Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Guitars, Nudie Suits, Etc, Etc.

A little late on my Dwight report but I’ve cleared the decks of my final university work (til February anyways. Oy.) Normal service -- in which instead of spending my time trying to achieve something substantial in my life, I blog to fill in the long, lonely hours -- resumes now.

Over the fold is my Dwight review, a setlist, some choice Yoakam YouTube moments and the Flaming Sword of Righteousness is retrieved from the pool room to deal with a certain Sydney music writer. Yeah, you all know who I mean.

It’s been ten years since DY rode into town, back in 1996 I was a poor student and the $40 odd bucks tickets were then fed me for half a semester. (Sample diet: $1 hotdog from the 7/11, $2 schooner at the Randwick Labor Club) So I didn’t go. Ten years later tickets and tickets are $100 but you can complain about not getting your money’s worth when you get 2.45 hours and 40 odd songs. Namely:

She'll Remember
Blame the Vain
I Want You to Want Me
Act Naturally
Cryin' Time
Together Again
Streets of Bakersfield
Please, Please Baby
If there was a Way
Turn It On, Turn It Up, Turn Me Loose
What I Don't Know
This Time
Ring of Fire
Nothing's Changed Here
Home for Sale
Pocket of a Clown
Stop the World (And Let Me Off)
The Distance Between You and Me
The Heart You Own
Suspicious Minds
Three Good Reasons
Just Passing Time
Home of the Blues
Smoke Along the Track
Honky Tonk Man
Thusand Miles from Nowhere
Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room
Little Sister

…… deep breath … almost finished! …

Two Doors Down
Sunny Side of the Mountain / Miner’s Prayer
Dreams of Clay
This Drinkin' Will Kill me
It Won't Hurt
Today I Started Loving You Again
Watch Out
It Only Hurts When I Cry
Little Ways
Guitars, Cadillacs
Mystery Train
Fast as You

Crazy Little Thing
Under Your Spell Again

I’d seen the 40+ setlist for his recent American gigs and was a bit perplexed, you know, that’s a lot of songs. Even if they are two minutes long. Yes, there are a few medleys – the four song Buck tribute and the Sunnyside of the Mountain/Miner’s Prayer bluegrass interlude – but they were full songs not snippets. And yes the segues between them songs were tight – sharp - but each song was fully realised pushed to the limit. No short changing. The band? Smoking. The rhythm section of Kevin Smith, slappin' that upright bass in a very attractive fashion, and Mitch Marine on drums. Up front with Dwight Eddie Perez, sometime of the Mavericks, erased all memory of Pete Anderson with his good natured and skilful guitar hero routine. Dreamy Josh Grange, who I have on a couple of recordings with Victoria Williams, wore a frock coat with lacy trim but handled the various guitars, organ, accordion and banjo like a one-man second/third/fourth coming of The Band.

The man himself had an extremely nifty grey suit with brown detail. I'm not sure but his boots could have been pale blue, or maybe white but the light deceived me? Either way. Hot. I’m certainly not one of those narks who insist the night is wasted unless the performer yabbers on at us constantly, Dwight was economical in his chat but not distant. His tribute to Buck Owens was funny and moving, and he had some funny banter with Kevin about his bass slapping. Maybe I'm easily pleased. Dwight was 50 last week and for me his voice has improved with age, it’s richer than what you hear on Guitars, Cadillacs Etc Etc and he sounded really, really great -- even if the being in the front row you give up a little quality for proximity. Proximity pays off though when you get a close up of his trademarked swerves and grinds, and I was particularly fond of the bits when he sat legs splayed on a stool for the slow numbers. And when the band suddenly jagged into a ripping-it-up number and he flung the stool across the stage, well. Hot. Wish I had my camera.

Yes, Dwight is, of course, hotter than a two dollar pistol which brings us to that fool Bruce Elder's ridiculous 'gig preview' in the Herald. Even worse, I sought out his review of the 1996 gig which starts with this gem of solid gold frakwittery:

AT last the most vexing question about Dwight Yoakam can be answered. Why does he wear a hat all the time? It's there to hide the scar from the charisma lobotomy he's obviously had.

What a creep.

Bruce Elder: The Only Person in the World Who Thinks Dwight Yoakam Has No Charisma.

That should be on his tombstone. Idiot.

You can see Dwight at YouTube with Letterman, Leno and Conan O'Brien -- decide for yourself if he is stumbling and dull. Perhaps he just knows a sour dickhead when he is forced to talk to one. Idiot.

And check out too this flat footed performance of Intentional Heartache. You also get a good look at the current band in this one. And Today I Started Loving You Again from the same show, just because.

Also, love me this song: Sorry You Asked

So, a brilliant night. Brilliant performer. And let's not let another ten years pass, before we do it again, OK?

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