Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Live Review: Nuggets and Beyond- City Winery, NYC 8/31/14

Nuggets and Beyond
City Winery, NYC

For those who don't know Nuggets is an album that was conceived by Jac Holzman from Electra Records and Lenny Kaye who would later go on to play lead guitar for Patti Smith. It would be expanded in later years (including a 4 disk CD release in 1998 which is how it came into RtBE lives) and has been a gateway into the world of garage rock and punk for countless listeners (present company included). On this steamy Labor Day Weekend in New York City Kaye got together with a bunch of old and new friends to run through a ton of these tracks live at City Winery in Tribeca.

The whole Patti Smith Band were in the house with added guests even though only Tony Shanahan was billed to join (as was Patti herself) but when things got started it just seemed like a bunch of old friends getting together to play tunes they loved from their youth. The core players on this night along with Kaye and Shanahan were Glen Burtnik (keyboards, vocals), Jay Dee Daugherty (drums, vocals), Andy York (guitar, vocals), and  Jack Petruzzelli (guitar, vocals). The stage had a real communal feel to it as bands like The Strangeloves, Count Five and The Swingin' Medallion's got airings for the first time in ages by a world class group of players.  

Highlights were guest Jesse Malin's ripping performance of two of the best songs on the collection, The Knickerbockers "Lies" and The Seeds "Pushing Too Hard" the second saw Malin dancing on tables and giving a needed punk injection into things. Later in the night Joan As Police Woman wasn't as invigorating with her two numbers but everyone took a back seat when a genuine rock star emerged.

Rather then closing the show Patti Smith came out early and with little fanfare singing four songs with the band and leaving the room speechless. As the core players moseyed into Richard and the Young Lions "Open Up Your Door" Smith sauntered onto the stage and helped with the backing vocals before the only non 60's song, Smith's cover of John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy" which she dedicated to Robin Williams. Her nuggets era offerings were a slow burning take on The Leaves "Hey Joe" and her own excellent cover version of Them's "Gloria" which brought the house to it's feet dancing and singing along.  Smith clearly owned the room on this night but by playing early she also let the songs get the airing they deserved from the main band; putting the spotlight back on the music itself.

There was a constant shuffling of guests as fans reveled in a by gone era of tunes, remembering what made songs by The Turtles, The Outsiders and Paul Revere & The Raiders hip in the first place. As the musicians on stage wound down with an encore of "Wooly Bully" and "Louie Louie" old folks and young rockers were happily mixing back into the hot summer air, singing along to whatever the words to those jams are....   
Glad I got to experience this one with Tom and Lindsey as well. Purely NYC night of music and hanging.
"Just Like Me"


"Hey Joe"

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