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MaryJanes2ndLastDance

Were the '81 and '91/'92 tours the best they played with Stan?

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They could be.

The '81 tour is prime Heartbreakers, you've got all the early records represented along with the new and different Hard Promises. You've got at least one set list (maybe more) with Casa Dega and Nightwatchman played. You've got high energy Heartbreakers and moody Heartbreakers. And the shows were longer, maybe 2 hours, 2 hours twenty minutes. For people who love Stan's drumming here it is in all its power and behind the beat.

The '91 tour is the last one with Stan and both points to the beginning of the band and its end as it was before Wildflowers. You've got a generous amount of ITGWO songs, Stan taking a singing spotlight, Mike and Ben's instrumentals, the coolest backdrop they've ever had (besides the Echo tour with its simple rugs and chandelier) with the giant fairy tale tree. The concerts are about two hours long, American Girl and Breakdown have been completely stripped back to acoustic versions, the last time American Girl wouldn't take the final song of the night spot.

While the FMF songs are played quite a bit they are still relatively new. It's the last tour that Refugee gets extended and the first and last tour with the electric straight ahead version of Learning To Fly.

It's the last tour before Greatest Hits comes out and the nature of their tours changes. ITGWO songs have a different energy, not quite the regular TPATH sound but not exactly like FMF but some uneasy combination of the two making for some interesting sounds.

Despite whatever the backstage was like, on stage there was this happy upbeat energy. 

Looking back at set list length I think these two tours are the best they played with Stan though i would give a tip of the hat to the '93 homecoming show.

What do you think?

cheers

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I would be apt to agree.  Especially when it comes to the staging and pacing of the show in '91 even compared with the year prior to that.  And that '93 Gainesville show is definitely a Top Ten performance overall, IMO.

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On July 22, 2018 at 12:22 PM, chimera said:

Especially when it comes to the staging and pacing of the show in '91 even compared with the year prior to that.

I agree. I've heard a little of the FMF tour and while I'm glad they played A Mind With A Heart Of Its Own, I definitely think the '91 tour was better; longer, more interesting set lists, even pulling out Come On Down To My House later in the tour in Europe. I also think that and the WF tour set up a template they followed the rest of their career with a number of acoustic tracks/mellower ones right in the middle. But looking back, these two tours with Stan '81 and '91 seem like really good shows, especially if you like hearing a multitude of songs some of which, heck, most of which were ignored going forward.

cheers

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Just judging by the setlists and the YouTube videos out there, I think the '92 leg of the tour may have topped the initial '91 run. Lots of setlist variance with new songs and a looser jamming vibe. Maybe it was just because they were in Europe, I don't know. Overall, I really like the uniqueness of the Touring the Great Wide Open shows, although Stan just seems miserable in the Take the Highway video. I wonder if that was an isolated moody incident or if he was checked out the whole tour.

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45 minutes ago, High Grass Dog said:

Overall, I really like the uniqueness of the Touring the Great Wide Open shows, although Stan just seems miserable in the Take the Highway video. I wonder if that was an isolated moody incident or if he was checked out the whole tour.

I think he was bored, mostly; and I have a whole theory about how things became more theatrical because of it, but it's likely not true at all.

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18 hours ago, chimera said:

I think he was bored, mostly; and I have a whole theory about how things became more theatrical because of it, but it's likely not true at all.

What's the theory?

Also I changed the topic title since Touring The Great Wide Open went into '92 with some good European shows.

cheers

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It's really kind of presumptuous so that's why I said "likely not true at all."  I have all kinds of theories about things, but the sense to know when I shouldn't actually discuss them. :lol:

But consider this...in this period (let's say...1990 to 1993) Tom was allowing solo setpieces and singing what were essentially duets with Stan and Howie and having Stan sing a song on his own; so these were measures, IMO, to shore up morale and it just became more and more elaborate but then by '95 it was all gone.  But then Mike got his surf set, and that became the setpiece for the band, you could say.  Well, sort of.

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3 hours ago, chimera said:

I have all kinds of theories about things, but the sense to know when I shouldn't actually discuss them. :lol:

I respect your discretion.

3 hours ago, chimera said:

But consider this...in this period (let's say...1990 to 1993) Tom was allowing solo setpieces and singing what were essentially duets with Stan and Howie and having Stan sing a song on his own; so these were measures, IMO, to shore up morale and it just became more and more elaborate but then by '95 it was all gone.  But then Mike got his surf set, and that became the setpiece for the band, you could say.  Well, sort of.

Whoops! Spoke to soon. ;)

Yes, I think the sections for Benmont, Mike and Stan were a way of saying "You matter." Also, offering up something different in the set list and giving Tom a vocal break. Win-win!

I look at the instrumental part in the WF tour as an opportunity for Mike to have free reign over whatever he wants to do for that portion of the show. Sincce Tom largely kept to the same set list and Mike didn't really have power in that arena, this was a way of giving Mike a chance to kick back and have fun. Of course, who knows, it could've been totally different, Mike played a bit of a surf song and Tom said "I like that, let's throw it in" and also took advantage of the vocal break. Until someone steps forward who can say? But having Stan sing a song makes sense to me given the post-FMF and post-Lynne recording situations.

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On July 24, 2018 at 10:05 AM, High Grass Dog said:

Lots of setlist variance with new songs and a looser jamming vibe. Maybe it was just because they were in Europe, I don't know. Overall, I really like the uniqueness of the Touring the Great Wide Open shows, although Stan just seems miserable in the Take the Highway video.

 I'm no Stan Lynch expert (or even a novice) but he always seemed happy to me in that video, from singing Psychotic Reaction, bashing away during Mike's solo and playing the big drums with those mallets during Built To Last. What makes you think he was miserable?

On July 24, 2018 at 3:09 PM, Shelter said:

92 was absolutely spine tingling fantastic. In case you ever were in doubt....

 Probably from so much touring, getting tighter and tighter yet perhaps a bit more freeform within the set list limits and the enthusiastic European crowds maybe? I'm figuring it had been a while since they'd been there touring under their own banner. I'm glad they threw in Come On Down To My House on that leg of the tour; a nice surprise.

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5 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

 I'm no Stan Lynch expert (or even a novice) but he always seemed happy to me in that video, from singing Psychotic Reaction, bashing away during Mike's solo and playing the big drums with those mallets during Built To Last. What makes you think he was miserable?

Stan's demeanor, to me - compared with, say, Pack Up The Plantation - was like night and day.  I've seen videos of shows from the same tour where he seemed in a better mood but I guess it's just obvious to me that he wasn't happy.  And my opinion of this was formed before I knew the story behind the story, as it were.  But the other thing is I've seen videos of when they were playing "Down The Road Apiece" and although "Psychotic Reaction" was a better song for the band as a whole to perform, I kind of feel like he had more fun singing the other song.

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On July 27, 2018 at 11:40 AM, TomFest said:

After seeing the live show from '82

The version of You Got Lucky from '82 is the best version of the song and I love that ending!

It actually sounds like it could've become the basis for a whole new song. It's a bit unusual for the band to play an outro that doesn't sound  as connected to the rest of the song musically but it works and was quite surprising to hear as I'm used to the more common conclusion.

Too bad they didn't keep it but at least they played it this way on this tour.

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