for example.

The conclusion of the first hour before intermission was fabulous. "Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End" were really well done, so well done in fact that the audience didn't hold their applause for "Her Majesty." I'm sure there were some people who knew a final song was coming. Wiki has interesting background on that song which makes sense:
The loud chord that occurs at the beginning of the song is the ending, as recorded, of "Mean Mr. Mustard". "Her Majesty" ends abruptly because its own final note was left at the beginning of "Polythene Pam". [...] Consequently, both of the original sides of vinyl close with a song that ends abruptly (the other being I Want You (She's So Heavy)).
I always thought it was written about Princess Margaret who seemed to be a fan.

After the intermission, the second hour was more Beatles songs. "Nowhere Man," "Can't Buy Me Love," "And Your Bird Can Sing," "Two of Us," "Blackbird," "Glass Onion," "Martha, My Dear," "Honey Pie," "Birthday," "I Am the Walrus," and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." As you can tell, more than half from The White Album. Jeff was like, "Hey, we already saw this show!" Yeah, but with a live performance, it's always just a little different. And the guitarist who had channeled David Gilmour during The Wall show managed an equally good Clapton on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." In fact, we detected a little Floyd sound during "Something!"

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