Fan Review: 2006-06-28 Saint Paul: Stocksmith

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Chris - They didn't stray too much from the printed setlist though, two notable changes were "Tears Before Bedtime" and "(I Don't Want to go to) Chelsea" which Elvis said they had just learned that day.

Another fan - Afterwards I asked Elvis is there was the chance of a live album with Allen. He didn't think so, but mentioned that one of the upcoming shows would be filmed for TV. When I responded that I though this show really merited a record (I think I said something about ROCK OF AGES, another live album embellished by Allen Toussaint horn arrangements), he smiled and said that he knew what I meant.

Stocksmith - http://flickr.com/photos/47662279@N00/sets/72157594181094376/

They opened with "Peace, Love and Understanding" and "Monkey to a Man". Elvis seemed a little out of sorts and his vocal delivery on the first four or five songs seemed to drag behind the band a bit. That all changed when they got to a brand new version of "I Don't Want To Go To Chelsea". The crowd went nuts and EC repsonded "that's what we said when we heard it." He mentioned that they worked out that arrangement that afternoon and they whole band seemed pretty giddy about it. After that it was smooth sailing. The audience response to the "River In Reverse" was more restrained than their response to his classics. Having been listening to the new collaboration with Toussaint for a few weeks now, I found all the tunes held up well against the classics. "Monkey To A Man" was a pleasant suprise, compared to the iTunes only, in-studio live performance version I carry on my iPod (which has no backing vocals).

The Crescent City Horns were really something special. EC told how he gave AT nine of his songs and asked him if he could write horn parts for a few that he thought would seem appropriate. He wrote parts for all nine and they were pretty amazing. There were a couple of moments where there was a new melody where a guitar riff used to be, but it was an easy adjustment.

Before "The River In Reverse", EC & AT's diatribe about Katrina, Elvis cracked that the band has no special effects of fire works, just one prop. A Presidential Action Figure, a 12" doll of George W. Bush sitting next to his amps. "It's actual size" he cracked.

Other highlights included the new arrangment of "Allison" leading into "Tracks of My Tears", Professor Longhair piano on the new song "Ascension Day", "High Fidelity", "That's How You Got Killed Before" from the recent "My Flame Burns Blue" album, down and dirty horns on "Bedlam" and one of my all-time favorites, "Clown Strike".