Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Nightwatchman (Tom Morello) TT the Bears

*image from
this site

The Nightwatchman
TT The Bears Place
Cambridge, MA
Wednesday June 27,2007

Last night the time finally came to hustle in to the 350ish capacity TT The Bears Place to catch The Nightwatchman. I had blogged about this very show twice already in this blog.

Outside Boston it was day two of 90+degree days of heat. It was going to be a hot evening in the club for sure. According to the venue page Tom was due on stage at 10:40pm so I decided to time it "right" so I could arrive later and not sweat, quite so much.

When I arrived Dunkin Kensrue was on stage, and from the sound of things wrapping up. When he was done a fair number of the sell out crowd headed towards the door to step outside for a smoke, or to stand in a less opressive heat.

I settled in to a pretty decent spot, about 12 feet off center stage and about 2 persons shoulders distance to the left. About 10:45 the lights dimmed, the PA music came up and the crowd goes freaking nuts.

Tom arrives on stage dressed much like the picture you see here. Its honestly "trademark" Morello. Tom is touring in support of his latest record
One Man Revolution. I had borrowed the album from a co-worker after I got tickets for the show and when I played it I was less than thrilled about it. It was all very "samey" and the acoustic guitar never got really going, he sang in kinda a low drone etc. I had my ticket though and wanted to see what would come of it, and, I am damn glad I went to the show.

The show was a lot of fun. Tom played acoustic guitar and would play harmonica on occasion. Each of the songs seemed to really blossom in this live setting. Tom informed the audience that this was the last show of "this leg" of the tour. By the third song in the audience was in the palm of his hand, and, in ecstasy. Tom would tell stories and the audience hung on his every word. He is a smart, articulate, and very bright. As one would guess with his work in Rage Against the Machine we were pretty much expected to cheer when spoke of the foolishness of George Bush, or crimes against humanity or what have you.

The douchbaggery factor was actually not too bad. When Tom would play the slower, quieter songs the vast majority of the audience were at attention and quiet. Tom pretty much would do a rocker, then a mellow tune. At one point he had banter something like this:

"Okay, I am going to play a slower quiet song and I'd like it if you were pretty quiet. What I mean is, self police. If a person near you is talking while I am playing tell them to shut the fuck up..but do it nicely". Overall, this worked and it was employed at least 2 more times during the 75 minute set. Actually "shut the F up" became the battle cry from various parts of the room. As Tom would start something quiet you'd hear it from somewhere in the back and chuckles would abound.

By the third song, Tom said we were the best most wild audience audience of the tour. He'd later mention it again and that is was not some "Paul Stanley from Kiss canned text random bullshit thank you".

Of course folks were shouting out song requests, and Rage tracks were requested. At one point Tom starts playing the intro to "Bombtrack" and I swear I never thought an acoustic song could get that many people moving. He stops it abruptly of course and smiles. The audience was rewarded later with a very unique version of Guerrilla Radio.

Tom wrapped up the main set and never left before doing an encore. After two songs the audience just doesn't want to let go, so Tom does another.

The two finest moments of the evening for me personally were an absolutely barn buring foot stompin body bouncing sing along of an irishy tune "Road I Must Travel" (see a youtube MTV like video right here.. Before starting he tells the story of how he got his name and how he had to have an Irish Rebel song on his album. The crowd, as I have noted a few times, lost their freaking minds. Tom had everyone do one last sing along and I swear the floor moved. It was *one of those moments*.

Tom also did "This Land is Your Land" and before he began it, he told the story of how it was censored when it came out and the "last verse" had long been "lost". Tom played a blistering version of this and I don't think I had never heard the last verse of lyrics which are:

In the squares of the city - In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office - I see my people
And some are grumblin' and some are wonderin'
If this land's still made for you and me.

The audience goes berserk singing "This land is your land..this land is my land" and 200+ people start bouncing up and down at Toms request.

One cool thing Tom did was that with the purchase of a cd or t-shirt it got you a pass to do a meet and greet after the show. It was a school night for me so I passed on it.

I'll post the set list once I figure it out (or track it down). This is a show that I did tape and I think it needs to be shared here. I just need a smidge to get it converted down and then uploaded.

*** updated w/the set list***

One Man Revolution
Union Song
Maximum Fire Power
Flesh Shapes the Day
Midnight in the city of Destruction
House Gone Up Flames
The Road I must Travel
The Garden of Gethsemane
*bombtrack tease*
Guerilla Radio
Let Freedom Ring
Alone With out you
This Land is Your Land
Until the End

One of the better "surprises" with regards to a live show I have had in ages. Tom brought the goods and left me feeling guilty for not digging the cd as much as I think I now should.

Rumor has it he will be back this fall doing this all over again. I think I'll be there, how about you?

Boston Globe review here
Boston Herald review



At Thursday, June 28, 2007 10:41:00 AM , Blogger Jocular Schlemiel said...

I would like to go. Depends if my buddy will remember to get me a ticket.

Got em!

At Tuesday, July 03, 2007 5:34:00 PM , Blogger Liz said...

This is THE most amazing review of the show! I just saw him perform in Philly recently. I'm a huge TM/RAGE fan and was actually lucky enough to meet and chat with him a couple of years ago in NYC. He was playing a gig with friends of mine and he was so funny, smart, down-to-earth- a really nice guy. I'm going too see him again in LA and I can't wait.

This is me in the tee shirt he signed...

At Tuesday, July 03, 2007 5:42:00 PM , Blogger Liz said...

OMG! I forgot to tell you one thing....can you believe there were retarded SKIN HEADS outside the show in Philly?! I think a bunch of them drove down from Reading and were handing out "literature" calling Tom a racist and a fascist. HAHA! Most people ignored them and the show went on uninterrupted.

At Thursday, July 05, 2007 9:44:00 AM , Blogger March to the Sea said...

Liz..thanks for stopping over and for the kind words.


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