Patti Smith: Bukta - 5th Tromso Open Air Festival, Telegrafbukta (Telegraph Bay), Tromso, Norway 17.july 2008
Sony ECM-719 > Sony MZ-R900 (MD) >
iMac (2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processors running Mac Os X 10.5.2) > Bias Peak Pro 5.2 (for editing & indexing) > aiff > xACT 1.5b3 (level 8 with SBE fix) > flac
1 Dancing barefoot (fades in) - 5:22
2 Redondo beach - 4:52
3 Are you experienced - 13:13
4 Ghost dance - 5:25
5 Southern cross - 8:23
6 Because the night - 4:26
7 Smells like teen spirit - 6:51
8 People have the power - 5:28
9 Rock'n'Roll nigger - 7:52
Total time: 61:46
This is NOT a good recording.
Upon arrival at the festival site, my wife and me were approached by a friend of ours who had positioned himself on a small hill at the right side of the stage. Although the view to the stage was close to perfect, it soon became clear that the audio conditions weren't the best. The PA system played at a surprisingly low volume to begin with, the vocals were relatively low in the mix, and it didn't help that there were quite a few acoustic songs either. From where we stood, there was definitely an overall lack of "punch". In addition we also found ourselves in the middle of a group of people that obviously were more interested in drinking beer than listening to the music. In retrospect it is obvious to me that we should have moved closer to the soundboard and/or stage, but there and then I was a bit (too) concerned about the numerous festival workers and security people who seemed to be everywhere, so I decided to stay where I was. As a result, this recording is plagued by a lot of talking - especially from my aforementioned friend and another guy. This other guy goes on and on about everything imaginable, and just won't shut up. He even makes a couple of phone calls, and at times the concert almost seems like background music to his conversations. Luckily he goes to the toilet and to buy more beers a couple of times, at which points the recording improves a bit ;-) But there are of course others that continue in the same vein, so there's a constant buzz of voices present on the recording. - And as if this wasn't bad enough, there are even one or two incidents where you can hear some brief snippets of completely unrelated music; This is from the soundcheck at the 2nd (smaller) stage nearby, where they're setting up the equipment for the next band while Patti Smith is performing on the main stage (!). And while the final chord of "Rock'n'Roll nigger" still sounds over the PA from the main stage, the band on the 2nd stage begins to play ... I mean, I like efficiency as much as the next guy, but this was taking it a bit too far if you ask me ;-) Anyway: All these problems aside, some of the songs are still quite listenable.
In light of the circumstances outlined above, this is certainly not a recording you will want to listen to on a regular basis. People who are looking for high quality recordings should keep well away from this. However: If you're a completists and/or a hardcore fan, it might be of interest. This is most likely the only recording from this gig, so that at least may account for something. It does also better towards the end.
As for the music itself, this is the whole concert with the exception of the first 20 seconds or so. I did however remove a couple of incidents of very loud yelling, whistling and talking between some songs, but without losing any music. No EQ has been applied, so some people might find the bass a bit too boomy at times, but this can easily be adjusted on your stereo, and is really just a minor concern compared to the other problems. Apart from boosting the gain, the editing described above plus the addition of fade-in/fade-out and the insertion index marks, nothing has been done to the recording.
Artwork is included (and may be the best thing about this recording) ;-)
More info about the festival (incl. photos) can be found here:
Those who understand norwegian (or want to give it a try) can also find some reviews of the concert here:
There are also two interviews with Patti Smith upon her arrival to Tromso here:
A web TV interview made prior to the concert is available here:
... and an exclusive acoustic performance from NRK web TV can be found here: