Needle in the Hay
Son of Sam
Can't Make A Sound
In the Lost and Found
Everything Means Nothing To Me
St. Ides Heaven
Don't Fear The Reaper
From: Julie L <email@example.com>
So, Detroit survived another onslaught from the Elliott Smith Rock Machine.
Grandaddy was fantastic; everybody buy a cd at the upcoming shows. Pick any, but "Sophtware Slump" is one of the best things you'll hear this year. If you already know them, you won't be disappointed by the live treatments. How relieved I am that the mountain man look is back. The wildlife films shown beforehand were both educational and exciting, certainly moreso than the Motorola guys pushing pagers.
Elliott and the band sounded fine. As on other dates, there were some nice, unexpected inclusions. It was great to hear "Plainclothes Man" and "St. Ides Heaven"...the sets this tour are well-balanced between old and new. No unreleased stuff, though, which was a little disappointing. As usual, Elliott kept on about how much they fucked up, but he exaggerates. "Needle in the Hay" was fantastic, the band really filled it out. I'm in the camp that says that "Say Yes" needs to be retired for a while; it sounds fine, but he's going through the motions, the optimism of that song rings false when he looks so wasted. Seemed like practically nobody knew "Don't Fear the Reaper." Pretty sure this was the first time E's played an all-ages show here...BOC must not be part of the musical vernacular for people under 20. Jason Lytle stalked around in the Reaper costume.
Anybody know who did the film stuff for Elliott's part of the show? Kinda funny stuff...too hot, too high, too fast, etc...guess it's all too much for Elliott.
Some listees turned up for the Detroit show. Besides the locals, there was Liz from London and Jenny from Buffalo, who traveled through Ontario to see the show.
Since I am almost never in a popstar-meeting mood, I eschewed the autograph line-up. Or, rather, I tried to, because Liz and Jenny sent over Elliott's bus driver to 'harass' me to join them. He's a funny guy. He said they were all up late after the P'burgh show; drinkin', natch, which would explain how rough E and Sam looked. "Rough" is too kind; we're taking Keith Richards Instant Bloodchange candidates. Worries me... I'm all for sending Steve Shutt's casserole brigade after them. E's new friend was there...hope she looks after him.
From: MissKlaatu <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To further Julie's fine account on the latest Elliott appearance in Detroit:
> Elliott and the band sounded fine.
Fine and - especially Elliott - surprisingly strong. Not only did I not notice/recognize Elliott when he first got off the bus, I thought his voice sounded totally different when he started singing. So self-assured. I even got worried he won't make any mistakes! Luckily, later on he did, and it seemed to have bothered him immensely.
> As > usual, Elliott kept on about how much they fucked up, but he exaggerates.
I say an Elliott concert without a screw-up is not an Elliott concert. I hope I never live to see that day. We would miss out on him announcing with a shy, sweet smile (but in a very determined voice) that he's gonna try to do the next couple songs "real well!" He also gets chattier after mistakes, so I'm all for them.
> "Needle in the Hay" was fantastic, the band really filled it out.
While "Needle..." is one of my least favourite songs from the catalogue (go ahead, shoot me) this version metamorphed it into something extremely enjoyable. It rocked, it rolled, it bopped, it lindied. Or maybe it's because it was the first song he played, and once again it made me so happy to be able to see my ONLY currently performing favourite artist live, a couple meters from the stage. What did I do to deserve this??? (Or a new computer?)
> Anybody know who did the film stuff for Elliott's part of the show?
Elliott's face superimposed on the screen as he was singing got me all teary-eyed. Corny as hell, but effective to the same extent.
> Some listees turned up for the Detroit show. Besides the locals, there > was Liz from London and Jenny from Buffalo, who traveled through Ontario > to see the show.
I was there all thanks to my pal extraordinaire, Julie. I just hope I can repay you one day... for everything. Hi to Jen (hope you made it home OK) and also to Randy. Thanks for requesting "Plainclothes Man" - it was beautiful.
> Needle in the Hay
Ditto! And most everything, too! I usually dislike the heavier sound, but the show was fantastic, possibly the best out of my five times, if we don't count the magically satisfying first one, or the nostalgia value of his New Year's solo performance.
Julie also wrote:
>E's new friend was there...hope she looks after him.
I hope it for his sake. And mine. See, I intend to attend many many more shows, and I won't be able to do it if he's not there...
But back to the cheerful stuff. Some tidbits about the show: Sponsorship strongly smelled in the air as we were offered fluorescent lightsticks by the Motorola people, and T-shirts by the Rolling Stone people. (With Elliott's name on the back with some tourdates - very nice.) I even managed to discreetly rip a poster off the wall - the one where he wears a fake moustache - so it was like Christmas, with all the stuff!
After the first song or so, a girl handed Elliott a bottle full of flowers. That made him smile. Then someone threw a piece of scrumpled up paper (?) at him while he was playing. Hit him right in the face too - nice throw, but kinda impolite - and he didn't like that so much.
I don't remember a lot more about the concert, it was so good, I was just grinning like an idiot all the way through. Oh yeah, a couple songs (most notably "Waltz #2") prompted part of the audience to sing along. Didn't sound good, but it was sure interesting to hear.
After the show, outside, some guy banged on Elliott's tour-bus yelling "let me wash your hair!" but I don't believe he was on board at the time to respond to that thoughtful offer.
When Elliott finally appeared (dear Julie by this time would have been asleep if not for the friendly bus-driver's nagging) and dutifully stopped for us obsessed fans who just can't leave him alone, he got surrounded by a local bum (it was just one person, and he STILL managed to surround him somehow) who asked him for money or something. As Julie so correctly pointed out, as if Elliott looks like someone who has money!!! It would have been a funny scene, had it been humourous, but it wasn't really. Soon after that Elliott got saved from all by the tour manager who non-apologetically disappeared with him into the bus, and let us alone with our misery of Elliottlessness once again. Or am I the only one who always feels a bit depressed after a show? Could be...
Anyhow, now for the good news: I picked up an extra shirt - Figure 8 size M. Email off-list if interested.
MissLizery (umm... that's why I don't write poetry)