Monday, September 14, 2009

Sweet and Sour

OK. The Matthew Sweet/Susanna Hoffs show at the City Winery didn't turn out quite how I'd planned. Our "VIP" seats wound up being in the boondocks. (Are the ticket people drunk or something? Oh, wait ...) My photos all turned out like crap (I stole these off Flickr, what else could I do?). And after waiting till the place had cleared out after the show, I didn't get to meet my girl. (A kind roadie got my CD signed, but who wants THAT?) To be honest, the second they took to the stage and Sweet encouraged people to leave their cell phones on (incoming calls "are just fine"), ask questions and chat among ourselves, I had a feeling it wasn't going to be my night. Then when he explained how Susie's signature guitar had been left in the trunk of a cab ("Turn on your cell phones so we can check eBay while we play,” he joked), that his had broken (the repair guy then destroyed it) and they opened with my least-favorite song of their new '70s covers album (that Yes song with the really long title), my fate was sealed. Sweet's never-ending banter wasn't helping things, either. I wasn't really interested in what he was babbling about (something about homemade pottery), but unless you were sitting in the front three rows, you COULDN'T hear anyway, so most of us felt left out and wishing he'd just stick to the matter at hand -- playing music, like that GREAT stuff on the two albums they've recorded together. I probably wouldn't have minded if Susanna had talked all night , but she's always been the shy Bangle (leaving the talking to Vicki), which is why I think this arrangement suits her so well.

Don't get me wrong, we had a nice time. Sure, they both messed up lyrics, stopped and started songs and readily admitted to learning as they were going along (this was only the second stop on the tour and clearly there wasn't a lot of rehearsal time leading up to it). But spending so much time worshiping people like Bananarama and Madonna sometimes I forget what it's like to hear people who can actually perform live. Sweet's kind of annoying, but he's obviously talented. And Susanna is not only aging backwards (damn she looks good, and she's 50!!!), her voice just get stronger with age (I got goosebumps every time she sang lead). So about halfway through the set I let go and decided if they were treating the night as a practice show, so would I. They announced that they were coming back for two shows in November, so I promptly grabbed two front-row seats figuring A) By then they should have the wrinkles ironed out in the show; B) I'll be able to get my own photos; and C) my inner Lucy and Ethel will have concocted a plan to meet Susanna. (And PLEASE learn "Bell Bottom Blues" by then, Sue!!!)

Set list:
"I've Seen All Good People: Your Move/All Good People" (Yes)
"Willin'" (Little Feat channeled by Linda Ronstadt)
"Second Hand News" (Fleetwood Mac)
"You're So Vain" (Carly Simon)
"What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding" (Nick Lowe/Elvis Costello)
"Cinnamon Girl" (Neil Young and Crazy Horse)
"Different Drum" (Stone Poneys/Linda Ronstadt)
"Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" (Neil Young)
"She May Call You Up Tonight" (The Left Bank)
"Hello, It's Me" (Todd Rundgren)
"Couldn't I Just Tell You" (Todd Rundgren)
"All the Young Dudes" (Mott the Hoopla)
"And Your Bird Can Sing" (Beatles)
"Baby Blue" (Badfinger)
"It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" (Bob Dylan)
"Maggie May" (Rod Stewart)
"Back of a Car" (Big Star)
I think some song from "Return to the Valley of the Dolls" sung by Matthew
"To Sir With Love" (Lulu)
"In Your Room" (Bangles)
"Manic Monday" (Bangles)
"Byrdgirl" (Matthew Sweet)
"I've Been Waiting" (Matthew Sweet)

1 comment:

WJR said...

That Susanna Hoffs is still looking as hot as ever.