Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Steve Wynn Live at Cat's Cradle on 2009-09-26

Steve Wynn not only allows people to record his live shows for trading, he encourages it. So last Saturday's most impressive show from Cat's Cradle in Carrboro is now available online from LMA for listening and downloading. This is an excellent recording. At bottom, I've embedded just a few of the songs that stood out for me from that night: "Lies of the Living Dead," "Amphetamine," "Medicine Show," "Aw Shit Man," and "The Ballad of John and Yoko." Again, follow the link to get the entire show or to see the full setlist. Highly recommended.

Might be worth keeping an eye on the Steve Wynn LMA page to see if last night's show from the 40 Watt in Athens, GA might be posted because it sounds like it was equally exciting. That show featured both Mike Mills and Bill Berry (!!!) guesting during parts of the encore. Info, video, and pics available here and here.

As I mentioned earlier, Saturday's Cat's Cradle was an amazing show. Not only was the band in great form, but there was a considerable amount of energy flowing back and forth between performers and audience the entire night. I'd forgotten about this particular exchange until thinking just now about the various interactions from that night.

After the show, I was sitting outside the club reading a book because my ride wasn't going to be there for another 30 to 45 minutes. At one point, Peter Buck walked by and, after we chatted very briefly about how good the show had been, he noticed that I was reading Dennis Lehane's The Given Day, and let me know that he'd already read it and thought it excellent. My choice of reading materials was validated by a member of R.E.M.!!!

No, really, what struck me was just the fact that he'd make conversation about it. All four of these musicians were incredibly nice and easy to talk with and generous with their time after the show. And while they all clearly enjoy their jobs (part of the fun and the energy of the show, I think, came from the sense that they were enjoying themselves up on stage just as much as we were down on the floor), I think that must be especially obvious in Buck's case. I doubt that he needs the tiny amount of money he gets from this tour, and I can't imagine that he'd put himself in a position to be in another indy band, playing the small club circuit, hanging out with the audience after the show, and traveling across North America in a small van with four other people again at this point in his career unless he really loved the work.

(Oh, and as for his comment to me, he's absolutely right: it truly is an outstanding book.)

Lies of the Living Dead

This one doesn't hold up quite as well as I'd have hoped, but hearing/watching it live while pressed up against the stage was a thing of pure beauty. I'm posting it anyway. It's just too great a song not to. "I'm gonna live until the day I die." Indeed.

Medicine Show
Really, all of the Dream Syndicate songs from that night were outstanding, in part, perhaps, because I was so surprised to hear any: I would never have guessed that they'd reach back 20-some years when putting together the setlist given the approximately 200 songs that Steve's and Scott's various bands have recorded in just this current decade.

Aw Shit Man

The Ballad of John and Yoko

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