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Shelter

The Extended Jam Extravaganza Thread

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Oh, how some of you been waiting for this one! Here it is finally! How strange we never had a thread going about this before! How strange that I am the one starting it! How strange! How wonderful!

I seem to recall many threads being derailed due to our passion for discussing various aspects of TPATH's flair to extend certain songs live, to jam it out. So why not collect our thoughts about this phenomenon right here? I know some of us like their 20 minutes instrumentals with a fever that borders addiction, while others prefer it short, sweet and close to the studio versions, but I was thinking that this thread could be dedicated to the why and how come. Also when, on what songs? For example, we know how they liked to do this type of things to new songs that was to become live-only songs, but feel free to post examples of any kind!

Myself, I am not a jam man per design. I think it's a fine line between those times when a song is lifted to the higest level of art thanks to a good inspired and mind bending jam, and when they fall apart into an endless snooze fest with little point passed showing off. But when it works, it's quite amazing! Perhaps, needless to say, I think there seem to be a connection between how many times a song is cherry picked for this type of treatment and how well it ends up. In short - the songs the decide 

Again, I know some of this has been discussed many times, most recently in the TDIHWTUOHCQ thread, but to kick this off (and sorry for any repetition)  I would say that among my personal favorite TPATH jam moments out of these more frequent ones, the best examples of when they really reach that higher level of one conciousness: 

* Dog on The Run (several early versions, 77/78 era, as displayed below, from the 77 Record Plant sessions), 

* Fooled Again (some pretty spacey, versions from the 70s)

* Melinda (most versions are splendid!)

* Crystal River (most versions are splendid, especially from 2008!)

* Tweeter & The Monkey Man (2013 only, but what a performance - 10 minutes of bliss at the Fonda!)

* Mary Jane's Last Dance (this song is almost always fantastic, but some of the extended more free form versions are totally exceptional!)

As for full shows, some had more of this than others, obviously. But as a great example, one can see/hear TPATH at the top of this particular game, in many instances, on the Winterland, SF, 1978 show, where they treated the audience to an absolutely over the top rendition of Dark SIde Of The Street, a somewhat strange fun ending to Casa Dega as well as some of the mentioned Fooled Again spookiness. 

The frequently extended titles that I think works fine, even stunningly on occasion, but also oftentimes become routine and even boring: 

* Shout (Not my favorite cover, but their 77/78 era take had some especially great jams)

* Breakdown (Intense, at its best, very routine at its lesser moments) 

* Don't Come Around Here No More. (Say no more.)

* TDIHWTUOHCQ (I suppose this one never got into routine mode... :) Great! Nevertheless, I wouldn't rank it among my very top favorites.)

* The Other Side of The Mountain (Just one tour, of course, but there were a few really cool versions of this somewhat unexpected masterpiece!)
 

The ones that I think, for the most part don't do much for me when extended or "trip:ed out", either by default or by being vastly overplayed:

* Two Men Talking

* Spike (To me it's a misconception that this song is even in the market for marathon treatment. Not more so than Yer So Bad, really.)

* IGTBK

* Gloria

* Mystic Eyes

 

Extras: Three songs that rarely have been treated to really loooong jams, and hence may not really belong in this thread, more than wishful thinking. That is, with a tendency to routine and/or perhaps a minute or two too short to really expand into stellar drive, they come in short of their potential most of the time.

* Runnin' Down A Dream (Great versions exists, of course! 2006 Gaineville is out of this world. But they could have had that as a minimum, or at least an average, instead of an all time high.) 

* ISHKI (Huge potential as a looong heavy jam song. But I don't hear neither 10% Zeppelin nor 50% top rate TPATH jam in most renditions, so... Again, oftentimes too short to really take of the way its character promises possible.

* Luna (A song that they never took far enough, and that was rarely played at all. But one that I think could have been extremely fantastic in a 7-8 minute deep, weird space jam version.)

 

 

    

 

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Now we're talking! ☺ I love the extended jams and actually think that even when they did extend the jams they didn't extend them enough on many ocasions.One in all in would be my motto and I often felt that Tom called a premature halt on many longer jams when Mike and Benmont were getting into their stride...I think Tom was a believer in the don't bore us get to the chorus ethic especially with the Heartbreakers. 

Lost Children...Fillmore run. Fantastic extended jam but listen as Mike is ready to solo on and Tom cuts in for the outro.

MJLD. Austin Texas..Last DJ tour..the long distance person to person call monologue between Tom and a young lady...awesome. The Last DJ DVD version is awesome.

A Woman in Love 2012/2014 tour...great intensity that I thought they could have extended even further on ocasion.

Swingin...plenty of room for a 12 minute version thrown in a couple of times certainly merited it.

Travelling Light JJ Cale cover at Jazz Fest 2013..epic jam fest that one.

Shadow People..awesome tune, highlight of 2014 tour for me..could have done with a couple of 12 minute versions!

Too Much Ain't Enough..that French TV version from early 80's is fantastic...there was a latter era extended version they did when the 'finished ' and started up the song again on a couple of ocasions..I'm sure someone remembers the exact details..late noughties I think..

The last few IGTBK live versions from 2017 had a palpable sense of defiance in the way the Heartbreakers played it..I may never be able to bring myself to watch that again...I mentioned previously that it was as if the band were playing for Tom as much as with him..

In general you'll notice that in nearly every extended jam version of songs live Tom always reverted to a quiet mid song interlude and ratcheted things up at the end for a creschendo. I would have liked to see more balls to the wall heavy duty Crazy Horse/Led Zep type riffage more often..the mid section quiet interludes could have been used a bit more sparingly at select times but hey not complaining.

 

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6 hours ago, Shelter said:

* Dog on The Run (several early versions, 77/78 era, as displayed below, from the 77 Record Plant sessions), 

Performed almost exclusively during 1976/1977, although the song made reappearances during the '79 Lawsuit Tour. I've seen one version of it purporting to be from '78, Tearjerker I think it was called, but upon further inspection I think it was actually a rebroadcast of (if I'm recalling correctly) the 1977 Sausalito Record Plant recording. Could be wrong about this though. 

In the 1980s (I've versions from '81, '82, '83, and one from '87), King's Road often stretched out to close to seven minutes. Three soundboards - 1982-12-04 in Utrecht, Holland, 1982-12-07 in London, England, and 1987-07-24 in Floridaville, Jackson Jacksonville, Florida (damn transposing). Think there's also some video recordings, US Fest and the Dortmund, Germany show. 

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One of my favorite jams is Saving Grace '08 where they pretty much reworked the song, playing it with a rollicking fun energy and lots of slide. True, they did the common drop it down a bit before the big climax but moreso than a lot of other extended songs this one keeps the energy going a bit longer than usual.

Those versions from the '08 tour are great and they completely re-invigorated a song that while upbeat, seemed like a Bo Diddley (?) rip-off in some parts.

From the same tour, they added an appropriately melancholy and spacey part to A Face in the Crowd, something that I agree with Shelter, would've been a good approach for Luna. This extended take on Face added a lot of space and prolonged the sad, regretful emotion contained in music and lyrics. 

 

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38 minutes ago, dollardime said:

I often felt that Tom called a premature halt on many longer jams when Mike and Benmont were getting into their stride...I think Tom was a believer in the don't bore us get to the chorus ethic especially with the Heartbreakers. 

 Yes I know what you mean and it was always unfortunate; I agree, the "get to the chorus" ethos served them well but I think it could've been discarded a bit more in concert. 

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7 hours ago, Shelter said:

Runnin' Down A Dream (Great versions exists, of course! 2006 Gaineville is out of this world. But they could have had that as a minimum, or at least an average, instead of an all time high.) 

* ISHKI (Huge potential as a looong heavy jam song. But I don't hear neither 10% Zeppelin nor 50% top rate TPATH jam in most renditions, so... Again, oftentimes too short to really take of the way its character promises possible.

* Luna (A song that they never took far enough, and that was rarely played at all. But one that I think could have been extremely fantastic in a 7-8 minute deep, weird space jam version.)

 

  I agree with all of this. Working backwards, Luna could've been an amazing spacey weird jam. Who knows what Mike or Benmont could've yielded had they extended this one, there was a lot of potential there and this could've been a fan favorite in concert.

ISHKI, yes, that ending should've been extended, it didn't have to be a long jam but that double-time part could've gone on for a good two to three minutes, giving the audience some quick guitar interplay or just let Mike shred for a couple minutes. No bringing it down and back up, just an all out race to an explosive finish.

I often thought the song would change into that but it never happened.

Runnin', the same applies here. Perhaps my favorite version I've heard is the one from the popular N.C. bootleg where it's the last song, Mike throws in some neat harmonics (I think) towards the end or does something that makes the solo really shine. 

Instead all too soon they'd reach that part, you know the one where the drums would downshift and the song would be brought to a close. I really think this should've again, if not been a 9-minute jam than at least a good two to three tacked on at the end after the usual melodic solo from the record of just Mike melting the audience!

 

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1 hour ago, nobodyinparticular said:

Could be wrong about this though. 

Nah, you are right about Record Plant. And for whatever it's worth, I typo:ed. Didn't think too specific, but 76/77, likely, yes. Thanks.

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1 hour ago, dollardime said:

Travelling Light JJ Cale cover at Jazz Fest 2013..epic jam fest that one.

-----

Too Much Ain't Enough..that French TV version from early 80's....

Yes!! Thanks. Forgot those. Pure dynamite, and quite some favourites, both of em.

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Too Much Ain't Enough from 01/02 has in my opinion the best live versions of this song.

I think this is one of their best riffs and it's a shame that it wasn't played more but since that can be said about a lot of songs, let's instead focus on the times they did play it. This version is supercharged. When the song kicks back in before the end, they really tear it up. If you can find it, listen to the Red Rocks version from that tour, they even sound like they're playing a different riff during the crazy fast outro.

It's not often the band gets that fast in tempo for that duration either but while the earlier versions of the song were fine, they added both muscle and speed to it during its last go round on stage.

cheers

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13 hours ago, Shelter said:

* Breakdown (Intense, at its best, very routine at its lesser moments) 

Much like Gloria I'm not a fan of Tom telling a story during Breakdown or doing some kind of comedic bit. I'd much prefered if they let the instruments speak for them during these songs. I'd get excited to hear Breakdown live when I'd see it went on for eight or nine minutes and then discover it's Tom faking a breakdown during the song. The crowd in the moment eats it up because they're there in the moment, but after a couple listens it just didn't offer much.

I think there are versions out there that have more music less talk, but I don't quite recall; seems like I heard some at some point. Either way, I'd file this one under missed potential.

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Now this, is not a song I am normally very taken by. It's one that I really think TPATH have brought up a few times too often. Jogtrot, is the word that comes to mind for this type usually, I often think "this can't possibly be the most fun and inspired song that you can play right now". Then suddenly, it happens. At Red Rocks, last year. Almost a year to the day. That famously strange show, with rain delay and what not, they rolled Carol out again, only this time, she wasn't tired, she wasn't worn, overexposed and haggard. Perhaps their best ever rendition ever - and a quite amazing jam lead by Benmont.

 

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11 hours ago, nobodyinparticular said:

I prefer brownies.

I'm so sorry. Change in my meds. Must've affected my cognitive state. I think I might've intended to post this in the question of the day thread.  

13 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

Much like Gloria I'm not a fan of Tom telling a story during Breakdown or doing some kind of comedic bit. I'd much prefered if they let the instruments speak for them during these songs. I'd get excited to hear Breakdown live when I'd see it went on for eight or nine minutes and then discover it's Tom faking a breakdown during the song. The crowd in the moment eats it up because they're there in the moment, but after a couple listens it just didn't offer much.

I think there are versions out there that have more music less talk, but I don't quite recall; seems like I heard some at some point. Either way, I'd file this one under missed potential.

Would argue this is the sort of thing that doesn't translate well in just audio. You need the visual component to get the most from it. Or, in simpler terms, the faux-breakdown in Breakdown is better on video. 

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1 hour ago, nobodyinparticular said:

You need the visual component to get the most from it. Or, in simpler terms, the faux-breakdown in Breakdown is better on video. 

 I understand about the visual component but even then, it's just too much, though I prefer it to Gloria I guess which is Tom just going on way too long. But then, most people probably don't listen to a ton of live recordings, they go to shows, have a good time, sing along and have fun. 

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7 hours ago, Shelter said:

Now this, is not a song I am normally very taken by. 

 Me neither but that goes for most of the covers, the basic song  just doesn't connect with me; their musicality does though. I'd take Travelin' Light over Carol and I just heard about the former a month ago.

7 hours ago, Shelter said:

At Red Rocks, last year. Almost a year to the day. That famously strange show, with rain delay and what not, they rolled Carol out again, only this time, she wasn't tired, she wasn't worn, overexposed and haggard. Perhaps their best ever rendition ever - and a quite amazing jam lead by Benmont.

 Yes, they got a very special show, last of its kind for TPATH. I think Benmont saw his chance and took it full force, the band going right along, having fun. His playing is great and I even enjoy the slightly behind the beat drumming by Steve during some of that.

 

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On May 30, 2018 at 8:06 AM, Shelter said:

* Mary Jane's Last Dance (this song is almost always fantastic, but some of the extended more free form versions are totally exceptional!)

 

22 hours ago, dollardime said:

MJLD. Austin Texas..Last DJ tour..the long distance person to person call monologue between Tom and a young lady...awesome. The Last DJ DVD version is awesome.

 I think the best versions of Mary Jane's Last Dance were from the '95 Wildflowers Tour and the Last DJ tour. The former had some nice languid, spacey explorations, very moody and the latter had that excellent double time ending with the band just going for it.

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On May 30, 2018 at 8:06 AM, Shelter said:

Spike (To me it's a misconception that this song is even in the market for marathon treatment. Not more so than Yer So Bad, really.)

 While I do love jamming, I was surprised this became one over the years. I go back and forth on the song itself, sometimes I really like it other times not so much. Having not heard it live in years I looked up the 2012 version from May 1st. 

Already Tom is going on about the song itself before getting into it. Giving it the Gloria treatment.This is just a sleepy version. Anyway, yes, point taken, it's kinda like the jam version of Yer So Bad. I'd have been all for it but I realize that not every song needs to be extended and some lend themselves to that more than others. Too bad they didn't just play Spike straight and throw in some neat slide at the end for a bit.

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On May 30, 2018 at 8:06 AM, Shelter said:

* IGTBK

 I remember years ago people online being quite sick of this song, that it had been played nonstop since '95, had the same style of jam though the specifics probably shifted, leading to the same point in the song that brings it back. I can understand that if you don't like jamming to begin with this song took up a lot of what you would call "precious real estate" on the set list. 

While I agree, for the most part I usually enjoy this song, the dreamy guitars, the melancholy melody giving way to a guitar exploration, Steve getting to let loose towards the end...but I can see why people would get tired of it.

It definitely fits the template the band was fond of, some guitar jamming, then a quiet part that builds back up. It's effective but like Dollardime said I enjoy the times they just went straight ahead with a song, jamming, tearing it up without doing the break-it-down bring it back up approach.

I'm glad they kept this around on the 40th tour.

I guess I would've enjoyed more free form exploration with the song but still enjoyed it even when they brought it to the same place every time.

cheers

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22 hours ago, dollardime said:

Swingin...plenty of room for a 12 minute version thrown in a couple of times certainly merited it.

I agree, the song feels made to be stretched out, plenty of room for some good ole guitar interplay, some nice work by Benmont, this is another one that surprised me wasn't longer in concert. I'm glad it got somewhat extended but not to its potential. The version from the Red Rocks show from above is a pretty good take on the song.

cheers

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On May 30, 2018 at 8:06 AM, Shelter said:

* Gloria

* Mystic Eyes

I prefer Mystic Eyes because at least it was faster but I don't really care for these. The Gloria story is just boring and drags things on. I don't really like the song that much to begin with; I suppose this is how others feel when they're stuck listening to IGTBK if they don't care for it.

 

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1 hour ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

 I understand about the visual component but even then, it's just too much, though I prefer it to Gloria I guess which is Tom just going on way too long. But then, most people probably don't listen to a ton of live recordings, they go to shows, have a good time, sing along and have fun. 

Sadly that opportunity wasn't available to a lot of people, such as myself. Live recordings are the next best thing. 

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