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Re: (TV) Bowery Ballroom show?
Leo took notes, and I'm sure he'll post a full run-down once he gets home.
Here's my brief overview...
I was fortunate enough to get a ticket from a kind soul and fellow fan, and
after meeting Leo Casey, Dennis, and Dan Jones for dinner at Old Devil Moon
(highly recommended), we got to the Bowery Ballroom. Verlaine came on-stage
about 8:15 and played a 70 minute set.
Verlaine started the show by saying it was going to be the some "whacked-out
show ever", because they'd only had two hours to rehearse! He wasn't kidding.
His band consisted of Billy Ficca and a bassist and guitarist who none of us
knew (he did introduce them and I know Leo has their names). Thank goodness
Ficca was there; his backing band was clearly new to his material otherwise,
and Ficca was outstanding as always, following Tom's every move. Verlaine was
also up to the task, cracking jokes and looking very energized and seemingly
happy to be in center stage.
The show consisted of:
- an opening number a la "Swells" with spoken lyrics about a "big tree";
- a fantastic and timely "Words from the Front";
- a self-described "rhumba" with goofy lyrics about "it was well understood /
that you were so good";
- a "Little Johnny Jewel" that was quite strong, before semi-collapsing at the
- a somewhat unsteady version of "One Time at Sundown" ("another oldie",
according to Tom), with Tom speaking the verses and only bringing the band in
for the choruses. Notably, Tom changed the line about "watching the planes come
down" to "watching the planes land safe";
>From here out, the band was really warmed up, performing:
- a (possibly new?) excellent little song about "Wicked charms / some kind of
heaven in your arms" - possibly the highlight of the night, with Tom singing
and playing demonically and the band having no trouble keeping up;
- A fast, fiery instrumental, based around a single riff that could have been
the theme music to a James Bond movie;
- finally, a full performance of "Psychotic Reaction", with Tom giving both
solos to the second guitarist.
I might have forgotten something, but I'm sure Leo can correct any mistakes
(esp. in the order of songs).
It was a great, if highly unorthodox show - Tom really warmed up to the music
and the audience, and it was fun to watch he and Ficca play around the rest of
the band (not unlike the "Marquee Moon" performance in Chicago, but louder and
more rhythmic). I was really glad I was able to attend, and as usual it was
great to meet more of the faithful from the Marquee Moon Mailing List.
Here's to more Verlaine and/or Television shows - and soon!
Watching the planes land safe,
--- Maurice Rickard <email@example.com> wrote:
> For those lucky enough to be in NYC and get in, how'd it go?
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