(Before playing Land of Hope and Dreams): “People come to my shows with many different kinds of political beliefs; I like that, we welcome all. There have been a lot of questions raised recently about the forthrightness of our government. This playing with the truth has been a part of both the Republican and Democratic administrations in the past and it is always wrong, never more so than when real lives are at stake. The question of whether we were mislead into the war in Iraq isn’t a liberal or conservative or Republican or Democratic question, it’s an American one. Protecting the democracy that we ask our sons and daughters to die for is our responsibility and our trust. Demanding accountability from our leaders is our job as citizens. It’s the American way. So may the truth will out.”
backstreets.com comments: A beautiful night in San Francisco, CA. As Bruce says, usually he’d be “sweating his ass off” after the first five or six songs… but not so in the city of layered clothing. Rarities tonight included “Something in the Night” (very strong) and “Across the Border.” In the words of Bruce, the latter was “a little California music.” To the folks in the Western branch office of Backstreets, the first half of the show was the strongest the Bay Area (and the Northwest) has seen since perhaps the second night in Oakland in 1999. If not before. “Across the Border” was a beautiful full band arrangement, but it took until “Born to Run” for the crowd to get back in the groove.
MY comments: We arrive two hours early and score sections 6, row 19 & 20 from independent people for $40 ea. Lucky. We find seat in the front, right to the left of the GA pit. The band walks on stage and the crowd cheers. The band doesn’t hesitate for a second; the moment Bruce walks out he says “one, two, three, four…” and the band erupts instantly into the opener. Most bands would at least take a minute to tune, but not Bruce. We are eventually kicked-out of our prime seats, but find some other nice seats and enjoy the show. Afterwards, we meet other Boss fans and party for a while. Really a nice evening.
Jonathan and I arrive yet once again ticketless. We encounter various hawks attempting to buy all the extras and scalping them at exorbitant prices. I suddenly get the feeling that luck will be on our side when Jeremy drives up on the street in his Ford Focus. He is lagging majorly.
I decide that we are going to have to sneak in. We try the right side of the venue with no luck. However the left side of the venue has its door wide open with partiers outside drinking, smoking, and doing whatever else people do. Jonathan and I simply walk in and look down at the street below to a desperate Jeremy trying to still buy a ticket. We attract his attention, wave at him, call him, and subsequently direct him into the venue.
We get cocktails and opt to find seats in the higher up section. We find seats in the last row, center, but gradually get closer seats as the show progresses. Eventually, for the encore, we are about 20 feet away from the stage.
We decide we must sneak in the next night for Jerry Seinfeld.
We (Lisa, Jonathan, Kim & Mike) spent the evening in the 3rd row (standing) enjoying the raw Senegalese sounds of Baaba Maal, Mansour Seck, et al. We didn’t leave our spot the entire night, no drinks, no WC, no resting. Simply watching mesmerized and in awe.
* * * * *
Special to the Mercury News
Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2002
There’s usually a party going on when world-music star Baaba Maal of Senegal performs.
Maal often has about 20 musicians and dancers accompanying him on stage in Africa. When he tours the West, his band is often almost as large, usually at least 14 performers.
But Maal’s concert Tuesday at the Fillmore in San Francisco, with opening act Gigi Shibabaw, will be a more subdued and intimate affair because he’s doing mostly acoustic music to reflect the style of the singer-guitarist’s latest album, “Missing You (Mi Yeewnii).”
In these shows, his large funk band is being replaced by a small string ensemble: three acoustic guitars, an electric bass and two West African string instruments, a kora (harp) and a hoddu (a small, skin-faced lute).
“This show is like how we play in the tiny villages in the deserts in Africa and has a very traditional feel to it,” Maal says via e-mail from the road. “It feels like we are singing around a campfire late at night in Africa. While I do not have the dancers or percussionists on this tour, it is still very exciting, and people in the audience can still dance if they want to.”
Even if Maal’s current performances aren’t the high-energy affairs some fans have come to expect, the gifted performer has been getting positive reviews. One reviewer called a recent performance “magnificent: hypnotic and galvanizing, uplifting and visceral.”
Much of Missing You was recorded after dark in the village of Nbunk, Senegal. Crickets chirping and other sounds of nature are occasionally audible in the work, which represents the singer-guitarist’s most overt return to the traditional music of West Africa since he began recording in the mid-1980s.
Live from Nbunk
“We set up a mobile studio outside of my house in Nbunk, close to Dakar, and recorded live,” says Maal. “Just sitting around playing outside at night seemed like the best way to capture this traditional feel I was looking for with this album. The only problem was the lights we used attracted insects, one of which, a beetle, had a vicious bite! Many of the musicians and technicians were bitten.”
Though those on-site recordings set the tone, some tracks were recorded at a studio in England. The project also received a sonic polish from producer John Leckie (Radiohead).
For this disc, Maal also recruited notable musicians from throughout West Africa, and each brought a cultural and personal style to the 11-track disc. The songs possess a melodic sweetness, rather than the propulsive rhythmic drive often associated with African music. Reggae and Latin flavors creep into many tracks, while the acoustic guitar lends what some listeners will consider a European flavor. Maal, however, says the instrument has been used in African music for many generations.
“The guitar is similar to the hoddu,” he says. “The guitar is very much a part of the traditional and modern African music. I think everyone” in West Africa “who has an interest in music wants to learn the guitar first.”
As an artist who tours internationally, Maal creates music that reflects global styles. One of his albums, “Firin in Fouta,” fuses Celtic and African influences. “Nomad Soul,” the album that preceded “Missing You,” has been described by one critic as “slick and full of woozy synthesizer washes.” Maal says the acoustic and traditional orientation of “Missing You” wasn’t meant as an apology for “Nomad Soul.”
“It is the life of a musician to travel, and I love to hear music from all over the world, so it is natural that I try to incorporate other styles into my music,” he says. “The time just felt right to record a more traditional-sounding album, but then there are also very traditional songs on both `Firin in Fouta’ and `Nomad Soul.’ ‘’
Maal gives no indication that his shift to a stripped-down West African sound is permanent. He still finds great satisfaction performing onstage with a funk band the size of a football team.
“It’s important to have the big band, because it makes it much more of an event for the audience, because it is rare that these big groups tour nowadays when so much of music is electronic,” he says.
Maal also performs four songs on the soundtrack album for the current film “Black Hawk Down,” a drama about a battle between Somali fighters and U.S. soldiers sent to Mogadishu in 1993.
Messages in the music
In Africa, Maal also is known as an intellectual and a social activist. He has made an AIDS-awareness tour of West Africa.
“I don’t know,” he says when asked if he’s having a significant impact on AIDS education. “I hope so. When we tour Africa, after our concerts, I meet with the village elders, and we discuss many things and hopefully persuade a few people of the dangers of AIDS. But it also requires government and health officials to be willing to tackle the problem, and we need to ease the suffering of those with the disease.”
Though he enjoys traveling around the world, Maal says he has no interest in living anywhere but Senegal.
“I have a home in Dakar, but the place I always return to is Podor in northern Senegal, where my family is, and it is where I grew up. This place is magical and special for me. I cannot imagine living anywhere else.”
What a great concert; still feeling great about it the next day. Mark Segalman, the real hero of the evening, arrives at the Oakland Coliseum Arena by midday. Though he is more than the 500th person there, Mark courageously wedges his way into number the number 148 slot thus guaranteeing him access to “the Heart”——the famed 300 person pit of U2’s Elevation tour.
Meanwhile, Jonathan and Brian arrive a bit late, but still manage to score general admission floor seats. After the No Doubt set, all three friends hook up. Jonathan decides to puff with Dave, et al, in the “nose bleed” section, while Brian accompanies Mark for an attempt to enter the Heart.
“Sir, I am sorry, you can’t go in there.” A friendly, yet firm security guard interjects Brian’s attempt to make his way to the Heart.
“But my friend lost his wristband in the lavatory. Someone ripped it off his wrist. All of his friends and things are up there.” Exclaims a hopeful and eager Mark pointing to the front row.
“I’m sorry, there is nothing I can do.” The security guard nods her head side to side in the classic NO manner.
But somehow a miracle happens. Another security guard walks up and says, “Sure, I’ll take you up there [to the Heart] but you can’t leave once you get up there.”
The angel leads us to the Heart just as Big Ben, the main SFX security guard walks by. Mark pats him on the shoulder diverting his attention from the wrist-band-less Brian. The two then wedge their way to the forth row spot where Mark was previously standing during an ear-cruching No Doubt performance.
Bono and the boys come on stage and rock the house harder than it has been since February 26, 1995——the last time the Grateful Dead played the Oakland Colesium Arena.
And this is the story of how Mark and Brian ended up forth row at a sold-out U2 concert.
This is the loudest Warfield concert ever. I arrive due to a last minute decision and score a twenty dollar tic. I walk in during the John Paul Jones set. I hear a great version of “Whole Lotta Love.” The lights come on and I find Mike and Jonathan sitting, theorizing about the music.
We all get a drink and find Beth who stubs us down to the floor where we stay for the rest of the concert. When King Crimson comes on, the bass is so loud that it rattles my inner organs. I think one of my kidneys briefly explores. But that is okay. I am actually wearing a pair of foam-rubber ear plugs which makes the sound clear and good.
I am not familiar with any of the songs, but I am here (hear) in honor of Jeremy’s spirit. Robert Fripp’s guitar playing is dark and incredible.
We are not even going to go to this show. In an eleventh hour move, Laura Segalman tries to persuade to attend; and in a moment of impulsiveness, we decide that we will go.
We arrive to Shoreline and there are many tickets to be scored. A Shoreline security guard named Todd gives me a miracle ticket. We enter the venue and immediately find Mark and Laura in line for cocktails. Mark has had his tickets upgraded to the third row—the triple C’s (CCC.) In addition, Mark is willing to “stub” us down and share his seats. I am the first to go with Mark. As it turns out, Shoreline has removed seat rows triple A (AAA) and triple B (BBB) making our seats front row. Nice! And that is not all, there is enough room, and minimal security, so that we are able to hang on the rail for the entire show. We are so close that I can hear Perry Farrell’s footsteps as he walks on stage with his platformed stompers and pimped out maroon outfit. Plus, it is the best view in the house of all the pretty girls on stage. Sure, we have to dodge the occasional security storm trooper, but all in all, this is one of the better concerts ever. Dave’s guitar licks are bindblowing. Great stage performance. Thank you Jane’s.
What an amazing show: Sound and Visual. It’s all about the freedom. Met every expectation and blew some of them away. We arrived about 45 minutes before Jane’s would come on stage. We missed all opening acts.. oh well. We did hang out and watch the carnies and gypsies play carnival music. We found a great spot in the lawn and waited. Having seen Jane’s from several angles in the past, and never being to Shoreline Amphitheater I was content with the lawn. Besides, we got our tickets for $18 each. I think because we had lawn seats I didn’t expect to be quite so blown away, but I was… from the lawn!
Opening up with “Kettle Whistle”, Perry came out with a HUGE dress, which had about 6 half naked ladies underneath. He changes into a black and red velvet-looking suit, and begins to hit the natural-super-rock-hero we all know with “Ocean Size.” Dave was rippin’ it all out with a guitar that looked like Eddie Van Halen’s ‘5150’ guitar.
There was a very long and different into to “Ain’t No Right.” Not quite the usual heavy bass intro.
Perry raps a bit then goes into the hypnotic “Three Days”, building through all the movements. I think Perry may have introduced the band at this point (he recognizes the band like 3 times throughout the show) Perry raps a bit more about the freedom and asks, ‘are you going to “Stop”’?!, which they go into immediately.
They slow it down and go into “Summertime Rolls”, which was great as always. The song changes and the band leaves for the center stage.
There was a nice groove playing during all this. Then there’s a presence of THE gypsies and carnival people moving through the audience, fire twirlers on side stages. We enjoyed these people’s antics before the show by the food/beer area. They performed gracefully to carnival music and generally got their trance on. They really got the vibe going before Jane’s went on. Anyway, there they were apparently escorting the band to the center stage, or causing a distraction while the band took the center stage. Before you know it they’re on the center stage and that LONG groove turns into (or already was) a familiar “Jane’s Says” intro. Perry looks like a cross between Pokemon and Davy Crocket.
We made our way closer to the center stage during this song, which was way worth it.
At some point on the center stage Perry was rapping about how ‘we want your children… you guys like to party… we need you… and your children’. The crowd was very responsive feeling complimented and entertained. It was just a great vibe of energy out there. He also spoke to the times, ‘there’s no terrorism out here… This is a party! … How many of y’all wanna say, ‘Kiss my Ass!’ (to the terrorism)?’. They dive immediately into “Helter Skelter.” This was a surprising privilege and treat. As far as I know they haven’t played their version of The Beatles “Helter Skelter” for any other shows. The band really played it well, and it felt great hearing the entire audience sing along.
There was a lot of improvisation on the center stage with Perry rapping about freedom and Dave, Steve, or Martyn coming in every now and then. I think he announces the band by name again here. Then it sounded like they got it together and they were about to play something, but Perry halted it to continue rapping about this and that. He talked about love and freedom and went into “Classic Girl”
Perry talks more about freedom and how he ‘wants his good friend Dave to play one of his songs’. Dave says hi and plays “Hungry” off his solo ‘Trust No One’ album.
They return to an improvisational style on the center stage with Steve playing a beat on bongos and Perry singing ‘Steve Perkins, Steve Perkins… ’. This builds into an all out jam, “Happy Birthday Jubilee.” The intensity backs down with Perry singing solo on the center stage “Happy Birthday Jubilee.” The whole center stage phase blended and flowed like a fresh jam session.
After Perry finishes singing solo on the center stage the rest of the band appears back on the main stage and begins playing “Up The Beach.” It was completely instrumental. Can you imagine Perry’s journey back to the main stage with that song filling the place?
Perry arrives back on the main stage decked out in a silver sequence suit and a fuzzy purple hat worthy of Dennis Rodman. He was lookin’ like the slickest pimp in the place. They head right into “Mountain Song.” It was America in every sense of the notion. American rock n’ roll, Dave wailing on the guitar wearing blue jeans, standing in front of an American flag. It’s all about the freedom.
They go into “Ted, Just Admit It” and Perry announces the band introductions again this time including Linda Good on keyboards. With all the theatrics in effect at the end of the song Perry jumps onto a ‘rotary swing set’ that was on stage. Swinging around the thing screaming ‘Sex is Violent’!! The song ends high, the band leaves the stage, but Steve Perkins stays behind pointing at the audience. You could tell they wanted to play more. And they did.
The band returns to play “Chip Away” to the remaining audience. They really jammed all levels of the percussion. It was great. Perry got some mic feedback when he walked to the side of the stage. He played it off perfect by hiding to the side of the speaker wall swinging the mic into the front of the speakers producing and experimental ‘controlled feedback’. Then bring it to and end.
The band goes out, but Perry doesn’t make it all the way out. He’s talking to the fans on the way out asking, ‘Are you good? Are you bad?… You’re good, right?’ He runs back to the middle of the stage and drop his pants. He starts running around in his black underwear with his pants around his knees saying, ‘don’t you tell anybody!’ He runs off the stage and that was it. We were free to go mingle with the gypsies and carnival people again.
Oh, yeah, we capped the show with doughnuts from Krispy Kreme then drove back to San Francisco.
Some of the sequence might be slightly off, but that’s the way I remember it. You understand how someone can lose time at a Jane’s Addiction concert. I highly recommended you see this show.
Set List: A
Band’s Stage Presence: A
Overall Experience: A
Lisa and I arrive a bit late as we have just driven up from Santa Cruz. (Bob Dylan the night before.) I drop Lisa off and find parking. Lisa receives a miracle, as usual for her Greek shows, and I sport a $20 dollar ticket from a brother.
We go inside during set-break and immediately run into Mike who directs us to the rest of the posse including: Neighbor Amy and Dave, Jonathan and Kala, a melancholy Terra C., Mandy and Sammie, and various other fools all dancing away.
The band comes on stage and busts out an incredible “Pusher Man” as Apolinare walks by drunk as a skunk murmbling some unknown words of wisdom. He dances with us for a while.
After the show ends, everyone piles into my car and we drive to the local Best Western for a show by JIVE. Tickets are $12 ea. and I ain’t about to pay 12 bones to stand in a 120° room with a bunch of sausage. So instead a go downstairs to where there is coincidentally an African DJ spinning tunes that are unreal. The whole room is packed with about 400 brothers and sisters dancing and grooving soulfully to the spinning grooves. Lisa finds me and complains for a while. I eventually emerge from the Soul room to find my gang overheated and exhausted.
We drive back to the city. What a wonderful evening.
Another ticketless night for our heros. I arrive to the San Jose Stapples Center in search of two tickets. They are plentiful tonight and soon I am holding two tickets that cost ten dollars each. Mark scolds me saying his tickets cost 54 dollars each. I tell Mark that he needs to plan ahead a bit better.
Lisa arrives, finds her ticket that I placed at will call, and we guide her to ourselves via cell phone transmission. I realize that cell phones are great for concerts. I suddenly want one, part time. I pass Lisa my cocktail (gin & tonic) and we make our way to the floor where we are reunited with Bo, Christy, and a lot of random Santa Cruz folks. We run into the legendary George Lions and Dar.
Dylan comes on stage with his band. We appear to be about the thirtieth row, standing. It is a great evening, but we don’t hear my favorite, “Tangled Up In Blue.” Lisa and I go up to a bleachers entrance where we can see better and dance the remainder of the show away. We all return to Happy Valley afterwards for some post-show fun.
Lisa and I attend this show at the intimate Paramount Theater. It is a mellow, mostly sit-down show, but there are moments that we were dancing wildly. All in all, I would have to say that this is one of my most favorite concerts ever. There iss magic in the air as Paul strums his guitar and sings his whimsical words.
After the show, Lisa and I go to the store to buy some water. Upon our return towards our car, we notice a crowd outside the backstage entrance of the theater. We rush over to see what the hype is. An official looking man exits the backstage and says, “Mr. Simon may come out shortly. If he does, no one ask for his autograph.”
We became excited and wait patiently. Soon, a short man sporting a stylee baseball cap emerges from the backstage. It is Paul! He walks up to the crowd and shakes each of our hands. I remember Lisa and I shaking his hand together. All I can really say is “Thank you, Paul.”
We listen as fans ask questions about upcoming shows, new songs, Edie Brickell (his wife since 1992) and his children. It is an extremely positive vibe. Then some idiot holds out a record and asks Paul to sign it. There is a moment of silence and then everyone starts hissing at the culprit. Why is there someone who always tries to break the rules? Luckily Paul ignores this fool.
After 30 minutes, Paul hopps into his black Lincoln Town Car and drives away to a hotel of peace and tranquility. What a night!
Jonathan and I roll down to Shoreline, ticketless, yet once again. We arrive a bit late and find no tickets or simply don’t want to spend the cash on a ticket. Jonathan, in a moment of whimpering, says, “Oh man, oh man, I really wanna go in. Brian, you can’t do this kinda stuff when Lisa moves out; enjoy it while you can.” I take heed of Jonathan’s wise advise and we proceed to the golf course adjacent to Shoreline in hopes to hear a muffled version of The Who, who are already on stage singing “I Can’t Explain” to a hysterical audience.
The golf course proves comfortable, but when “Baba O’Riley” begins, we get restless. We decide to look for the cheaper now-that-the-show-has-already-started tickets. But we have no luck. There are no tickets to be found. In a moment of hope, I announce to Jonathan, “Follow me, do exactly as I do.”
I pace toward the main gates of Shoreline, Jonathan tagging right behind. I walk through the turnstile, and no one notices; so I march past where the ticket collectors should be, Jonathan at my side, and nobody accosts us or is interested in who we are. In fact, no one is there. I look to my left and see a whole posse of ticket collectors, sitting down, cracking jokes with each other. “Hmmm. They must be taking a break. Our luck that they all take breaks at once!” And so we stroll right up to the lawn and enjoy the rest of the show—Pete Townsend’s wisecracks and all.
I must admit, a free show always seems more enjoyable than one you shell-out for. “Jonathan, I think I will go to concerts this way when Lisa moves out, don’t you worry.”
This was a magical show with only about 50 people in the audience in a riverside venue with the a capacity for 1000 people. The highlight for me was the Baba O’Reilly with Vince Welnick. It was from this moment on that I realized that Vince should have been playing with ZERO all along and the DEAD should have found a more compatible player for themselves.
Drew, Katie and I drove up to this show in my Datsun and camped by the river. It was in Guerneville, which at the time, was a sleep town nestled in the Sonoma hills.
One of my earlier concert memories, I don’t remember much about this show, but that the stage was amazing. There was a chior of people and an orchestra of instruments being played by a troop of musicians.