This isn’t a show I attended, but it was one of the earliest tapes I had. This was one of the very first shows that both sets circulated widely as a soundboard. Usually we had one set or the other, so it was great when the soundboard of the complete show came around shortly after the show. Unfortunately, the analog tapes we got back then sounded better than the multi-gen source that ended up getting digitized years later. Since it is coming up on the 22 year anniversary, I wanted to do a short post to highlight a track I wish they would bring back. I will do a complete review of the Front when I showcase a show that I attended there, but here is the setlist from this night:
Obviously a hot setlist and this show is worth seeking out. It was one of my favorites back in the day and showcases a band in transition (tons of youthful energy, not too much polish). Some good olden times banter too. Of note is the first ever “heavy metal” Wilson to open the second set and a very early (3rd ever version) of Bouncing Around the Room. It is the first set closer that got me to put this show up, Communication Breakdown. Only played four times (three of them in a row from this week) they tear through it. While it is definitely a little sloptastic, they make up for it with raw energy. You know the pit at The Front was popping off when they dropped into this one. Check it out:
I freaking love this show for some reason. I think it is super solid throughout. Third show at Roseland and the best of the four times they played there in my opinion. Could have been the four-way paper (well, you can’t just eat a part of a strawberry, right?), but the tapes support my claims. In my opinion Roseland is a pretty meh venue with poor sightlines and a kind of generic feel but it is certainly a historic venue having hosted some of the greats back in the day (Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Glen Miller). Found out while doing this blog entry that Roseland was originally opened in Philly in 1917, but relocated to NYC in 1919. Huh. My first time at Roseland was seeing The Kinks and Cyndi Lauper on 12/31/84 which was a pretty rad New Years show for the time (for a fifteen year old). I had also been to the 3/14/92 show the year before. The night before (2/5) was pretty good and featured the just brought back Punch You In The Eye. I also caught my first Lovin’ Cup which had debuted earlier in the week. The 2/6 show has some great stuff. Somewhat pedestrian setlist, but lots of surprises and standout versions:
First set started out innocently enough with Golgi, and was pretty well played. Set highlights are Divided Sky and The Wedge (which was brand new and my first version), but it is not until the set-closing Antelope that we really got a hint of what was to come. Antelope is sick. I was basically worthless by the time they came out for the second set. I planted myself on the edge of the tapers section and instead of my usual freaking out, I just stood there and stared at the stage drooling on myself. Really. I distinctly remember wiping my own drool off of my chin and chest during Lifeboy. Chalkdust gets things going and then we have one of my favorite versions of Mound. It’s an excellent version. By the time they all the surrounded the microphone for Adeline, it looked to me like their heads kept rolling off of their shoulders over and over. It was pretty cool. All Things Considered is very well played as well. I love the Mike’s Song and the extra effort and alternate lyrics make this an all-time version. The Hydrogen is great and features the “walking through the fog” bit that used to be so killer. Weekapaug rips. Possibly the set highlight. Next up is the second Lifeboy and by this time I was on another planet. As they kept saying the God never listens lyrics (which I was hearing for the first time), I kept seeing Trey as the devil, horns and all, coming out of his red hair. It was unforgettable. Next up is a solid Uncle Pen with a great Mike solo and smooth playing throughout. Gordo shines on this version. When they started Lengthwise, the whole crowd held up lighters (prompting some funny banter from Fish) and it was very cool to see. The whole place was a sea of flame. Super dope. As they wound down Lengthwise, they push this giant covered box out onto the stage. Nobody knew what it was. As they started Buried Alive, the box started to move around and as they enter into it full blast, it is uncovered and we see Popper in his wheelchair (from bike accident) and when he rises up from the wheelchair and starts to blow, the crowd went nuts! Awesome song for Popper to play on and another set highlight. Possum with Popper was cool as well. We got some more shenanigans during the encore with some “fake” flubs from Gordo who is promptly replaced by Noel Redding for Fire. Sick! This second set is monster and well worth seeking out if you have not heard it. I listened to it for the first time in a long time while doing this review and it still delivers. Big time. This was a killer night. After this show we went down to the Wetlands to see Shockra and Fish came out and made a surprise appearance on stage with the vacuum, which was cool. Left there around 4AM and since the strawberries were still kicking, headed to an insane Lalalandia party in Brooklyn that was still going strong (really strong) when we left at 7AM….Epic night…..
Super hard to pick a track from this show, every track from the second set is worth showcasing. Since I have yet to feature a Mike’s Song in this blog (!?!), I’m gonna go with the Mike’s>Hydrogen>Weekapaug, it’s an all-time favorite of mine. Enjoy: