I’ve been compiling a giant playlist of live tracks lately. Here are some Gentlebear favorites:
Smokey gets you excited for this one by declaring “This is the last show and this the last song so we might as well have some fun!” This one gets me nuts. He takes the spoken intro to the song (you know, about his mama calling him to her side and telling him to be a discerning boy about the girls he goes with) and gets the audience totally freaked out just waiting for him to break into verse. And when he does, whoa- palpable, man. Totally palps.
From the ’79 tour. This is one of my favorite Leonard Cohen songs. The oud solo intro from John Bilezikjian is incredible. Another build-up song. When he breaks into the the first verse, the audience explodes.
The Ventures bringing it like they always do, only live in Japan.
I caught on to Thin Lizzy being a great band kind of late, and “Cowboy Song” kind of stung me. I thought, what a ridiculous song, for Brit Phil Lynott to be singing about being home on the range with coyotes and shit. But hey, this is essentially just a song about missing your girl, as witnessed in the line “Lord, I’m just thinking about some female!”
Nina singing Hall & Oates- what can go wrong? I love her pop music choices in the 1970s. You hear such enjoyment in her voice when she sings “High and dry/ out of the rain/ it’s so easy to hurt others/ when you can’t feel pain.” And then she sort of chuckles, pauses and mischievously says, “Ain’t it?” It’s the same creepy laugh she used in “Pirate Jenny” a decade before.
Here’s Nina at the Montreaux Jazz Fest in 1976 singing “I Wonder How It Feels To Be Free.” This clip has exceptional video quality for YouTube and is well-worth checking out.