Monday, September 24, 2018

Rickenbackers & Harmonies: Who Could Ask For Anything More

There are two big reasons why I don't go to as many shows as I once did--cost and comfort.  In the case of The Byrds 50th anniversary of "Sweetheart Of The Rodeo," it was an affordable ticket, in a very comfortable venue, with a 7:30 start time. It also helped that I hadn't been more excited about a show in ages. Of course, trying to buy a legitimate ticket for face value in 2018 is a Kafkaesque experience, and what happened on the morning tickets went on sale was about as pleasurable as a Hot Vicks enema. I could not for the life of me score a single, and within minutes of the on sale time, $50 tickets were being resold for $350.

The happy ending is that a second show was added, a friend got terrific seats, and I attended one of the most glorious nights of music in years.

Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman, 76 and 73 years old respectively, backed by the fabulous Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, delivered "Sweetheart Of The Rodeo" in its entirety, bookended by Byrds deep cuts, hits and a trio of Tom Petty covers. From the opening chords of McGuinn's 12-string Rickenbacker, and a mind-blowing "My Back Pages," I thought, it could only go downhill from here. But it did not. This was not nostalgia. This was a surprisingly well-oiled machine, with barely a trace of age and impeccable harmonies throughout, especially on a sublime "You Don't Miss Your Water."

"I Wasn't Born To Follow," "Mr. Spaceman," "Time Between," "Drugstore, Truck-Drivin' Man," "So You Wanna Be A Rock and Roll Star," DAMNIT! and "Mr. Tambourine Man," all played as if this group of musicians had been playing for 50 years.

There is one more chance to see this event in NYC and that is tonight, at Town Hall. If it is coming to your town, and you had even a moment of skepticism, just GO!


Mr. Baez said...

Sal, I went to that fantastic show in Los Angeles. I had a smile on my face from the moment McGuinn walked out on stage playing his Rickenbacker's opening chords to "My Back Pages." That smile lasted throughout the night and the joy of the show carries on. Truly a magical experience that should not be missed! So happy that you got to expereince it.

Anonymous said...

Marty Stuart with The Byrds
Vince Gill with The Eagles

Wish this kind of unity was everywhere

buzzbabyjesus said...

Holy Shit!

vanwoert said...

I saw McGuinn,Clark,and Hillman in 1979 at the Youngstown Agora and all these years later it's one of the most memorable shows I've ever seen.

steve simels said...

I’m going tonight. Can’t wait.

Troy said...

Sure hope they add a Chicago date! Sounds like an outstanding musical experience!

Chris Collins said...

I saw that on the docket (alas, i'm not working in NY right now) and couldn't believe my eyes. This is a monumental show! how amazing!! i'm so glad you went.

buzzbabyjesus said...

I saw McGuinn,Clark, and Hillman in 1978, and it was indeed memorable. "Chestnut Mare" was out of this world.

Anonymous said...

The Sweethearts tour came here last night.
Based on your review I had high expectations, and the show exceeded them.
Marvelous music, joyfully and skillfully performed.

Your "just GO!" got me there.
Thanks for that.

I understand they've added more stops to the tour.
Thats good news for music fans.