Thursday, May 2, 2013
Gentilly Stage, Fair Grounds
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
New Orleans, Louisiana
Source: Core Sound Binurals > Edirol r-09 24/44.1 > Sony rcd w500c > Jump Drive
Lineage: Jump Drive > Foobar2000 (dither) > Cool Edit Pro > CDWave > Flac/16
Recorded by Royboy
Transferred on May 26, 2013
Tagging: Flacs tagged with Foobar2000 Live Show Tagger and Cover / Photo added to Tags with MP3 Tag v2.49
01 - Introduction
02 - Redondo Beach
03 - April Fool
04 - Dancing Barefoot
05 - Distant Fingers
06 - Fuji-San
07 - Ghost Dance
08 - Beneath The Southern Cross
09 - Night Time Is The Right Time -> We Ain't Got Nothin' Yet -> Born To Lose -> Pushing Too Hard
10 - Pissing In A River
11 - Because The Night
12 - Banga ->
13 - People Have The Power
14 - It's A Dream
15 - Land/Horses: Land of a Thousand Dances ->
16 - Gloria
-Patti Smith - vocals, guitar
-Lenny Kaye - guitar, bass, vocals
-Tony Shanahan - bass, keyboards, vocals
-Jay Dee Daugherty - drums
-Jack Petruzzelli - guitar, bass
-- This was a very rainy afternoon in New Orleans.
-- It's A Dream is a Neil Young cover.
-- Lenny Kaye was on lead vocals for the Night Time medley
Patti Smith was a force of nature at New Orleans Jazz Fest
Alison Fensterstock, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune By Alison Fensterstock, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
on May 02, 2013 at 8:42 PM, updated May 02, 2013 at 10:57 PM
The anarchic punk artist Patti Smith has, musically, always been able to inhabit many selves -- beatific
earth mother, Dionysian sprite, spooky shaman -- and at New Orleans Jazz Fest on Thursday (May 2), she
skated effortlessly between several. During a set that began in spattering rain and ended in a glowing
sunset at the Gentilly Stage, Smith sampled from across her broad catalog, bookending the set with songs
from her masterful 1975 studio debut "Horses" ("Redondo Beach," and her cover of Them's "Gloria,"
respectively) and holding a wet and cranky crowd effortlessly in her thrall.
After the first song, Smith unhurriedly stepped out from under the protective proscenium of the Gentilly Stage,
slowly scanning the crowd as if, perhaps, she wanted to recall everyone's face at some point in the future.
She let her face break into a huge grin; she reached out her arms to the crowd, palms up, as if offering a blessing.
Under the gray, spitting sky, Smith kept the early part of her set hazy in tone, mellowly paced and a bit
surreal with songs like the space fantasy "Distant Fingers," for which she set the scene:
"You've all heard of CBGB's in 1977," she said. "Well, Tom Verlaine (of the influential band Television) and
I were there in 1974, and we used to stand in the alleyway and watch the UFOs hover over our little club."
After the aliens landed in a cloud of reverb, tremolo and bottleneck guitar wobble, with dancers swaying in
muddy, elemental bliss, Smith upped the magic factor. She dedicated "Ghost Dance," with its refrain of "we
shall live again," "to all who lost their lives or their homes or were displaced in the floods of Katrina."
Hurricane Sandy, when it hit New York and New Jersey in the fall of 2012, she said, "all it did was make us
think of you."
"You are never forgotten," she said, "and the sun will shine again." Was that a metaphor, a promise or a
direct command? Either way, shortly after she spoke, the elusive orb showed itself at full force for the
first time that day.
Smith has always appreciated the simple poetry of rock n'roll, and the power of basic words and chords to
cast a wild spell. Lenny Kaye, her longtime guitarist, co-curated the seminal 1972 anthology of obscure
'60s rock, "Nuggets," and, as the sun cautiously emerged, the two muscled to the front of the stage for a
Kaye-led medley of snarling, ebullient, garage-rock tunes -- the Strangeloves' "Night Time is the Right Time",
Sky Saxon and the Seeds' "Pushin' Too Hard", the Blues Magoos' "We Ain't Got Nothin' Yet" - plus
"Born to Lose", the signature song of guitarist Johnny Thunders' post-New York Dolls rock outfit (and
'70s New York punk contemporaries of Smith) the Heartbreakers. (Preceding the medley, Kaye gave a shout-out
to the Ponderosa Stomp's Ira "Dr. Ike" Padnos - "It's a nugget, and you dug it!") Dressed in jeans, a black
jacket, boots and a well-worn T-shirt from New York City's legendary Electric Lady Studios, Smith seemed to
shift smoothly from good witch to delinquent teenage rocker.
With the sun fully shining, Smith's anthemic "People Have the Power" seemed post-cathartic; the wet crowd
appeared to blossom in the rays of late-afternoon sunlight. (Two fans were seen turning ecstatic cartwheels
on the muddy dirt track.) It would have been a triumphant closer, but for one problem. At 6:45 p.m., after
its final chord and a short conference onstage with her band, Smith approached the microphone.
"I'll tell you what we were talking about, because I suppose it's rude to whisper," she said with a smile.
"I haven't been babbling so much, and we zipped through our set so fast we had to add another song."
In fact, they added three to the 15 minutes remaining to the set, and if the band had closed when it had
apparently planned to, the Gentilly Stage crowd would have been robbed of possibly the most powerful part of the show.
Bassist Tony Shanahan took a turn on piano for a tender cover of Neil Young's "It's A Dream." Smith followed
that with a slow build into the powerful song-poem "Land/Horses/Land of A Thousand Dances/La Mer (De),
"which begins at a whisper and ends in spasms of rock, borrowed, of course, from New Orleanian
Chris Kenner - whose original version of "Land of A Thousand Dances," produced by Allen Toussaint,
was released on the local Instant Records label in 1962.
Smith added a freestyle spoken word verse to "Land/Horses" paying tribute to New Orleans ("Where Joan
of Arc sits on her horse/and blesses the children of the city") and continued to whirl ever upward into
rock fervor with her version of "Gloria."
"Land/Horses" is one of Smith's signature songs, and it's interesting to note that while its borrowed
core, "Land of A Thousand Dances," has been covered umpteen times, only Smith and its original writer,
Chris Kenner, begin their versions with an incantation.
At Jazz Fest on Thursday, as she shifted between performing selves, Smith's passion and intensity was a
solid argument for the idea that music is, indeed, prayer; and if nothing else, her devotions brought out the sun.
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