Breakdown---First of all, good sound quality. No no, first of all, thanks to Mikemono for livepetty.com where I downloaded this show again. A live TPATH's ideal site. I like the rollicking thick sound of the drums, and I think I understand why so many people miss Stan as a drummer. Recently I've appreciated behind-the-beat drumming more, whereas before I loved precision with wild fills. Well, I like both. Anyway, whomever recorded this show, did a good job since his drums to my ears, are very potent. Mike (or Tom) has some nice jagged playing in the intro. What I most like is the song goes on a bit without Tom going into his "rap". It's a nice opener with some nice playing by Stan. I don't think Phil Jones was with them on this tour, correct?
I think a lot of their songs would've benefited by a couple minutes here and there added on, like the way they do with this version of Breakdown. It's good groove, power and eases the audience into the show.
Think About Me----Well, this feels like a whole other band at this point, not in performance but in style of the show. Second song and it's a new one! Nice. It's a very bouncy song, nice organ playing too.
More on this as it goes.
American Girl---ha ha ha, third song in.Very bouncy. I guess over the years, aside from Tom's acoustic takes in the early 90s they performed this one the same from tour to tour. Not much to add other than it's interesting seeing it so early in the show, it hadn't quite attained that anthemic status it would over the next couple decades.
My Life/Your World---Another new one and perhaps one of the top three from that album. I really enjoy the groove on this one, it's such a weird song for them. I wonder what it was like for the crowd, did they wonder what the heck is this following American Girl or did they just groove along on alcohol or weed or nothing at all? I'm grooving along to it with my black coffee (non Maxwell House). Some nice but all too short soloing in the outro.
Here Comes My Girl---This just sounds good. Could this be Tom's most romantic song? Well, one of them. A lot of truth in it. And the music just glides along, a very smooth ride, a ballad with motion. The outro playing sounds a bit extended, just a bit. Of course I'd have enjoyed a good three minutes of that jangly outro. Builds to a nice end.
Listen To Her Heart----Some nice fills from Stan. The thing is, either accept TPATH as the band they were in concert or why bother listening to them? This is one of the best TPATH songs in my opinion, yet it was pretty much business as usual live, so...after hearing it so many times, it's y'know, a good song. But it's why the Let Me Up songs sound so vibrant in comparison. High energy ending to this one.
For What It's Worth---I appreciate the sentiments during the intro. But it just goes on too long. I do like the song when they get to it. And a different cover for them I don't know if they ever returned to it after this tour. Not much to say about it. The playing is good, nice lead moments from Mike. But overall this doesn't do much for me. I guess as something different it is all right. The outro is good, nice and heavy for them.
The Waiting---Another really great TPATH song. I like both versions, when they dive right into the song or when they do this type of intro. I really enjoy Tom's strumming, nice clapping from the crowd. Again a lotta truth in the lyrics. I like the false ending, it nearly sounds like Tom is ending the song there before continuing on. I think my favorite version of this though is from the 89 or 90 bootleg N. Carolina I think. But this is good. Maybe held back a bit, the drums sound a bit plodding here for some reason.
DCAHNM----I like the syncopated drumming at the start and some of Mike's playing. Sounds like the beginnings of the intro for this song that would continue on through the 95 tour where I think they went back to drum intro then extended again in 99 for the Echo tour. I don't know what to say about it. Probably just heard it too much over time. It's still a good song and a unique number for sure.
But at this point, they don't stretch the outro enough. Probably among other reasons, why my favorite version of this is from the ITGWO tour, since the guys in masks chasing Tom had the band keep playing longer.
I guess this is the issue with writing something like this, it's a fool's task, as how many times can one say the same thing about the songs that are played so frequently and with such little variation. I guess this is why I listen to so much of the Steve years since they incorporated more of the longer jam songs in their repertoire. Maybe this is too why so many reviews of the Live Anthology centered on the number and quality of the covers. Across their 40 years as a band, there's plenty of one off covers and/or the deep cuts, like the recently revealed Same Old You. Probably why it's good to take some space from listening to them.
It'll All Work Out----This and Runaway Trains to me, are the centerpiece of the record. It's just a lovely song with some truly lovely playing. Nice organ accompaniment from Benmont! This is just one of their very best songs in my opinion and this a lovely version.
Riverflow----Never heard this before. I guess the music and lyrics match well. Nice playing. Not much of an opinion either way. It's different. I suppose I'd pass on this, too bad they didn't fit in Self Made Man or something here. Oh well.
Runaway Trains---I've more to say on this. I've heard the live version of this before and it's good. I prefer it to the too gentle, too 80s synth of the original, from the way it starts, the guitars are heavier, Stan's quick tap on the cowbell, it's a nice build up. This feels like the anthem that wasn't or could've been. I think this is the other half of the core of the record and felt it should've been placed in the middle of the record not as track two. But back to this performance, it's good. It's got power to it. I guess for fans of the original, you either like this take on it and get two different versions or maybe you're disappointed. I hope it's the former. Much like It Ain't Nothin' To Me, one of my faves from Southern Accents had an energized performance, so too with this song, each played on their respective tours and never again. As far as we know.
The main riff from the intro that appears throughout the song is nice and grungy, a good counterpart to the sweeter melodic part. The outro is really good with some nice playing all around, this is peak "chamber music" live, again Stan with some nice fills. I think this and Jammin' Me could be the best parts of this concert/the Let Me Up tour.
At different points in the day I heard this song in my head while doing mundane tasks. I prefer this version to the recorded take, thinking about it now it kinda reminds me of Crawling Back To You, maybe in just the way the song flows but that could be a fleeting notion. For a band that seemed not interested in following trends, they really did so with Let Me Up in terms of the sound or the synthesizers or whatever. And I think the song most impacted (negatively for me, positively for others of course) is Runaway Trains. It reminds me much how I feel Southern Accents would've possibly been improved with a grittier sound, the live version of Runaway Trains is a good example of that.
By having more crunch in the guitars and less of the 80s gloss, not only does the song rock harder but the melodic parts have more impact. It's definitely an anthemic song that never made it past this tour. At least there's some good recordings of it out there.
Should I Stay or Should I go---I think most can relate to the song title. I do enjoy the random instrumental noise before they start playing the song. Along with the concept of TPATH as more of a jam band that wasn't, so too sometimes I wonder what a noisy experimental/weird album from them would be like, their version of it, where songs like It's Rainin' Again and Lookin' for Daddy and the normal noises or whatever were the main foundation of a record instead of the exceptions.
Nice playing overall. A lot of good raucous energy.
I like this song but there isn't anything particularly special about it or about them playing it. See, another reason I generally didn't care for the covers was because if TPATH weren't going to play their deep cuts, who else would? And would anyone really want to hear them not sung by Tom etc. etc.? It's the Let Me Up tour, why not play the title song? Oh well. I guess between this and some of their other covers I'd take this.
Even The Losers---One of their best songs. Some parts of this feel a bit slower and then it seems to speed up but I think that's part of the charm. I really enjoy the outro, it seems like this song used to get a bit of an extended outro a bit too. Now that I think about it, did this song just fall away over the past couple tours? Of course I can go look it up. Is this even right? Not played since 2008? That doesn't seem right.
Anyway, I think I've heard better versions of this but this is still pretty good with some nice drumming from Stan.
Jammin Me----My understanding is this was played on this tour, a bit on the 89 (?) tour and then in 97 and 99. For a radio single it didn't last as long as one would think; I still don't get why it was left off Greatest Hits. First perfectly after DCAHNM. Anyway. That intro is great! I think I heard another bootleg where it goes on longer. But still...this song shows how much power a simple chord riff can have. Back and forth, it's relentless. Interesting to note the different names in the verse. Something sounds refreshingly different from the later versions of the song, a guitar f/x or something. I like it. A lot of energy to it as well, the Steve versions seem more heavy, this is lighter. One of the big surprises of seeing them in '99 was getting this as the first song. Quite a fun surprise!
Nice lead playing, whomever is doing it before the "pasadena" line is doing something different and disjointed, I like it. Anyway, this is a good rock song and it's usually nice to hear it, on this tour, at the Fillmore or from '99. But this tour has it at its peak, between Stan's drumming during the outro where he's given more free reign, the intro and some of the outro soloing! Man, some sweet playing from 4:47-5:01.
Picture them leaving off IGTBK and throwing this in as an epic guitar shred fest. But I'll stop there.
Refugee---I like the breakdown, the soloing, the sparseness, a trick they return to throughout their whole career but darn if it ain't effective. I like whatever Stan's doing on the drums there. Too soon for my taste Tom returns to the singing. This is a bit faster than I recall later versions of the song but that makes sense. Jeez, this is what, thirty some years before their final tour. Crazy. Anyway, they never took great liberties with this song (save that one show at Neil Young's benefit school in San Fran) but whenever they did it was welcome as the song can stretch out a bit without losing its character. Nice energy version. I'm so used to Runnin' Down A Dream following this one.
Bye Bye Johnny---It's all right depending on my mood. But generally, this early style of rock music doesn't do much for me. However, the energy they bring to it is good. I think this kind of short high energy song works best after a mammoth long show or at least a very long jam song; it feels in some way like the peak of this show was with Runaway Trains or maybe Jammin' Me. The version I have seems to cut off right at the end but that's fine.
I guess that's it. Kind of a short show. Glad their shows got longer again as they went along. A highlight, the further one goes back in TPATH bootlegs is the differences, shows without the well worn FMF and WF songs. Covers that, while I'd prefer deep cuts, are potentially different and a whole different energy feel from the band. They weren't a punk band, but a show like this, some of their songs almost feel punk, or out and out rockabilly or something. It's fun to hear.
I'm glad the band evolved into more of a jam band, like with IGTBK or Saving Grace, Face in the Crowd, Two Men Talking, Travelin' Light, Melinda etc. But there's something unique and enjoyable about these earlier tours; or I could just be romanticizing them because I've heard them less overall and they just sound fresh and there's more, or a bit more variation in the shows than concerts later on, like say from the HE tour to the 40th.
I think novelty's a big factor in my enjoyment of this show and perhaps these older concerts overall but that's not to downplay the quality of the performances and while I'd enjoy a ten minute Jammin' Me I'm still glad they extended the songs as they did.