Oregon July 26. 2002
All photos by: Neil Goldstein
Portland show was phenomenal
I went to the Knitting Factory show, and it was great...so since then I've been looking
forward to Portland and Seattle. But like others, after reading a bit about the show in
SF, I was wondering if the magic would be pulled together again.
At the Roseland Theater, they started with a fairly ragged version of Little Red Book.
I was up at the front, and Arthur seemed buzzed...so although the crowd was VERY
enthusiastic I was wondering what would come next. Arthur joked a bit about having less
talk at the show, more music...
...but from there on out, Arthur's performance built layer on layer of intensity, and I
think it was even better than Knitting Factory. I thought he fed off of the positive
energy from the fans - he REALLY got into it. Arthur was very animated, and signaled out a
lot of the lyrics (like "thumbing a ride" in Red Telephone, firing off an
imaginary machine gun during You Set The Scene "fight for what his father thinks is
right", etc. etc.).
Highlights for me were Red Telephone, which had a long finale where Arthur prompted the
crowd to chant "Freedom", and Singing Cowboy, which also had long coda where
Arthur led the crowd in chanting the "woo hoo"s. Signed D.C. was also terrific,
with extended harmonica work from Mr. Lee.
The band likewise were fantastic. Very tight, and they really got into it as Arthur
did. I've gotta say that Rusty, Dave, Dave, and Mike bring out the very best in these
songs, and put an aggressive stamp on them that works perfectly in the live setting and
brings out another dimension versus the original versions.
I saw the set list before the show, but the actual order was quite a bit
different...there was a lot of spontenaity throughout. Once they'd played everything
except Singing Cowboy (the planned finale), Arthur turned to Rusty and Rusty seemed to say
"that's it" (e.g. we've played them all)...so they finally wrapped up with the
The crowd was much smaller than the Knitting Factory, but just as intensely passionate
as that show (which is saying a hell of a lot). Arthur was *extremely* thankful to the
crowd, and clearly was having a ball. In fact, he didn't seem to want to leave at all.
After they left the stage, he started to walk back out, with a big smile on his face, and
Mike R. gave him a "you've already given 'em everything" bear hug, and they
finally walked backstage.
All in all, a beautiful show, and I hope that Arthur keeps feeding off of the Love
being directed his way by the fans!