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Shelter

2017 Tour Trail - memories, pics, songs played

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On April 21, 2017 at 3:00 PM, Shelter said:

Video montage backdrop? Really?! Oh, crap. Another one of those "you have to do it this way these days"? No, you don't. (And you shouldn't. Scatterbrain broken attention span junkies are already a majority of the audience and don't need more fuel on their fire of shallow. In short, I don't think it worthy or necessary.

 I completely agree. It's distracting. Dollar bills fluttering around during Forgotten Man. Awful. Just leave the backdrop plain, keep the lighting simple and focus on the songs!

On April 22, 2017 at 8:43 AM, Shelter said:

Is it just me, or is the sound, after all, a tad less "heavy/gritty" than it was on the 2014 tour? A "best so far" live sound to my taste. Personally I love those slightly dirty guitars, the bass heavy arrangments, some pulsating Ben magic and less of the "thin or static, evenly spread, beat". Such lovable grit could and should work well with the sweet sprincles that is the back-up harmonies here

While the sound quality from people's phones is phenomenal, I'm not sure if the guitars are less gritty or not. I'm in your camp on this one, more grit! More heaviness! The heavier the guitars, the sweeter the back-up singers.

On the first night, it looked like they were almost going to keep playing You Got Lucky but then they stop. That part where Mike solos, sounded so good, why not stretch the outro out a good three minutes...see where it goes? I bet it would sound good.

I think the Webb Sisters are doing a good job!

cheers

 

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5 minutes ago, livin´thing68 said:

I would also like to be there, but unfortunately he does not come to Germany.

 I wish he was, for you and the other fans who haven't seen him in so long, especially since this will most likely be it for the big tours. Thanks for sharing the vids, I'm going to start checking these out from night #2. But next time post 'em here, thanks:

 

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3 hours ago, dollardime said:

19 songs played which is two less than opening night in Oklahoma. American Dream Plan B and Something Good Coming were the two that weren't played. Same set list and running order apart from that.

 Disappointing. At least swap in two different songs. 

 

3 hours ago, dollardime said:

The scripted between song banter about calling the baby sitter and the difference between a 6 string and a 12 string guitar was again rolled out...

I really dislike stuff like this. It's especially grating when people will go online and see for themselves how stagnant this is.

3 hours ago, dollardime said:

Tom threw a harmonica into the crowd after Walls and a top hat into the crowd after DCAHNM.

Neat!

3 hours ago, dollardime said:

When Mike gave the customary raised right hand in the air to signal to the band the post solo, start ending section of RDAD while beside Tom at the front edge of the stage Tom didn't see him and played on...the rest of the band quickly picked up on that and went along with it as good musicians do...resulting in a few more bars being played before the outro section....hey this is wild spontaneous off the cuff live stuff by TPATHB standards and was all the better for it☺We need to see more of this off the cuff type stuff...I for one got a kick out of it anyway!

I LOVE stuff like this. I will have to check it out. 

 

3 hours ago, dollardime said:

Tom is surprising Steve a bit in a few songs with the crescendo flourishes at the end of a couple of songs like MJLD IGTBKING and American Girl...Steve is having to pound the skins and rattle the brass a bit longer in those outro break flourishes than he had had to do in about 20 years...all great stuff...a small change but a good one! I think Steve is happily surprised by that!

 More of this too! Steve's drumming is wonderfully heavy and precise, let him go wild more often. More fills. I keep saying I'd enjoy a bass and drum section in the right song, the band keeps the groove going and Ron and Steve get to show off for a while. Different and fun! 

3 hours ago, dollardime said:

maybe bring them out for the acoustic guitar led section only...or have them more in the background behind Scott rather than at the side of the stage.

Generally, I'm not one for back-up singers but I like what they've done on the clips I've seen. But I don't think they need to sing on every song, beyond that I don't really care where they stand on stage. Maybe they could emerge back and forth from back to front as needed.   Their voices sound really good. As someone else said, maybe they'll perform Waiting for Tonight with them. Especially since they just played it for the first time ever not too long ago. I think the song did get some radio play so the crowd will respond. It's such a great TPATH song.

Thanks for your take, I enjoy reading these in-depth views of the concerts.

cheers

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24 minutes ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

The best thing is what was not played: NO COVERS! Is this the first Tom Petty show without any covers at all? It might be. How refreshing. Now they just need to mix in true deep cuts.

MJ, you are correct; I hadn't noticed that until you commented. I have grown to love the covers, but it's nice to see they are (so far) taking a break from them.

NOOOO, do not drop Rockin Around With You!

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11 hours ago, Shelter said:

This song - in contrast to the senile old banter of scripted courtesy there - is really great!! Love this arrangement.

 I like the backup singing on this but it doesn't do much else for me. And what's he talking about they never play it? Maybe they haven't in a good long while but it's gotten played quite a bit more than...oh...let's say...Finding Out. Why do the same "humor"? Terrible.

I guess we'll see what if anything is changed in today's concert.

cheers

 

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Some thoughts after watching some of the YouTube footage from show 3 in Arkansaw. 

There is no doubt in my mind that Tom is having to manage his singing voice on this tour. From the first footage of the first night I saw it was clear to me that Tom is holding back a bit in the power of vocal delivery in every song in an effort to save his voice. As a singer myself, that is clear. This is a change from previous tours with the Heartbreakers. The vocal change was noticible during Mucrutch tour last year. I would say he is is at about 60 percent of his previous vocal capacity power. With age he has less vocal power in his delivery than before and he is actively managing the reduction in vocal capacity.  He has to do this to survive a multi date tour. It's not a criticism it's just a fact of life for a singer when they age...to most it won't really be noticed on the quieter acoustic based songs, that's why the two back up singers have been brought in to help with that and it is working more or less with the acoustic based songs although it can be a bit patchy in places...Wildflowers is an example where the back up vocals work very well, the harmonies on that song live quite beautiful actually.

 Tom was really straining from a vocal perspective on the high notes for Refugee in particular and to a lesser extent on American Girl in Arkansaw. Yes it's the end of the show and his voice would be tired but that would concern me going forward. Maybe that's part of the reason for the shows going from 21 songs first night to 19 second night and 18 on night 3. 

The other issue I see is that Scotts vocal harmonies are not meshing well with the harmonies of the Webb sisters.  They are not singing the same harmony line. Scott is singing a higher harmony line than the two girls and vocally they are clashing and it doesn't blend too well when the three of them are harmonising simultaneously. Some of the harmonising from the two ladies on the harder rockier songs just doesn't work and I feel that on these numbers Scott is a bit inhibited in his vocal delivery because of the two girls harmonies clashing with his. 

I realise a lot of people out there and especially at the concert probably wouldn't notice or care about these vocal subtilties and that's fine! Rock on and enjoy the show! ☺

For me though at least it is an issue and I'm sure that Tom is putting his best foot forward in trying to make things vocally as best they can be and that's all he can do. 

I am concerned about Tom vocals though over the course of a long tour like this...as well as the backing singers inclusion there is also a quieter sound mix on this tour than certainly in 2014 when it was a really heavy crunchy drum  and bass led wall of sonic fullness. To answer a previous observation in this thread i would say that on this tour the sound mix is definitely quieter. .I assume to help Tom in not having to have his voice at top throttle volume to compete with that sound as his singing vocals capacity has changed since then.

Vocal considerations I would suggest are the reason for the longer acoustic mid section this tour which is dissapointing for those who like me want more of a full throttle electric rock show from Tom and the boys. It is what it is though.....Toms singing voice capacity has changed in the last 2 years in particular and that has a knock on effect on the live  show dynamics that TPATHB can now deliver.

What I can not understand though is why Tom didn't hire backing singers with a higher vocal range than the Webb sisters. The backing singers need to be able to sing higher than Scott...you could love or hate the Pack Up The Plantation backing singers but The Rebelettes sure could sing and soar up the vocal scales with their voices...that's what's needed...the Webb sisters don't have the high vocal range needed in my view...they were great for Leonard Cohen's gravelly voice counterpoint but they just don't cut it for The Heartbreakers repertoire.  

 

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13 hours ago, dollardime said:

Some thoughts after watching some of the YouTube footage from show 3 in Arkansaw. 

That's pure gold right there, in terms of posting insight and content. Not very uplifting stuff, perhaps, but all the more important and interesting observations for anyone with interest in this band. I think there is lot to be said for your analysis, implications as may have for the not distant future of this band. Sad in a way, but only natural. And, may I be so bold, perhaps the best of news.....

See, if this ideed is the last big multi date tour like this that we are gonna see, I am personally not gonna miss it one bit. If anything, I'm stoked about the possibilities, that rock may be saved by the guys who should be able to do it, that there might finally be a stop to this sad, stagnant traveling repetition hits display in sight, and that there might be room and energy for TP & guys to spend more of their time in the studio, on small intimate stages, doing more in-depth, varied and culturally valuable stuff, small scale. In short - if they have to stop being loud, tired, repetitive by design and corporate market minded, I think it's all for the better. For everyone. Of course I would rather think it more flattering for them, had such development been due to TP integrity, creative force and own decision, rather than forced upon them by age and declining physical ability. But still.. I think, given that they get to keep their health, in a more general sense, that the future is truly wide open. Long live the revenge of the heart and soul of music, I'd say.   

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... and I guess the "talkies" TP does between songs, does not help these matters either. Those show an utter lack of inspiration, not to say lazyness or even contempt for the audience - at least for the real fans, seeing multiple shows over the tour (or over the last decade even) or following the doings of the band from a distance with great interest. It sends the signal that while I pretend to be the ultimate cool guy, I'm really tired, I really don't give a damn. I find that aspect of lip service, to be almost more offensive and sad - more over totally unecessary - than the lack of variation and curiosity towards the setlist. I know it's well meant to say that "as many songs that we can, from all the years" will be played, but what does it tells the audience when half the set then, ends up being from two albums! Cool is unfortunately not the word for this approach.

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7 hours ago, Shelter said:

"as many songs that we can, from all the years" will be played, but what does it tells the audience when half the set then, ends up being from two albums! Cool is unfortunately not the word for this approac

  Even though I doubted this tour would be different there was still a part of me that thought he'd follow through in some way. Instead two songs have been dropped, and the deep cuts left unplayed. Odder still, some of the major hits have been thus far ignored. I've not been excited by a TPATH tour in over a decade, so I'm more interested in what they'll do at a residency, the possible Wildflowers tour and in the studio, though for my taste, I doubt they'll surpass Hypnotic Eye. Oh well.

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Lots of good stuff there dollardime, thanks for your insights! I agree that the band —Tom especially — is acknowledging its own limitations. Safe setlist without any challenging songs. Safety net back-up singers. More quiet songs. Short show. Teleprompter. While on the one hand it's not quite as exciting for us to follow, on the other I can't blame Tom — there's no way he knew 40 years ago he'd be playing to enormous crowds on long tours in his mid 60s!!

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2 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

  Even though I doubted this tour would be different there was still a part of me that thought he'd follow through in some way. Instead two songs have been dropped, and the deep cuts left unplayed. Odder still, some of the major hits have been thus far ignored. I've not been excited by a TPATH tour in over a decade, so I'm more interested in what they'll do at a residency, the possible Wildflowers tour and in the studio, though for my taste, I doubt they'll surpass Hypnotic Eye. Oh well.

The most excited I've been about Heartbreakers tours was summer 2001 and fall 2002. Add to that the fact that those tours were bookended by the '99 Echo tour and the '03 Vic run (two of my favorites), and you have what is without a doubt the golden age of live Heartbreakers for me. No tour since then has created the same level of excitement, even though I've enjoyed several shows. Residencies and studio albums definitely take precedence at this point for my personal consumption! But there's no denying the large scale joy a big tour brings to so many fans.

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On April 24, 2017 at 2:15 PM, dollardime said:

Tom was really straining from a vocal perspective on the high notes for Refugee in particular and to a lesser extent on American Girl in Arkansaw. Yes it's the end of the show and his voice would be tired but that would concern me going forward. Maybe that's part of the reason for the shows going from 21 songs first night to 19 second night and 18 on night 3. 

 I give Tom credit for being out there performing even if his vocal ability has diminished. From a musical perspective they sound as full of energy and "on" as they have in the past. Perhaps though, the 40th anniversary was a mistake and they should've gone with a 40th anniversary residency somewhere large enough to accomodate most fans, offering up a mix of hits and deep cuts. More variety for fans and the band and much less strain on Tom's voice. Instead of a victory lap tour, a victory party.

cheers

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23 hours ago, High Grass Dog said:

The most excited I've been about Heartbreakers tours was summer 2001 and fall 2002. Add to that the fact that those tours were bookended by the '99 Echo tour and the '03 Vic run (two of my favorites), and you have what is without a doubt the golden age of live Heartbreakers for me.

 After reading this I considered if I have something similar but no, for me, it's more about stand out shows from each tour that I've seen and the very good concerts i didn't attend but everyone knows of (like last night at the Fillmore).

I prefer their heavier guitar sounds and drums that seemed to really emerge on the Wildflowers tour. Musically they've been at the same high level for years, I'm sure some of that is not just because of their talent and chemistry but from playing roughly the same songs over and over. They always sound on. I can't think of a tour where they sound off or their playing isn't energized; it's just down to song selection and where and how they expanded on some tunes. 

23 hours ago, High Grass Dog said:

Residencies and studio albums definitely take precedence at this point for my personal consumption! 

 Yes, these are the two areas that most interest me for TPATH. Perhaps they'll add more and interesting songs to the set as this tour goes on. And I hope those who love Wildflowers are able to be there when they play that album live.

23 hours ago, High Grass Dog said:

But there's no denying the large scale joy a big tour brings to so many fans.

 Yes, I think TPATH have that solid party reputation, people know they're going to hear their favorite hit songs, have a couple cold beers and leave with the joyful chords of American Girl in their ears. 

cheers

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It's why I'm glad I got off the live TPATH train when I did. It's one thing to criticize a set from afar, quite another to expend the time and energy to go see them and be disappointed. As it is, for the most part, my live memories of the band are good ones. With the generosity of fans who have shared soundboard recordings, I'm pretty content live TPATH-wise. I just can't help thinking it's a shame they embraced the unchanging setlist for tour after tour instead of the more adventurous and surely more fulfilling route of a different concert every night.

Well, enough of this. I hope others who are seeing them live or just checking out sets as we are, post their thoughts.

cheers

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