Another 360 Club Review
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I thought I'd post my review of this show.
First the set list was:
1. Secret Affair (intro MT & the band doodling about with notes that made me think he'd start some instrumental number from the first album before MT started into the octave intro to this number) 2. Twisted Sister 3. Late at Night (intro of several verses of slow blues with only the piano player - not THE "Slow Blues" but just plain old slow blues) 4. Losin' My Faith 5. Blind Willie McTell (w/ medley of Layla & All Along the Watchtower) 6. You Gotta Move (w/ modal Eastern intro & medley of Catfish Blues & another number, the name I don't know, but goes something like "Because of you I live on Lonely Avenue") 7. Leather Jacket 8. Alabama 9. Red House (more up tempo than previous Taylor versions, closer to Hendrix's version in tempo) 10. Can't You Hear Me Knockin (instrumental part - at one point MT segued briefly into Twisted Sister & back to Can't You Hear Me Knockin)
I have seen 3 previous MT shows 86, 89 & 92: all of them good. However, this was the show I've been waiting for years to see him do. He really cut loose & he played with real abandon. Having said that, while there was lots of improvising, the arrangements were shorter, punchy & tight - audience-friendly.
While there have been some comments before that MT is not a front man, the MT I saw Saturday was definitely a front man. He performed with real confidence. I liked his singing voice when I first heard it on "Mick Taylor", but occasionally of late I thought it sounded weaker. However, his voice sounded very strong Saturday & he seemed to concentrate as much on controlling & modulating his voice as on playing his guitar. My friend who I brought with me commented on MT's voice as well.
MT used both a guitar pick & finger picking, but mostly he used a pick. However, it was seamless when he switched between the two & while there have been complaints that finger picking slowed down his leads, he cut loose a few times while finger picking & it didn't seem to inhibit his playing. While Dan has complained about the rougher blues style MT has adopted, he played with a cleaner more precise style Saturday with cleaner bends. (I for one think the fact he can switch between styles lends versatility to his style but I must admit to preferring the cleaner style.) While he used his slide, he also did a lot of straight lead playing.
MT seemed to pay attention in the arrangement of these songs to evoking an audience response - for example the lovely slow blues intro with just him & the pianist put the focus on his guitar alone for a few minutes & built the excitement for the main number. Or for example at the end of Losing My Faith, as the bass lightly played the same note & the drummer played on the cymbal lightly, MT repeatedly sang he couldn't get no sanctuary while responding with his guitar.
The club held 450 people & I was advised that it was sold out. It was a long dance hall with tables down the side & the audience pulled their chairs round the stage in a semi-circle for the first 2 bands but when MT came on everyone surged forward towards the stage & stood for the show which seemed to please MT & he said for everyone to "gather round". The audience responded very well to the show & while everyone was aware of MT's history, they came to see him play & were receptive to hearing his music & no jobbers yelled out for Stones tunes.
While there some miscues with this band, there was nothing that detracted from the show & MT had an obvious sympathy with this band.
The bassist studied percussion & jazz fusion in university. I asked whether they'd done any of MT's jazz fusion numbers & he said they didn't have time to get them together but maybe next time. He also said MT was a gem to work with.
On a personal note MT seemed content and healthy & I thought he'd quit smoking because he didn't smoke once on stage or before the show when I saw him walking through the club. But I read that may have had something to do with our smoking laws. Very polite of him since everyone else in the club was ignoring them.