JS 2001 Year In Review - Part 3

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Posted by Dave on 12/27/01 - 20:37:16
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hopefully, this will be the last part......

After posting part 2, I realized I left out the Grace show in CA. Must be a freudian slip as there are NO TAPES out there of this show. Ya had to be there, I guess. I wasn't but sure wish someone stealth-taped this one.

The "Winter" tour in November proved to be the best of the year. Many would say the State Theater show was the best overall show of the tour. I wasn't there, but the tapes don't lie. It was the best set of the full band of that tour.

The tour began in PA w/o Marty Balin due to Marty having airport trouble. Still, they did the two specials of the tour: Alexander the Medium and Epic #38. Paul even sang Funny Cars which must have sounded funny w/o Marty. By the next show at the Bottom Line, Marty made it and the gigs were pretty good. The late show was spectacular. So was IMAC late show and Turning Point late show. (notice a trend for good spacy late shows?)

Asbury Park had a small turnout, but it was great show. Singing onstage with the band was a memory to tell my grandkids. At least I have the tape and picture of this for proof.

Epic #38 has so many turns that Paul changes guitar in the middle. It was request to Paul from Michael, their manager. Good request. There are some words in this song that says it all:

"And if you think we've come nowhere at all, think about where we were just ten years ago".

If you can remember where this band was 10 years ago (Wooden Ships/PJ/Darby/Jack/Tim), this band has come a long way. It took awhile to evolve but its better now than ever. JS has about 86 songs on their setlist repertoire and can do any of them at any time. They can improvise and jam making every show special (different). The final set of the year at the Turning Point was crazy: Mts Song, Caroline, Count, DCBA-25, JPP, Let's Get Together, Martha, City Lights, Hearts, Your Mind, Wolves, Young Girl Sunday Blues, When the Earth Moves Again, There Will Be Love, Pooneil -> Computers to Dream -> Poo, Volunteers. E: Miracles, All Fly Away and It's No Secret.  This was a set list to die for. It was an honor to witness it. And tape it.

OK - Song of the year - This is a tough one. Too many beauties to pick just one. It had to be a song many people got to see more than once. So, I vote for a tie between Epic #38 & When I Was A Boy, I Watched The Wolves. With a close third place for Young Girl Sunday Blues.

Show of the year - Can't decide. Too many great ones this year. Ya gotta listen to the tapes again and again to know the definitive answer because there were some flubbs here and there. I refuse to choose but the Turning Point shows (all 6 sets) were the most obscure and I love obscure.

Most improved - Slick Aguilar. No question. He really rocks and his interpretations of Embryonic was amazing. Is there any doubt he's the one of the best?  His leads this year (Ex: Hyperdrive) got ovations from the crowds.

Unsung hero - Chris Smith. Playing the Winter tour with a broken hand showed his courage and his high tolerance of pain. What a guy.

Funniest Marty moment - at the Turning Point. When he came out for the early show, and saw how small the stage was he decided to sit on Brian Lehrhoff's lap across from me and announced that this was where he was going to sing from.

The last words to the crowd at the last set of the year came from Marty Balin: "Thanks for coming. We'll see ya next year. We're going to have all kinds of new material for ya, don't worry."

This was most reassuring to me. New material in 2002 is what the doctor ordered.

Thank you Paul Kantner for leading us through the dark days after 9/11 with your mind-altering music. Please keep healthy, we want many more years of shows. Thank you Michael Gaiman for managing this band of gypsies. Special thanks to Slick, Diana, Prairie, Chris, Marty and Tom. And we must all thank Mike Eisenstein.

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