ZZ Top
Live in Vancouver BC
October 2, 1990
Pacific Coliseum
"Recycler" tour opener

Audioarchivist U - 101 Original Analog Master recording Digital ReMastered

Lineage: ZZ Top live onstage > various amps, synths, drum loops and live drums > monitors and mains plus ambience > floor dead center ice > me and my Sony PC62 stereo condender mic in my hat > Sony WM D3 professional cassette walkman (recorded high bias Dolby B on) > 2 Sony Metal-SR cassettes are my masters > Denon DRM-500 precision audio component (playback high bias Dolby B off azimuth custom adjusted) > Soundblaster 16 Live! audiocard (grounded and tweaked) > Wavelab 5.01b (re-recording and remastering) > Trader's Little Helper (FLAC8, torrent creation) > some torrent magic > YOU!

01 show starts
02 intro stuff
03 Planet Of Women
04 Sleeping Bag
05 Tell It Like It Is
06 Waitin' For The Bus
07 Jesus Just Left Chicago
08 Ten Foot Pole
09 Gimme All Your Lovin'
10 Concrete And Steel
11 My Head's In Mississippi
12 Manic Mechanic
13 Heard It On The X
14 2000 Blues
15 Blue Jean Blues
16 Future Blues
17 Just Got Paid
18 Love Thing
19 Got Me Under Pressure
20 transitional stages
21 Sharp Dressed Man
22 Give It Up
23 Legs
24 encore break
25 Tube Snake Boogie
26 Jailhouse Rock
27 La Grange
28 Tush

I'm pretty proud of this one! I'd have to rank it somewhere in my top ten shows that I have personally recorded, both for personal enjoyment and sound quality, but you can be the judge of that yourself. This show was delayed by a day - it was supposed to be on October 1, but something held it up by a day. It was the first show of ZZ Top's tour in support of the yet to be released (at this point) album called "Recycler". I think the band was rehearsing for the tour in Vancouver and wanted an extra day to get it all right. Anyway, I had floor tickets (open floorplan) so I could roam around and find that sweet spot. I stood dead center of the Pacific Coliseum, right at where center ice would be, directly below the overhead scoreboard. This spot put me about 2/3 back from the stage and 1/3 in front of the soundboard. The live sound was almost perfect to my ears' memory. The PA was in stereo, and a couple of songs played up the stereo effect. You can definitely hear the panning guitars on the seldom played "Future Blues" come through in the tape. Being in the crowd, there are some audience moments, but nothing too distacting. Go ahead and turn it on, crank it up, and just pretend you're there.

The rig I taped with didn't capture low bass very well. This means the tape is very bright and kind of brash to listen to "flat". I played the tapes in flat after modifying the springpads under the tape to maximize tape-to-head contact and of course re-aligning the playback heads azimuth. The results were good, but almost painful to listen to. So bright and sharp, with bass that left a little to be desired. The unmodified files will not be made available! I used Wavelab to fix a couple level changes early in the show and correct an overall imbalance. I used a few choice plug-ins to slightly widen the stereo field, EQ to boost bass and fix a few other spikes, a multi-band compressor to minimize harsh screams and to smooth out the high peaks that Dolby encoding recorded to tape, and a peak limiter to stop sounds louder than -.01dB. I tried to master this with levels that would be strong but still leave plenty of headroom. Damn the loudness war in mastering! The results are a fully listenabe and enjoyable recording, properly Re-Mastered, that sounds like my memory of actually standing direcly under my microphone. Who says you need a digital recorder to sound clear? Put some headphones on and you're literally in my headspace that night.

Yes, I also recorded Colin James who opened the show. No, I haven't transferred his part of the night. Not yet. One day I'll get to it. Lots of other things to do first. Sorry.

I remember being blown away by Frank Beard's drumming during the show. For all the stuff about click tracks and drum machines you hear from the critics of that sound, the man can play! Most of the drum sounds were at least being triggered live by him, and most of his kit(s) were real drums, not electronics. There was a Bart Simpson doll mounted in the front of his main kit, and if I remember right, there was some kind of foot pedal hooked up that made Bart dance and shake on command. Billy and Dusty are also in fine form in this show. The band is very happy to be on stage again, and taking their time to still work out the kinks in the staging of the show between songs. I was also thrilled to be seeing them for my third time, but first time with a recording walkman in my pocket!

I dug through the print archives and scanned 3 reviews of the show. I've modified them for easy printability with photoshop and replacement of extraneous advertising. I also scanned the cassette covers with tickets and the actual tape masters with some artifact backgrounds as a basis for some coverart. I was going to release this with full finished artworx, but I'm now leaving that for you, the creative and thankful listener, to finish what I started and make some final coverart all titled up. If you do some "real" covers, please post them for everyone to enjoy, and please email me your results! Thanks.

Do not buy or sell this recording. Please share it freely with friends and family, neighbours and nobodies. Post it on your bootleg blog for direct download. Give it up! Burn CDR copies and reverse shoplift them into the ZZ Top bin of you favorite real record store - just leave a copy there, and see who tries to buy it out of WallyMart! haha! I want this recording to be widely heard for no money down. If you're sharing with another trader, please provide the whole FLAC fileset as is - don't make any re-ripped from audio CDR copies recirculate! Audio discs are only meant to be played in CD players, not as a data storeage facility! Don't waste your time Re-Re-Mastering this again - the only way it'll sound better is a fresh tape transfer at 24/96.

Do not distribute this in eMPty3 format. I discourage the use of these files in this perverted way. If you absolutely positively need to EnCrap these lossless files to eMPty3 for your cruddy little lossy IPood then do what you will, but I advise you to upgrade to some lossless version of media player. Delete the eMPty3's when you're done with them - don't let them fall into the wrong hands! If you think those low resolution eMPty3's sound just fine, you need you're hearing tested, or at least need to listen more attentively! Why look at a pixellated thumbnail version of the Mona Lisa when you can at least take home a hi-resolution print of her? Let's all lobby Crapple to put out IPoods with native FLAC support built in! Until then, just RockBox it, or go home!

The technical mumbo-jumbo from TLH follows. Enjoy!