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elliott smith seattle 9/16/98

 

Date: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 22:04:49 -0700

From:  rah_rah_replica, diopter@teleport.com

I returned from the San Francisco Elliott shows today, and have too many Elliott/Quasi reviews to do. For people on the Elliott list, who don't know about it, my friend Jimmy has a Quasi page, where he posts Quasi show reviews. (It's really a Sleater-Kinney page, with a Quasi section.) On this tour, with those go Elliott reviews. If you want to look at it, it's at: http://my.voyager.net/jimmy/ So, here's the beginning of my playing roving reporter for his page.

This is going to get really repetitive, because the shows were so similar. I met up with Michelle (who did an awesome review of this show by the way) in Olympia and we headed up for the show. I won't go into detail about her "ordeal", because you can read it yourself. It was great, though, that she got into the show. Once it sold out we were really nervous that she wouldn't get in, but she did. Being the artist that she is, she drew an awesome "representation" of the actual stamp they were using for the show, on her wrist. That, coupled with a little self-confidence, got her what she needed to get into the show. She really did intend to pay. It would have been less stressful, but it worked out.

Quasi took the stage about about an hour and a half late. Thankfully, we got a spot right at the stage and were able to sit on the stage while we were waiting. They put on a high energy show. Janet's drumming gets more amazing every time I see them. She's just as good as she's always been, the drums just really stand out w/Quasi, as opposed to with s-k. She played barefoot most of the night, except for the encores. I think she pretty much switches off. I don't think she consistently plays barefoot, but I could be wrong. They played, among other stuff: Birds songs,"California", "Happy Prole", "I Give Up", and "Our Happiness is Guaranteed". Also "Smile" (the one I first heard at the 5/16 Elliott show) and that Sam song where he has the amazing vocals. It's the one that has "It's all the same to me" as the chorus. It starts with "I doesn't matter if you label me a whore", or something to that affect. I just think his vox are mesmerizing in that song. He's not the best singer, but he sings with such feeling. They also played "In the First Place" from R&B. Sam had the Honey Boney shirt on. Since all the shows did eventually blend together (although I kept minor notes of setlists for the first two), I think I remember Elliott joining him on the usual songs, including "Sea Shanty". I know he's playing at least one of the new ones with them.

Elliott came on, and I was excited that this was my first of five nights. It's an addiction, when it comes to that guy. Between him and Quasi, I can't think of a more perfect show. O.k., well maybe the Belle & Sebastian/Elliott shows in England earlier this month. :) They were right on in Seattle. I initially told everyone that both Elliott shows I've seen in Seattle have been a bit disappointing, for the simple fact that Elliott (and this time Sam and Janet) didn't seem very into the show. When I think back, though, I think this was my favorite of the five from this tour, the 1/98 show being my favorite ever.

General notes on all five shows (Portland-SEA-SF), since the setlists were similar:

--after the Music Millenium in-store and Elliott's comment about not wanting to play new songs, I was sure they wouldn't do too much pre-XO stuff, but I was wrong. They didn't do the same stuff from the first _either/or_ tour, last year (8/97 @ Champoeg, for example). I'm not referring to the extended, sporadic touring Elliott did from November 1997 through May 1998 - I mean the initial _either/or_ tour, with Quasi. It seems they decidedly did not do those songs -- "Rose Parade", "Angeles", "No Name #6", "Say Yes". They (sometimes Elliott solo) did the "other" _either/or_ songs -- "Between the Bars", "Speed Trials", "Ballad of Big Nothing", "Alameda". Elliott did throw in "Say Yes", one or two nights.
--another general note is that the mix of Quasi and Elliott is perfect. The comment I heard most, this last five days of Elliott show-going bliss, was "They just sound so good TOGETHER." It's so true. In my opinion, all except two of the _either/or_ songs sound great either acoustic OR electric; but, all except about 2 or 3 of the _XO_ songs sound way better electric than acoustic. Janet and Sam totally round out the vox by backing Elliott's.
--one last commonality with all the shows of the tour thus far is the way Elliott's voice is SOOOO strong. It sounds so similar to the album. I'm not saying that's the way it should be at all. I like a little variety. What I mean is that it's really easy to sound good in a high tech recording studio. (I mean, did you see how bad the Spice Girls were on Saturday Night Live?) He's always sounded good, but I think his vocals have so improved, even over the last year when I've been seeing him live. O.k., I've rambled too long. Here's the setlist, not in order:
Alameda
Between the Bars
Independence Day
Bled White
Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands
Speed Trials
Division Day
XO
Sweet Adeline
Bottle Up and Explode
Question Mark
Ballad of Big Nothing
Encores: (I think I might be missing one or two)
Bled White
Thirteen (yaaaay)

That's it. It was a grand time. --janice

Fri Sep 18 14:21:27 1998)

From:  Bill Ragan

Hello all-- A few people expressed some interest in Quasi, I just thought I would post the set lists from last night's show at the Showbox in Seattle..

QUASI

Into Another (new)
Our Happiness is Guaranteed
I Never Want To See You Again
California
In The First Place
Smile, It's Not So Bad (new)
The Happy Prole
You Fucked Yourself
Sea Shanty (New One)
Lyrics begin, "This May be the year I disappear" (New One)
"I Don't really care if you label me a whore" also "Better to be a has-been than a never-was"
Someday Soon (new)
I Give Up
Elliot Smith joined in on bass for Sea Shanty and the two new ones after it. Quasi played five new songs, only one of which (Smile, It's Not So Bad) I have seen them perform before. Sam only played two songs on guitar, Sea Shanty and the new one following it. I shouted out a request for "Nati Bati Yi", an obsucre garage band cover they do on the Up records compilation.. Sam said something like, "Don't make us go through that one." Someone else requested Ghost Dreaming and got ignored.. my impression is that Quasi don't do requests, at every show I have been to someone requests Ghost Dreaming and I have never seen them play it.

ELLIOT SMITH Instrumental (sort of sounded like Quasi's "Only Success Can Fail Me Now") Bottle Up & Explode ("Stop & Start") Waltz #2 (XO) Sweet Adeline Bled White Alameda ("Do What you Want To, Whenever You Want To") Independence Day Speed Trials A Question Mark Division Day ????? Encore (solo) --- ???? ("Drink Up, Baby") Baby Britian Big Star cover (starts "Won't you let me take you to the dance") 2nd encore (full band)-- Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands

Sorry about the incomplete stuff, I am only really familiar with a few E.S. albums. Quasi was Elliot's backing band, with Janet Weiss on drums and Sam Coomes on bass. Pretty amazing that Sam and Janet were able to mantain their energy after playing a full set of their own. I guess Janet did a similar thing when Quasi opened up for Sleater-Kinney this summer at the Pier...

Elliot was great. I had never seen him live before and was pretty impressed. The full band material rocked, the best songs being Bled White and Waltz #2, those songs got the best crowd response. The instumental at the beginning sounded pretty close to the Quasi cong that closes "Featuring Birds". Sam and Janet did a lot of harmony vocals which really fleshed the sound out. Baby Britian of the new album was played solo and sounded totally different, a little darker and less poppy. Elliot didn't play "Miss Misery" and I don't think anyone expected him too.. It was definately a rock band kind of set.

Well I realize this is a Low mailing list but I thought a few people might be interested in hearing about this stuff.. let me know if I've overstepped the boundaries.. Later, ---BillR-

 

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