elliott san francisco 9/19/98


Date:  Sat, 26 Sep 1998 16:37:35

From: rah_rah_replica, diopter@teleport.com

I don’t have much to add from the Seattle and Portland shows. Of the two in SF, this was my least favorite. I guess it was just the setlist choices and the "enthusiasm factor" of the band.

I got there when Quasi only had two songs left, thanks to the busy cabs in SF. I was warned that it would take awhile for me to get a cab, but I was o.k. with getting there late tonight. My host for the weekend, Bob, told me a bit about the Quasi set, and, although there were a lot of fuck ups, it sounds like one of those shows you’d want to be at. If not only to be able to say: ‘remember that Quasi show, when someone yelled out "Janet’s a fox"...’ Yes. I guess that really happened. Someone yelled that from the audience; and, Janet responded: ‘that voice sounds awfully familiar.’

The song I remember is California (I only saw two songs.). Bob said I missed one of my favorites, "R&B". I also missed Sam messing up on one of the intros for one of the newer songs (nobody could remember which one). It was apparently similar to my bootleg of the May 16 Elliott/Quasi show, when Sam had to start three times, with Janet eventually saying "come on, come on, you can do it." That was only after Sam had done one of his famous standings on top of the Roxichord. I guess this was a carbon copy of that, right down to Janet saying "you can do it." I was also told that there were tons of sound problems at the beginning. The two songs I heard sounded great. I’m assuming the rest of the setlist was similar to that of the previous and next days.

Sam said, at the show on Sunday, that the Sat. show was "only one of our worst shows in history...."

The Elliott set was good too, but not comparable to the next night’s or Seattle’s sets. Elliott said, during the set: "Ever have one of those nights...." They just didn’t seem that excited to be there. Sam and Janet are from SF, or at least lived there for a long time. I thought they’d enjoy the setting. The crowd at the 7th Note was horrible, though. One of the worst I’ve seen EVER. The band played (not complete and trying to remember a week after five shows with similar setlists): the two new songs they’ve been playing - "Stupidity Tried" and "Tom’s Start". That second new one is called "Tom’s Start". It’s not one he’s mentioned the name of yet, but that’s what it said on the setlist I got at the Thurs Portland show. They also did "Division Day", "Bled White", "Independence Day", "Ballad of Big Nothing", "Alameda", and Elliott enocre "Baby Britain". Encore with Quasi: George Harrison cover, "Give Me Love".

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 old songs, I was sure they wouldn't do too much pre-XO stuff on the tour, but I was wrong. They didn't do the same stuff from the _either/or_ tours, last year (8/97 @ Champoeg, for example) -- both the extended, sporadic touring Elliott did from November 1997 through May 1998 and 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 from the people with whom I was showgoing, the first five daysof the tour 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 that the Spice Girls were even worse on Saturday Night Live?) He's always sounded good, but I think his vocals have so improved, since I first saw him live, last August. --janice


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