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(TV) Irving Plaza 3/22/2003
Repeating the pattern from last year's shows, the second night was superior to
the first. Tom was more engaged - both in his singing and playing and with the
audience - and the pacing was much better. The show didn't start quite as
strongly as Friday night's did, but in every other respect I think it was
At some point during the night, someone yelled "Are you going to play 'Foxhole'
tonight?" to which Tom immediately responded, "Nah, we played it last night."
- Intro (no poem this time, and the music seemed different to what I'd heard in
the pass - less "Swells", more stop-and-start stuff - but more musically
attuned ears might have heard this better than I)
- 1880 or so
- "Sleep All Day"
- Verlaine, Billy, and Fred improved a bluesy version of the James Bond theme
while Richard tuned his guitar
- Call Mr. Lee
- Beauty Trip. I've always liked this song - on the 1992 LP and live - but I
swear it gets better every time I hear it live.
- Little Johnny Jewel. The ending was still a bit anticlimatic, but better than
the previous night. Again, I must say that my *favorite* Verlaine solos alway
occur in LJJ, and last night was no exception. Outstanding.
- See No Evil. One of the few out-of-sync points - once Richard's solo ended,
it took the band a while to regroup and get back into the verse.
- Prove It
- Rocket/Rhyme/"Persia". More cohesive than the previous night. An improvement,
especially during "Rhyme". Verlaine had lots of fun with the "Rhyme" lyrics,
improvising (as he had Friday night, too) all sorts of stuff. (e.g., "I guess
this bag of little chocolate clocks doesn't make a very good passport" - Friday
it was 'candy corn'. Also, "I always picture you in that worn, see-thru,
nothing of a dress... in this I am not unlike other men.")
- Marquee Moon. Much better and more energetic than Friday, with a similarly
Encore - Verlaine's singing was really enthusiastic now:
- Glory. Again, much harder than I remember hearing it last year. It's a good
change for something in the encore.
- Psychotic Reaction. Tighter and seemingly shorter than in previous shows I've
seen. The band sounded fantastic.
In fact, both nights they've done great encores - as my friend said last night,
it's "song-song-song-off", which is good showmanship.
Oddly, no "Friction" - my one disappointment. I think Friday was the first time
they'd played it in 25+ years, right? I'm surprised they would learn it but not
bother to repeat it. They also skipped the brand-new song they debuted last
night, I think, but hopefully it'll return.
They finished the night by saying "See you next year". Let's hope!
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