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Re: Adrian Belew and Jerry Harrison in Seattle

Adrian Belew and Jerry Harrison in Seattle
May 19, 2023 11:59AM
This is at least the fourth concert I've attended where the opening act turned out to be the backing band for the headliner. Something tells me that, with the cost of concert tours becoming more and more prohibitive, this is going to be a growing trend.

In this case, the opening act was a nine-piece band called Cool Cool Cool. I'd never heard of them before, but the gig posters on their web site suggest they're from the New Orleans area, or at least the South. They laid down a thoroughly enjoyable funk/R&B sound, with a three-piece horn section for just the right punch. They sounded good, but since the tour was promoted as the "Remain in Light" tour, a few of the people around me had perhaps expected something, shall we say, more experimental to open the show. (This is not to say I heard any criticism of the band.)

When the nine musicians came back onstage, along with Belew and Harrison, it quickly became clear: this band had the flexibility and the cohesiveness to lay down the music from that era of Talking Heads. (They also acquitted themselves quite well on the King Crimson selection, and on the song from Harrison's Casual Gods album.) I even heard the person next to me exclaim, "Now it starts making sense!" I kept glancing over to him, but didn't see any suggestion that he'd made that play on words deliberately. (Read: He didn't nudge his neighbors or laugh at his own cleverness ... you know, the way I would have, if I'd thought of it first.)

Jerry Harrison's skills on guitar and keyboards are intact; he never overplays, and always puts the song first. His face shows his age, though, and the years seem to have affected his singing ability. By contrast, Adrian Belew seems almost to have reversed the aging process. He had as much bounce and enthusiasm as ever, and his vocal range hasn't ceded anything to age. (The baritone sax player handled Byrne's vocal lines on a few of the songs too.) Belew's guitar playing, of course, aces as much as ever.

And the song selection, as you see, was over the top. They hewed mostly to the Stop Making Sense arrangements for the songs that had come out before or after Remain in Light. And this is the first time I've heard any band (including Talking Heads themselves!) truly do justice to "Born Under Punches." The bassist held down the steady bass line, and one of the guys on keyboards laid down the counterpoint, replicating the thumb-hammer bass on the studio version.

This show had been scheduled for the Neptune Theater -- one of my favorite venues in Seattle -- but ticket demand led the promoters to move it to the Moore Theater, a venue with twice the capacity and half the sound quality. But we were able to get seats close to the front of the balcony, so the sound was pretty good.

Psycho Killer
Cross-Eyed and Painless
Houses in Motion
I Zimbra
Born Under Punches
Rev It Up
Slippery People
Thela Hun Ginjeet
Life During Wartime
Once in a Lifetime
Take Me to the River

The Great Curve
Re: Adrian Belew and Jerry Harrison in Seattle
May 19, 2023 12:52PM
Sounds like a great show!

A few months ago, when I saw this tour was coming to Tampa, I was pretty stoked...until I saw the prices. Over $200 for the cheapest seats. I'm seeing The Cure (floor seats) for under $100 each. Easy decision to pass on Belew and Harrison, as awesome as I'm sure the show will be.
Re: Adrian Belew and Jerry Harrison in Seattle
May 19, 2023 01:20PM
Holy mackerel, really? That astonishes me. Our tickets were only ~ $55 each, even with Ticketmaster fees.
Re: Adrian Belew and Jerry Harrison in Seattle
May 20, 2023 02:23PM
$49.20 for Asheville. Only the VIP here was $200. You sure about that? [checks] HOLY CRUD! TicketMobster™ has all seats $200-400 at the Hard Rock Event Center! Fortunately, our venue [Rabbit Rabbit] sold through eTix. I paid $61 after fees and taxes.

Former TP subscriber [81, 82, 83, 84]

For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®
Re: Adrian Belew and Jerry Harrison in Seattle
May 20, 2023 08:29PM
Must be the venue. Stinks for Tampa!
Re: Adrian Belew and Jerry Harrison in Seattle
May 21, 2023 07:16AM
This reminds me of the last time Bryne was in town. I've been pretty down on his career post TVLKING HEVDS as being nothing of interest. When I saw him coming to the Thomas Wolfe I briefly entertained attending just for the hell of it…I'd never seen Byrne, until I saw the ticket prices. They started at $139 and went up from there! I pulled a Simon LeBon knee-jerk reaction

And quickly moved off in a huff. It was only months later that I actually heard about the nature of the "American Utopia" shows! Mea Culpa! And now a stinging regret.

Former TP subscriber [81, 82, 83, 84]

For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/21/2023 08:22AM by Post-Punk Monk.
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