The Wallflowers Live – Foxwoods, April 25th, 2008 (Set List & Review) – Songwriters on Vacation

Originally posted 2008-05-03 10:16:23. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Set List:

1. Up From Under

2. Three Marlenas – Click HERE for the LAPTOP SESSION!

3. Here He Comes (Confessions of a Drunken Marionette)

4. Letters from the Wasteland

5. 6th Avenue Heartache – Click HERE for the LAPTOP SESSION!

6. When You’re On Top

7. Mourning Train

8. Invisible City

9. Sleepwalker – Click HERE for the LAPTOP SESSION!

10. If You Never Got Sick – Click HERE for the LAPTOP SESSION!

11. Closer to You

12. How Good It Can Get – Click HERE for the LAPTOP SESSION!

13. One Headlight – Click HERE for the LAPTOP SESSION!

14. God Don’t Make Lonely Girls

15. Everything I Need – Click HERE for the LAPTOP SESSIONS!

16. How Far We’ve Come – FALSE START

17. Josephine

18. Empire in My Mind – Click HERE for the LAPTOP SESSION!

19. Nearly Beloved

By Chris Moore:

The Wallflowers have long been one of my favorite bands. So, my first question as the curtains came up at Friday night’s Foxwoods concert was, where is Rami Jaffee? Aside from Jakob Dylan, he’s the only original Wallflower still with the band. Instead of the four-member crew I expected, there were only three — Dylan, bassist Greg Richling, and drummer Fred Eltringham. This set the tone for the night, as I was laughing and enjoying myself before they even played a song.

Actually, the tone was set before the curtain even went up, as the pre-concert background music (usually played at a reduced volume) was turned up for an Edgar Jones song called “Oh Man That’s Some Shit.” This title refrain was repeated with intermittent additions such as, “Oh, yes it is!” When the song finished, it was played again. By the third time it was played, Jim, Mike, and I began to wonder if they were stalling for time. It was now 9:15, and the show was scheduled for 9 sharp. More likely, this was Dylan’s sense of humor showing through. The three of us couldn’t keep from laughing and singing along with the layered harmonies of Jones’ “Oh Man That’s Some Shit.” Even as I write this, I’m singing it in my head…

Once I got over the initial shock of Jaffee’s absence, I was struck by the song selection. Opening with the Breach track “Up From Under,” continuing with “Three Marlenas,” and then playing “Here He Comes,” Dylan kicked off the show with three really great songs from three different albums. Still, he hadn’t quite rocked out yet…

…which changed as soon as he tore into “Letters from the Wasteland.” For “Letters,” Dylan really seemed to get into it, putting emotion and a sense of foreboding into the performance.

The highlights of the show for me were really when they played “When You’re On Top” — aside from changing the tune on the chorus, it was a great version and done acoustically to boot! — and the fact that they chose six tracks out of eighteen from the Red Letter Days album, one of my all-time favorite (and terribly underappreciated) albums. Other songs, such as “One Headlight” and “If You Never Got Sick” would have made the highlights, if not for Dylan forgetting the words and singing the first verses and chorus a bit oddly, respectively.

This was how the show went — one exciting moment followed by an odd or off moment. For instance, Dylan forgot the words to several tracks, including all but the first line to “How Far We’ve Come.” The most disappointing aspect of the concert really was the fact that the band lacked a soloing musician. There was no lead guitarist and no keyboard player, so instrumental sections were filled with Dylan’s fingerpicking or Richling’s bass playing. Having a fourth musician on stage probably would have taken this concert to the next level and made it perhaps one of my favorite concerts ever.

Actually, the most disappointing moment of the experience was learning from Fusco-Moore labelmate Jeff Copperthite that one of his friends at work had actually met Jakob Dylan! Not only did he meet him, but he met him before the concert while having dinner at the buffet… that we had been at an hour earlier! I’m also pretty sure I walked past Greg Richling while looking for a bathroom, but I wasn’t sure and just stood there staring at him until he was out of sight…

In the end, I had a great time at this show. After their two-year absence from touring, I had begun to believe I would never see the Wallflowers in concert. But now I have seen them, and Dylan’s voice was in great form, the song selection was incredible (and even a bit surprising, considering previous years), and I won’t soon forget the experience. It was interesting to see Greg Richling, who has been a Wallflower since the days of “One Headlight,” and Fred Eltringham, who I was initially uncertain about, but who really warmed up and earned my respect over the hour and a half he was on stage.

Back at home, I learned that Jaffee left the band late last year and is currently on the road with the Foo Fighters. What does this mean? I don’t mean to blow his exit from the band out of proportion, but it marks for me a new era for the Wallflowers. With new concert dates planned for the Wallflowers and the imminent release of Jakob Dylan’s solo album, Seeing Things, the future is promising.

I suppose I’ll just have to be patient about the next Wallflowers album — whatever and whenever it will be…

Steven Page leaves the Barenaked Ladies!

By Chris Moore:

In a post Wednesday on the official Barenaked Ladies website (titled simply as “A Message from Barenaked Ladies”), it was announced that Steven Page has officially left the band after two decades of writing, recording, and performing together with his bandmates.  The first paragraph of the message is as follows:

“By mutual agreement, Steven Page will be parting company with the remaining members of Barenaked Ladies. Jim Creeggan, Kevin Hearn, Ed Robertson, and Tyler Stewart will continue recording and touring together as Barenaked Ladies. Steven Page will pursue solo projects including theatrical opportunities while the band enters the studio in April 2009, and hits the road in the fall.”

For a band that is world-renowned for their candor and lightheartedness, this is quite the sanitized message!  It feels very formal, politic, and purposeful — for instance, the remaining band members are arranged alphabetically.  It seems that the natural response has been to wonder how much of this departure was precipitated by Page’s arrest for drug-related charges in July.  According to the Toronto branch of the AP, Ed Robertson has admitted that it was a “huge event” in their lives, but that Page’s departure “isn’t about that.”

While it isn’t entirely clear what it is about, his split from the band comes at a sad time, just as they were about to go back into the studio to release their first album since BnL turned twenty.  Fortunately for Barenaked Ladies fans, the AP also reported that the remaining members of the band — Ed, Kevin, Jim, and Tyler — will indeed be back in the studio in April to work on a new record. As for Steven Page?  “Solo projects including theatrical opportunities.”

It stands to be noted that the Barenaked Ladies are one of — if not the most — universally loved band around here at the Laptop Sessions, as if this wasn’t already made obvious by the fact that Jim, Chris, Mike, Becky, and Cliff have all participated in BnL cover song music videos over the past couple years — more than any other covered artist! (This record may be tied with the Beach Boys, but I’ll have to check…)

I was struck this morning by just how many of my favorite bands have been split by solo projects recently.  All my favorite nineties bands, to be certain — Rob Thomas first went the way of the solo artist, promising that Matchbox Twenty had not officially broken up and will return to the studio (although Thomas worked in 2008 on his second solo album, there are rumors of a 2009 Matchbox Twenty release!).

Rivers Cuomo released his home recordings under his name, but has continued to write, record, and perform with Weezer.

One by one, personnel change after departure, Jakob Dylan (although there still is officially a Wallflowers band) struck out on his own last year with his debut album Seeing Things.  Apparently Rami Jaffee (the only other original original member aside from Dylan) has still interacted with the band, as evidenced by the recent Rusty Truck performance on Jimmy Kimmel’s show, which featured both Jaffee and longtime Wallflowers bassist Greg Richling.  Jimmy Kimmel mentioned that Dylan had appeared on the Rusty Truck studio recording.  So, they’re still playing together, just not in the Wallflowers…

Over the past few years, other bands have been interrupted by solo projects.  Those projects include this year’s Dan Auerbach album (he’s one half of the blues rock group the Black Keys), as well as last year’s second Raconteurs CD (staffed by, among others, Jack White of the White Stripes).  While these projects have not broken up their main bands, the formation of Jack’s Mannequin in 2004 by Andrew McMahon led to his other band (Something Corporate) to officially go “on hiatus.”

So, interstingly enough, at a time when many people are clinging to their current jobs during a time of economic distress, popular musicians continue to branch out and make music on their own, either separating permanently or temporarily from their bands to work independently.

As Ed Robertson stated in the official message on the BnL website, “It’s the start of a new chapter for all of us. Here’s to the future!”