02/17/02 - 14:40:53
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JS - Paramount Theater, Middletown NY 2/16/02|
Setlist: We Can Be Together, Wooden Ships, St. Charles, Funny Cars, Count On Me, Good Shepherd, Eskimo Blue Day, Pooneil, I'm A Dreamer, Miracles, Young Girl Sunday Blues, Blues From An Airplane, Shadowlands, Hyperdrive, The Light, Volunteers. Encs: Coming Back To Me, Saucers, Somebody To Love. A perfect 2 hours.
Arriving at the show was a great sight. The marque read "Jefferson Starship - Sold Out". WOW! A large theater sell-out is fantastic. Middletown is a small upstate NY-type town with mostly small or vacant stores with a Main Street and a large Church. We all met in the parking lot across from the theater and walked to the resturant for dinner and drinks. Turns out most of the crowd had the same idea and the place was crowded.
As we get inside the theater, sure enough there was over 1000 people in the theater orchestra & balcony. The band was late coming from Texas as their plane was delayed due to a wet carpet. The opening act of the Brats was dreadful but JS needed the time anyway to recover from the trip.
The JS started around 9:15PM with an accapella version of We Can Be Together into the rest of the song. Paul dedicated the song to Enron. Right then, I knew it was going to be a different show. Electric JS with Paul on the Rick and Tom on bass allows the band to do other songs and jam more. Plus, Prairie can play louder and Chris can rock out on his keys with this configuration. When Marty started singing it was obvious he had a cold. This impacted the setlist. Oh well, at least he made it here.
St. Charles at song #3 was great because by then the band was warmed up and rocking. About 45 mins into the show, they played the opening chords of Pooneil and I was shocked. Kind of early to be spacing. But it worked well for the true fans in the audience. There were some older folks who were expecting either the other Starship (Jane) or mellow music. Some people left the theater after holding their ears during Poo. Bad decision on their part.
Not sure (gotta listen to the tape), but I think is when the power went out on the left side (Paul & Chris). While the staff repaired the outage, Paul told the Mr. Bizarro story. I knew he'd sneak that into the show sometime. :)
During Miracles, Marty announced he had a cold and asked us to sing it with him. He had trouble with the high notes on that song. And when he usually does his "Hearts" and Paul goes to relax, it didn't occur. Paul stayed on the stage and played all night. Bravo!! YGSB was really rocking and Marty sang his best of the night. Blues From an Airplane included some loud booms from Tom Lilly. Shadowlands was very, very unexpected by everyone. I love it when they stretch and play surprises.
Diana's Hyperdrive was spactular as was the ever-popular and political The Light. Finally, during Volunteers some of the crowd stood up and rushed the stage to dance to the anthem. For the encores, Marty braved his cold and nailed Coming Back to Me. Paul & crew stretched out the Saucers with a jam at the end which included a bass solo back into Saucers. Followed by the obligatory Somebody to Love in honor of the 35th anniversary of SP.
Sound in the theater was a little distorted in the beginning but cleared up after a few songs. Overall, the show was excellent for being show #2 of the new year. Lots of surprises in the setlist, Paul was vibrant and Slick took the band thru long jams. Went backstage afterwards to thank them for a real good time. They left this morning for home. This is going to be an interesting year. Looking forward to the Spring tour.
Got home by 2:30. Briefly listened to the tape and passed out on the couch with JS music on my mind. It sure was fun going out for dinner & drinks with many A-deckers prior to the show. We gotta keep meeting like this. See ya in April......Dave
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