December 19, 2011

Concert Souvenirs?

It's always nice when my favorite band releases an official live album to accompany a tour I attended. And every once in awhile an actual performance I saw is recorded and released. These days it's easier than ever for a band to make every recording available. Three concerts I went to were recorded and released on official live albums:

"Eleanor Rigby" live at the Worcester Centrum February 9, 1990 
Paul McCartney: Tripping The Live Fantastic

Unlike the contemporary trend towards releasing an entire concert from one night, McCartney recorded many dates of his 1990 tour. The resulting two-disc live album appears to select the best recording of each performance from the rigid set list. The result? The 37-track album was recorded in nineteen different cities. For example, eight tracks are from an eleven-night series at Wembley Arena, but they're from five different nights, and no two songs from the same night are presented together. I has a great time at the show (I had just turned 18, and had been a rabid Beatles fan for exactly 30 months) even if the Rolling Stone concert review spoiled all the surprises in the set-in-stone set list.
In the spring of 1990, six months before Tripping was released, while in New York City on a school trip, I visited a Greenwich Village record store and bought a three-LP bootleg recorded in Los Angeles the previous autumn. The bootleg was pressed on white vinyl with red, white, and blue spin-art designs in the vinyl.

Pearl Jam live at the Orpheum Theater Boston, April 12, 1994
The best rock concert I ever attended was the penultimate date of the Versus tour. Thanks to my friend Meg (Goldstein) Chapman, who sold me her tickets! The show was amazing. Mudhoney was the opening act, then there was a long interval (at least 45-60 mins) before Pearl Jam came on. I remember loving "Go" and "Animal" and the new song "Not for You". In 2011, Pearl Jam released a three-CD Deluxe Edition of Versus including a full CD of the Orpheum show. Due to size constraints, the disc leaves out a third of the set list:

  • Oceans
  • Even Flow
  • Sonic Reducer (Dead Boys cover)
  • Immortality
  • Glorified G
  • Daughter
  • Not For You
  • Rats
  • Blood
  • Release
  • Tremor Christ
  • Once
  • Fuckin' Up (Neil Young cover)
  • Dirty Frank
  • Rearviewmirror
  • Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town
  • State Of Love And Trust
  • Hard to Imagine
  • Go
  • Animal
  • Alone
  • Better Man
  • Yellow Ledbetter
  • I've Got a Feeling (The Beatles cover).
Ben Folds Live at Avalon June 8, 2002
June 8, 2002, three months before we would meet for the first time, my future wife and I would both attend this Ben Folds solo show at the Avalon nightclub in Boston. It was a lot of fun, even if I am not a fan of the Reinhold Messner album.  The live album recorded during that tour features a photo taken at our show (I am not pictured) At least one song from the CD or limited edition bonus DVD was recorded on the night we attended.