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This show was originally scheduled for the Palace of Fine Arts and I guess they did a last minute change due to lack of sales. Compared to the Great American, Palace of Fine Arts is a MASSIVE auditorium. I didn't mind too much. Much closer to my office, for one thing, and certainly a more intimate setting. I knew I'd have to line up early to get a chance at a seat in the balcony, since I am old and decrepit and standing up for a show is NOT an option.

Very surprisingly the doors opened at about 715P for a 8PM show, which meant I only had to spend about 40 minutes standing outside in the cold with a homeless person trying to sell me a Street Sheet. I ran straight for the balcony and did get a spot directly pretty much over the stage, which was fine.

The show started very close to on time (8PM) which is also really unusual for San Francisco. It was an all seated show, so I MIGHT have been able to get a table on the floor, but I'm used to being up in the balcony so that was ok.

The audience couldn't have been more than a few hundred. I felt bad that Mike had gotten a better numbers than that, but his style was so warm and intimate that I can't believe it would have worked at the Palace of Fine Arts AT ALL!

The basic set-up was that for each song, he would give us a little setting of where the story was taking place and who the characters were. Using this device (and I don't know if this has always been his MO or not) he covered most of his solo career, including some songs I'd never heard and the ones I was expecting or hoping to hear. We got Rio, Joanne, Different Drum, Great Ennui, Propinquity and many I wasn't familiar with. Lots of different styles and great band, the main type of song was the mellow country rock/folk thing he's been doing for most of his solo career. There was even a tribute to Red Rhodes, the pedal steel guitar player in the First National Band.

The little stories were charming, although I'm not sure I would ever have thought of Different Drum as a French Chanson, but it definitely worked.

Anyway, it was just a nice, lovely, mellow show and Mike came across as a nice guy who just loves writing and performing had a genuine warmth toward the audience, small as we were. He opened with a slowed down, but instantly recognizable version of Papa Gene's Blues, which was a nice shout-out to the Monkees years before moving away from them.

If you get a chance to see him in this kind of a small club setting, I'd definitely recommend. I was just so happy he did Rio. Of course now it's stuck in my head, but it definitely fits my mood.

P.S. I had a really good quesadilla, since I couldn't see the menu and vaguely remembered hubby having one there once. GAMH is one of the few music venues where the food isn't half bad.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 29th, 2013 10:34 pm (UTC)
OMG, from the Monkees? I totally lost track of him after that.
Mar. 29th, 2013 10:36 pm (UTC)
YUP! He went on to be a pioneer in the country/rock sound of the 70's, the music video revolution of the early 80's and to right some weird and wonderful music in many different genres. He also seems to be a really nice guy.
Mar. 30th, 2013 10:22 pm (UTC)
he's my favorite Monkee but you probably already guessed that.
Mar. 31st, 2013 01:19 am (UTC)
It makes sense.
Apr. 1st, 2013 01:00 pm (UTC)
A dear family friend used to sing Joanne to me when I was younger. It never lost it's sweet nostalgia when I found out it was about a cow either.

I love the Monkees and really must listen to more of his other music.
Apr. 1st, 2013 04:27 pm (UTC)
I think you would have liked the "scene" he set for it in the concert. It was almost as if he'd written mini-fics for each of the songs. In this case there was a bucolic setting with an older man and a younger woman and she loves him, but tells him a lie before going home and "Joanne" is basically his thoughts watching her leave. It was quite lovely.

I'd definitely check out his solo material, especially his work with the First National Band.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )



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