USA, June 5. 2003
Last Update: 03.
My Little Red Book
Your Mind and We Belong Together
Alone Again Or
A House is Not a Motel
Between Clark and Hilldale
Live and Let Live
Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This
You Set the Scene
Bummer in the Summer
Everybody's Gotta Live/Instant Karma
7 and 7 Is
The NY Concert started at 8:35pm. Arthur came out with a cane after the band
was in place. He said a few perfunctory remarks, but the sound system was
muffled even to 1st row balcony where I was.
Opened with Little Red Book, the band sounded good, AL was OK, perhaps a bit
tentative at first. Then "Orange Skies". Then a tune whose title, a
typical AL obscure title, I can't recall but I'd swear it's on Forever Changes.
He was in pain (I'd bet he has a hairline fracture on his ankle) but he wanted
to do the set without sitting in the stool & mic they had set up for him
a'la a folksinger, so he put down the cane & started out standing with a
little clumsiness, knocking the mic & stand over, or his Cowboy hat off.
The strings & brass section came out & he started "Alone again
or" with rest of FC following. Unbelievable to hear this live. Gradually
the performance started to gell, altho' when they got to "Old Man" a
stagehand brought out a music stand that obviously had the lyrics on it. At the
end of the second verse AL got a few words wrong & dropped a phrase, ending
early. It threw off the rythym & the band for an instant but they recovered
like champs. They're good these guys.
C'mon Arthur: Learn The Words before you tour!!! But this seemed to motivate
him, the next song, "Red Telephone" killed. By the time they got to
the end of "side 1", about 40 minutes in, they hit stride, really
nailing everything else on "side 2" & for the rest of the show.
The sound mix also improved putting his vocals on top. His voice really got
better as the evening went on as well.
AL was sort of obscure between songs, going off on political riffs or at one
point announcing he had a guest called "Boss" here and then he just
rambles into the next song. Hey he's an artist right?
They did all of FC side 2 except "Bummer in the Summer" and it really
got better & better. "You Set The Scene" brought us to our feet,
just great. Then the band left stage right & AL exited stage left.
Thunderous cheering for a few minutes & they return for "Bummer",
"Everybody's Got To Live/Instant Karma" "7+7 Is"
"Signed DC" and finally "Singing Cowboy" with strings &
brass. He said he was in pain and I believe him, he didn't use the cane the
entire show, I'm sure he was riding on adreneline figuring "F*@# IT, this
is NEW YORK, I've got 3 weeks to the next gig & I'll rest tomorrow."
The only thing more I could have hoped for was "August". A great,
great show, you guys in England are lucky if you see LOVE FC later on. I'll
definitely catch him again if I can.
This concert was everything I had ever dreamed it would be. My healing
thoughts and energy go to Arthur for his quick and full recovery. His injury did
nothing to take away from his performance of my lifetime. As the phrase goes,
"The show must go on." and on it did. Some things become deep-seated,
right into the core of our being, from whenever and wherever we meet them in our
travels through life. Arthur Lee, Love, and Forever Changes are some of them. To
experience all three, live in NY, in the warm Town Hall was, for me, the
culmination of a life-long dream come true. It was all that and more. Sure, the
band “looks” different, but all we had to do was close our eyes and the
boundaries of the current and past performers disappeared. This current
incarnation of the band is THAT good. It was also being able to sing along, word
for word, live with Arthur Lee, brilliant and creative singer/songwriter. My
original vinyl album has long since worn out from replays so now the CD lives on
indefinitely. Tonight was a peak, to be able to sing along with Arthur live!
Thank you Arthur, I yelled "Thank you" in Town Hall, then you said it
was you who “thanks” us. How about a compromise, we will thank each other :)
True, you might question where the performers would be without the fans. We will
never forget our perspective that you were the first to "make the
change" and create your beautiful songs and we certainly will not be the
last to benefit from your music, so, we most certainly do need to thank you.
Generation after generation will discover and come to love Arthur Lee, Love, and
Forever Changes. We however, have been fortunate to sing along with you, live in
Town Hall NYC. Future generations will still be able to make you, and your
music, a part of their hearts just as we have. There is a time a place for
everything. On behalf of all your future fans who will come to love you, but not
be able to thank you after we have both left this Earth, I thank you Arthur Lee,
Love, and the Forever Changes String and Horn Ensemble.