UK/USA Gig Reviews 2002
Glasgow Cathouse 15/5/02
Met up with Jason (Australian magazine plastic Jason:)) in the pub across the road from the Cathouse. I had met him before in 96, but not since.
He was pretty much as I'd remembered him. We knew the band weren't on till 9.30pm (no support, Iain djing) so we stayed in thepub till 9.15pm then went across to the venue. I'd never been to the Cathouse before but it seemed an ok place for a gig. Bit bigger than the likes of King Tuts, not as big as the Barrowlands. Jason was at the gig in Nottingham too as he follows the band round the country. He took some digital camera pics which i've seen and are
mostly ace, and normal pics too. Met Kenny from my work and his pal Nick at the gig which was intentional. :) pretty ace...not as fun as the barrowlands in dec for some reason, but better setlist with london tracks and stuff. Really rock on Idiot Stare minus the classical music interludes. Tony kept
drumming on Chemical which prompted Mike to say he'd have kept on going forever if the rest of them hadn't stopped. That was the only real error of the night
though Mike said something about mucking up lyrics on another track. Mike really has got to stop with the frilly pattern shirt though as I hear his mum wants
it back. Al had on floppy hat as usual, Tony was all in black and hidden at back, and I think Jerry and Iain were all in black too. There was about 200 or so people there i'd guess, enough not to be sparse, but not absolutely packed. Seemed a knowledge old school crowd of jj fans in attendance.
A guy - James - was there to sell t shirts and cds and stuff and they had competition things to fill out to win jj stuff and join the online mailing list. Seemed
a crowd round it after the gig so hopefully that went well. I got the impression from the band onstage that
they had a good gig. I was really pleased with how the flyers went too - I stood at the door to give them out as people left and people were coming over to get what their pals had and i didn't see one on the floor - i'd have picked it back up and gave it back out! Jason has a pile for tonights Newcastle gig too, and I have more for Birmingham and then for a kind soul at London probably. Gig pictures are here!
Birmingham Academy 22/5/02
If you've been checking out the reviews on jj.com you'll know that Birmingham was a stonking gig.
I was staying with Russ D, and we met up with Jason and then Matt A, his pal Richard, his friend Sandra, Alun R and girlfriend Mego.We went to the bar next to the venue about 7ish and Iain and Tony were there talking to their mates. We had a drink and a minor hello to Tony and then headed into the venue.
In there, Jason introduced me to four or so people he'd met at other gigs, and I met Adam who i'd emailed before. Also introduced myself to merchandise Andrew. It was definitely a strange fan get together gig.
The gig itself sounded ace and was very busy - I think the busiest of the tour from what I've heard , not counting London. Maybe about 750+ there.
I stood in front of Alan to start with in an effort to try to get a picture of him, but my camera has an anti-Alan filter. Actually its cos he moves about so much. During All the Answers Mike's guitar wasn't working but he wasn't telling Wiff what was wrong so Wiff was trying to catch his eye and I was shouting something to try to get Mike to look at Wiff. Eventually Wiff went and fixed what ever the cabling problem was at Mikes feet.
The bouncer geezer passed round water and I toyed with doing an Iain and pouring it over my head, but I'd obviously not quite had enough vodka as I didn't.
As to what they were wearing, it was Tony's turn with the London shirt - a cut sleeves one, Jerry, Al and Iain all in black, Mike in a <pause......> white shirt with tatoos on it. Shaky shoes have gone this tour btw - fashion police impounded them.
I swapped sides of the stage during All the Answers. Iain had a couple of go's at trying to put his keyboard through the far wall, and apparently something was said about Jerry not playing the right song, but I couldn't hear anything Mike was saying between songs at this gig. Usual setlist.
Russ and I gave out all the remaining flyers and again people were eager to take them and came back if they had been missed in order to get one. I did have one guy refuse one though as he asked if thats who had played tonight and said they were a bit shit. Why wait till the end of the gig then ? doh!
Afterwards a heap of us headed down to the bar next door again for an hour or so after the gig and then headed off to eagerly await the next tour. Pics from the gig here.
Setlist (in order) -
Move Mountains / International Bright Young Thing / The Next Big Thing/ Chemical #1 / Rocket Ships of La Jolla / All the Answers / Right Here, Right Now / In the Face of All of This / Come On Home / Never Enough / Nowhere Slow / Real, Real, Real / Zeroes & Ones / Idiot Stare / Message / Info Freako / Who? Where? Why?
Birmingham Academy 22/05/02
I had Elaine staying with me, she'd come from Glasgow to experience the delights of Birmingham, and we noticed that - hey - Jesus Jones were
playing the Academy just the night after Elaine's arrival. What a coincidence!!!! Well, we couldn't get tickets for anything else, so we got ourselves sorted for a trip to the Academy.:)
We met up with Jason Lee (Magazine's daddy) outside the Odeon, he was easily identifiable by his drunken appearance, being overloaded with cameras, and
sounding broadly Australian. Then we met Matt Arrowsmith, our Yoshi gig partner, and his mate Richard, (Matt's girlfriend Sandra met us in the
gig), Alun Rowe (ninety still rock!) and his girlfriend Mego at a local pub, then headed for the 'preshow bar' next to the Academy. Iain and Tony were there talking to their mates. Tony drank coffee, and impressed us Maggers by actually knowing who each of us were by name. Nice one! Asking him why he was drinking coffee, it seems that Mike is a bit of a tyrant, and wouldn't let them drink tea before a gig. Erm...:)
Left the pre-show bar, after wishing Ian and Tony luck with the gig, and headed for the Academy. The staff behind the box office seemed to think Alien Ant Farm were playing, but that's another story. I would say there were a good 1000 people there, which was enough to fill the room the stage was in.
The set list: Move Mountains (fantastic opener, feeding nicely into....) International Bright Young Thing (neither the band nor the crowd so young anymore but
still bright, and (Scotland, England, Australia - any more takers?) oh so international), The Next Big Thing, Chemical No.One, The Rocket Ships of
La Jolla (Pronounced La Hoya, according to Mike), All the Answers (A great surprise addition to a set list I could not have predicted), Right Here, Right Now (which really got the crowd moving), In the Face of All of This (which started slowly as those who didn't know London thought 'what's this?' and really rocked once it got going), Come On Home (in an ideal world, would have been the next single, according to Mike - fantastic live sound), Never Enough (the anthem for their best of album - go buy it Andy! :) No more complaints about listening to COH on mp3 should be allowed), Nowhere Slow (fantastic, but Mike should have plugged it better - GO BUY THIS FROM JJ.COM), Real, Real, Real (Introduced by Mike in a Scottish accent according to Elaine. I couldn't make it out, but who am I to judge the Scots?), Zeroes & Ones (gets better every time I hear it live), Idiot Stare (I think I was lost in the melee with Alun and Jason at this point), Message
(possibly my choice for the opener, but fantastic, either way), Info Freako (I need some air - as do Matt A and Alun who supposedly find the smelliest
person in the gig at the front of the stage) and - finally - Who? Where? Why? (a great finale, that leaves the band hot, sweaty and full of
Iain was his usual manic self, prowling up and down the stage area, bothering Tony for periods of time, pounding on the keyboard for all his life was worth. Tony proved he has settled very nicely into the band, thank you very much. Alan was his usual head-flailing self, but with less hair than of old, Jerry was as into the music as I've ever seen him, and managed to shrug off Mike's jibes about playing the wrong song (I have it on good authority that Jerry's set list was in teeny tiny letters, so maybe that was cause for some confusion?), there are rumours that Matt Arrowsmith bared his bottom on stage, but I'll let him confirm or deny this for you.... :) Mike seemed to revel in the atmosphere, the music sounded great, the band seemed to enjoy it, and the crowd were really responsive. Even the odd bit of stage-diving, though thankfully for Mike no ankle-biters. :) It seemed to go down very very well, and Elaine and I made a dash for the doors, with a huge pile of flyers that went like hot cakes. Come to think of it, perhaps we should have been selling hot cakes, too. Hmmm. For those not in the know, Elaine's flyers advertise JJ.com, and should help propel that many more gig-goers official sitewards..... A fantastic gig! Possibly the best JJ gig I ever saw! I envy you guys in
the US who will get to see them shortly. If you're not one of the guyswho already has tickets...go buy them now!!!
Boston Paradise 31/5/02
The gig went well considering Darren died halfway through the set. What could have been nightmarish turned out really well with a non-sampler-enhanced version of Info Freako being the highlight for me. Check out Jen's pic's here.
Boston Paradise 31/5/02
So it's about 3am and i've spent the last few hours BS'ing with old friends in my undergrad dorm and i've had way too much beer to even attempt to be coherent but i will give it my best shot...
I got to Boston about 5.30p after sneaking out of school at 2pm. Drove through random rain and whatnot on Route 2 but made it eventually. Met up with my friend Linda at my old dorm and we headed out to the Paradise about 6 to find food. Wound up in the middle of a rainstorm and wandered into the Paradise for shelter and to get nearby food recommendations. As we sneaked in, I heard the strains of 0's and 1's and the adrenaline totally kicked in. Some bouncer guy caught us and kicked us out, but recommended a pub next door (I forget the name) for food. So we went in there and I had the best Chef's salad in the history of mankind. Washed down with a few Magner's ciders and I was ready to roll.
We walked over to the Paradise and were the first people in the place at 8. I hereby declare myself the Magnet of Weird Shit(tm) for as soon as I was in the place another Jesus Jones freak named Jon immediately spotted me and I had found a kindred soul for the rest of the night. He hadn't seen them before so I kept telling him what a treat he was in for :)
After knocking back a few Bacardi Limon's and stuff the opening band came on. Lifestyles, they were called, a local band to Boston. Kind of reminded me of a cross between the Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, and Devo. The guitarist had black lipstick and a feather boa on, so that pretty much explains it :) They weren't by any stretch bad - and served to get Jon and I in the Jones-freak mood.
After having another beer and many smokes (to counteract the alcohol) anda bathroom break, Jon and I camped out in front of the stage. The venue was fairly similar to the Kingston gig - the place was small but was wide instead of long. There were also a few upper levels, in a lounge-type setup. When the opening band came on there were maybe 30 or so people in the place. I didn't keep track of the attendance after JJ came on as I was a few drinks in and the adrenaline was through the roof :)
So without any further BS here's the setlist breakdown - again, as in style recounting from the Sharpie setlist inscribed on my arm, which I copied off a setlist taped to the stage:
Just came on and tore into this one. Absolutely fantastic. Jerry gave me a nod on stage and I was beyond ballistic :)
I think I was already hoarse at this point. Tore the roof off.
I like this song more and more the more I hear it with just straight guitars. There were murmurings about "Darren" which were explained later...
It was great to hear Already stuff live. Particularly this song - totally guitar driven, one of the only ones off Already I think is well-suited to being played live with the lack of sampling. Totally rocked.
Rocket Ships of La Jolla
Mike made a comment about it raining in London and that being a "rich" comment given the fact that a line of massive thunderstorms tore through Boston right before the show. This is another one that is suited to being played live - most of London is like that, really guitar-driven in-your-face rock.
Real Real Real
The crowd recognied this one well and seemed into it. Jon and I were apeshit by this point.
Right Here, Right Now
As expected this got a great response (I think - I was too mental to notice). I guess I understand the change of setlist from the earlier tour - putting this back to back w/ Rx3. I will never forget the emotional impact this had on me hearing it right after Face in Kingston... totally awesome here as well :)
-- Somewhere in here was the reference made to "Darren", the sampler :) Barry D's replacement. Jon was screaming shit out and Mike at some point
was like "If you can play keyboards come up here!"
Awesome. Absolutely awesome. I think there was a slight flub of the lyrics and I was trying to help out the best I could :) but I had (more than) a few beers by this point :)
To Get There
Here again was a reference to "Darren being able to play this one" and the verdict was "no" :) Prefaced by the ESPN Tour de France explanation. I really REALLY like this song live - it still strikes me every time I hear it.
In The Face Of All Of This
I got to sing along to a Jesus Jones song LIVE!!! Ok well not exactly. I was really hoarse by this point and screaming along of course and Mike changed the refrain on this one - last time "Troubles I'll now put.. Troubles I'll now put.. Troubles I'll now put away." Totally faked me out :) as I started singing "away" and whatnot. But at the very end he pointed towards me and I screamed at the top of my (almost dead) lungs "YUP!!!!" I was beyond psyched :)
All The Answers
Much conference going on about sound stuff I presume. Had a few words with Jerry onstage. This was so incredibly sweet to hear live... Jon and I were singing to each other at one point. I was psyched to hear Liquidizer stuff live - and there was more to come...
Blew the roof off (IMHO). Jon went nuts - he was hoping to hear this one.
Zeroes and Ones
A minor technical glitch - Darren started it but then died apparently... I loved this song live last time and I loved it even more here. It is awesome to hear on Perverse, but it lends itself incredibly well to just having the pants blown off it live with guitars. There was a small conference before this one (I think) where Mike said "Don't look at this" and we all looked :) then came back and said "Yeah we like this one, we're going to play it."
Who? Where? Why?
Darren had been punted at this point :) I noticed there was not as much onstage banter as there had been at Kingston. This was awesome :) Every time I hear this song, I just think, how in the hell does Mike know what I'm thinking? :) This song is on repeat in my lab quite often :) Absolutely brilliant.
-- They got to do a "proper" encore this time - i.e. leaving the stage and leaving psychos like Jon and I to bang on speakers and scream ourselves hoarse until they came back out. Now here's where we were thrown an awesome curve. The setlist had Idiot Stare listed as the encore... but they came out and broke into Never Enough!!! I was completely beside myself needless to say :)
Afterwards, Jon ran into the tunnel (to backstage) and Al said the band would be out later to talk and sign stuff. Holy shit. I took an entire roll of pics just during the show and was out. Damn! Fortunately I had spent enough time chatting up the bouncers that they let me out to run to the nearby convenience store and get another camera :) Whilst waiting we were begging one of the roadies for a broken drumstick. Jon snagged a guitar pick (we think it was Mike's) and he begged to get me a drumstick. The roadie wanted $100 for it and I was like, give me a broken one! I have scars on my forearm from where it was scratching me sticking out of my
pocket but it's pleasurable pain :) We also grabbed setlists from the stage and ripped posters down from the hall. And I got a ticket stub for this one too! Yay, souveniers :)
Came back in and got to talk to Al and Jerry and take loads of pics. Jon was insane with the autographs - I was happy to get everyone to initial my London cover :) Many many pictures were taken. Jerry said I smelled like garlic during one close encounter - Jerry, I sincerely apologize :) I was drenched in sweat, alcohol, and smoke from the events of the night and I'm hoping it wasn't too unpleasant. Pics were taken with Al and Jerry and Ted and Jenn. I talked to Ted for a while about future plans, and reminisced about the Kingston gig, and it was absolutely awesome :) Ted, you are incredible :)
And finally, I actually got to meet Mike face to face, shake his hand, and talk to him. He (as well as Jerry and Ted) remembered me from the Kingston gig - I had the same "old skool" (according to a denizen of Store 24) Tshirt on as I did for that gig. He remembered my novel to magazine too (here's another one!) Mike had said something about Face being some form of odd - I can't remember exactly - and I said no, it's what we need to hear. And being from NYC - it's like RHRN almost all over again. How you could have written a song like that in such a "timely" manner - you're a prophet and a visionary and no one will ever tell me different :) It's absolutely brilliant. He said thanks for the "yup!" and apologized for faking me out on the chorus. I got an autograph and a pic and a hug :) I can now die a happy, fulfilled woman :) Thank you!!!!!!
So at this point the Paradise people wanted us out so Jon and I hoofed it out back to where the vans were so he could get the rest of his stuff signed and I got to talk to Tony for a bit - he remembered my name!! I was beyond psyched. He also said something about having a drumstick - "Do you know how much those things cost??" To which we replied. "It's broken! We're preventing you from hurting yourself!" "I bleed on your behalf!" and other such nonsense. Everyone signed my London cover at that point and once Jon was done (I had the only marker available for signing apparently) we said our goodbyes (punctuated by me kissing the glass of the van) before we left. Tony needed to hail a cab to go somewhere so we assisted him in that and then cabbed it back to MIT and here I am writing this
I would again like to thank Mike, Jerry, Al, and Tony, as well as Ted amd Jenn, for a fabulous show and for chatting with us afterwards. It was truly a fantastic experience - you guys (and lady!) were all so nice, and such fantastic performers - I only wish there was some way I could express my thanks more :) I guess the only thing I can say is that I will always be a fan and I will always do whatever I can to support the music you make. I believe in it, it means the world to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!
Pictures from the show will be available hopefully soon - I will send them out for development early next week.
I hope you all enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it - I'm still in shock over (once again) the best night of my life.
And now that it's 4am and I was supposed to get up at 9 to go back to Hell - I mean, Amherst - I will retire. Check out her pics...
Buffalo Continental - June 2, 2002 and Baltimore Fletchers- June 3, 2002
First off let me start by reminding Tony... YOU HAVE TO FINISH YOUR BEER BEFORE WALKING OUTSIDE! We don't want you to get arrested or anything!
So I'm waiting to get in to the gig in Buffalo at this cool little club called The Continental and I meet Bob, also from Cleveland. We hung out all night and saw a great gig. Darren actually cooperated too!
First of all... the opening bands were... well... less than dandy. The first one was called Junction 5 and it seemed they were having a bit of an identity crisis, knicking a little bit of every band that has ever been popular, but not piecing it together very well. The song they opened with sounded promising, it sounded like Esion from the last tour. But, it sadly went very downhill after that. The second band was called The McClurg Family Singers, and can you believe it... a Christian rock band??? I am not lying. The singer had very big hair and sounded like the dude from Hootie and the Blowfish. Urg.
Now finally for JJ... the band sounded very tight, much improved from when I saw them 6 months ago in Ann Arbor. They ripped through a fabulous set which included a nice variety from all their albums, including 2 songs from Already, "Chemical #1" and "The Next Big Thing." I was a little sad they didn't include "Stranger" in their set this time around but instead I got to hear "Never Enough" and "All The Answers" which was a nice change. I have come to the conclusion that the best song to hear live is "Nowhere Slow". WOW. I really loved it and looked forward to hearing it again in Baltimore.
After the gig was over, Bob and I hung around as I have become pretty cool with Tony over the past few months, so we were going to go out for a drink. While we were waiting we talked with the whole band and it was really nice and relaxed. Everybody finally cleared out about 12:30, so we went out back to say goodbye to everyone. On a recommendation. Tony, Bob and I went to this club called Club Marcella or something. It just happened to be "Gay Pride" night... we walked in and the whole place was filled with drag queens, transvestites and other interesting characters. We started to have a few drinks, and Bob had to split to go back to Cleveland. So Tony and I hung out there until 3am, at which point we had witnessed a cabaret of epic proportions MC'ed by a bloke called "Orgasmatron." Er.... yeah, anyway.
The quote of the night came from Tony when he said "So, this is what goes on in Buffalo on a Sunday night?" Perhaps you had to be there but it was very fitting at the time.
Of course seeing as how we had been drinking all night, both of us were very drunk. But wait, my car was parked in the garage across from the Continental. I didn't want to leave it there! So what is the best thing to do? Get in and drive drunk, of course (kids, don't try this at home). Our hotels were only about a mile from where they played, so the strategy was to drive extremely slow. I managed to make it back to drop Tony off in one piece and we had a long drive to Baltimore awaiting us
the next day.
Woke up at 5:30am after going to bed about 3:30am. 2 hours of sleep, I love it. And I don't know why, I just woke up and was wide awake. I was also still really drunk and just generally feeling like crap. But nevertheless, I got up, showered, went down to Walgreens to get a muffin and some juice. I managed to leave Buffalo about 10am and made the looooong drive down to Baltimore, arriving there about 5:30pm.
I went down to Fletchers about 7 and happened to catch the band in soundcheck. I went in and hung out and watched them do their thing until about 7:30. Then we all decided to hop in the van and go for something to eat. Now, being in the van with the (almost) whole of Jesus Jones is an awesome experience, not one I will forget anytime soon! Anyway, we ended up driving around finding nothing, so returning to the venue and eating at the small bar that was downstairs. The food was alright, and the band got to play some pool.
We left there and went back to our hotel for a bit of relaxing. I caught up with them again at 9:15 to catch a ride to the gig. We got there as the opening band called Army Of Me or something was finishing up. They were alright, better than the bands the night before. They had a cool drummer, though their singer didn't even look like he was old enough to vote.
JJ hit the stage and went through the set and sounded good, but we disagree on which night sounded better. I think Mike's vocals were a bit high and squeaky (not from his voice, the way it was coming through the monitors) and I just was not as satisfied as the night before. However they all think it was better. Of course. =)
After the gig, me, Tony, Jerry, Al and Wiff went to the "neighborhood bar" behind our hotel. I think by this they mean the place where all the local drunks go to make complete fools of themselves. There was one guy in there who was pulling down his pants as the barmaid took pictures. Just like any good family-run operation. =) We stayed there until about 2am and then went back (Tony still not believing me about the open container rule...). I went to sleep although I know the boys stayed up for quite a while longer.
Woke up this morning and met the band for our free continental breakfast at 9:30. And you know why it's free? Cuz they have nothing that is any
good. Basically it was cereal, bagels, some fruit (apples that knives don't cut through!), pancakes and english muffins (which sparked a debate
about english muffins, french toast and other things...). But it was free and it temporarily filled a void.
We all checked out at 10:30, and we parted with me coming back to Cleveland (400 miles in 6 hours, not bad eh?) and them going on to Chapel Hill.
It was a fabulous weekend all around... thanks to the band for being super cool and letting me hang out with them all weekend. =) I hope they come
back around before too long. Check out her pics..
Chapel Hill 5th June 2002
I arrived at the venue only to find that it was part of a small strip mall, which contained a pizza shop and video rental store. That bothered me a bit for some reason despite having heard nothing but good things about the venue for the past few years. However, once inside I could tell the place was somewhat dump-ish. I think most people who were already there were there in support of the opening band, The B-Sides. I'm not quite sure exactly what they represent, but I didn't like it whatever it was. For some reason, a Queen cover was done. I head off to the bathroom only to run into (almost literally) Tony. I talk with him for a little bit
and then head back out to be tortured by the B-Sides for another 3 songs. So when they said "one more song," I head outside and grab a breath of
fresh air and a yogurt bar since I'd had basically no food in the past few hours and my blood sugar had been erratic all day under the stress of work and the possibility of not making the show; again, due to work.
So as the crew are setting up the stage, I head off to the bathroom once more. I come back out and hear screams as if the band had taken the stage.I thought, hmmm, it's only Jerry and Al setting up, and the first song won't start for a few more minutes. XXXXXXXXXX, WRONG! I heard "Message" kick in, and I ran to the stage.
As I looked aroung, I saw very few people. I suspect most of them had only heard "Right Here, Right Now" or most of Doubt. After song #2, "Move Mountains," Mike explains why Iain isn't on this tour. Sadly, he's been replaced by Darren the DAT, whose volume is not loud enough to me as is more apparent on "Zeroes" later on in the set. The lyrics to "The Next Big Thing" are swapped between the album mix and Richardson/Coler mix. Mike flubs the lyrics to a few songs but recovers well for the most part. "In the Face of All of This" is introduced as being "goulish" and Mike then says he's getting a slap in the face for it now, even though it was written in June. No introduction for "Right Here, Right Now," but at this point, everyone is into the song, again probably because it's the only
song they know... Maybe.
Mike introduces the last song as "Who?Where?Why?" and after that, they leave the stage for a minute, return, and launch into "Never Enough" and finally "Idiot Stare."
I am glad I was able to make the show, but, unfortunately, I didn't feel that there was much of a vibe in the club. Having seen them in December, I can say that they are still an amazing live band. I think the lack of,people in the audience played a big part in the band's set. (Jerry later tells me tonight is the smallest crowd they've ever played to). However, there didn't seem to be as much energy as there was back in December. Mike sang well, and they all played well. Darren was on his best behavior, maybe a little quiet, but everything was set except the crowd. I know that if the university there hadn't let out three weeks earlier, the place
would have been packed and the vibe would definitely have been there. Also, I think the lights (what a joke) and sound system weren't as up to par as they should have been.
After the show, I meet Tony again and talk to him a while about the show and the shows back in December. I get him and Mike to sign a blank promo photo I got from Andrew at Mi5 and then wait around while other people get stuff signed by Mike. Later, I get Jerry and Al to sign the photo and then talk to Mike for a while about maybe making the four shows in California at the end of the month. Now if I can just get off work. At that point, the equipment was ready to go and Mike was lugging out the merchandise board, so I decided to leave, go home, and get the sleep I so much needed and deserved, even if it was for only 4 hours. Again, thanks to work. Check out Bryans' pics here.
Atlanta 6th June 2002
Yes, I went to the cotton club show and my ears are still ringing! I'm sorry the chapel hill show wasnt too lively; I'd have no idea because the show tonight was electrifying and wonderfully loud. Oh yeah, I took some pictures of each member of the band. I could of taken more but I didn't want anyone to get annoyed at me. Anyway, I wont go into cliche detail (I encourage everyone to make it to at least one show if not already), but the setlist was as follows: message/bring it on down/international b. y. t./rockets ships of lj/(i forgot)/(i forgot again dammit)/to get there/all the answers/in the face of all this/right here right now/info
freak/no where slow/(i forgot-im a horrible fan)/zeroes n ones/real. And for an enchore, never enough and idiot stare. And the opening bands werent as terrible as I heard. I even bought David Dunning's demo, say that five times fast.
Atlanta 6th June 2002
Dreams do come true...
My wife (Lori) and I decided to celebrate our 4th Wedding Anniversary by driving from Charlotte, N.C., to Atlanta to see Jesus Jones -- Right There! Right Then! We each donned JJ t-shirts -- Lori's was vintage "Doubt" era, while mine was a "London" t-shirt I had ordered from the U.K. Mike actually pointed to us a couple of times during the show in appreciation of this, which was really cool. We were pressed up against the stage, along with about 9 other JJ fans, while the rest of the patrons (a smallish crowd) hung out near the bar. No alcohol for us though. We didn't want anything to dull what we were about to see and hear. They immediately launched into "Message". Throughout the show, as I stood there listening to Mike's tight guitar playing and singing, I began to feel as if a 4th dimension had been added to the universe ("4" was an important number that night). I had waited 10 long years to see these guys, and they sounded INCREDIBLE!!! What a joy it was to watch Mike and Jerry trade precise guitar jabs with such angular agility. Powerful. Crisp. Confident. At one point I remarked to Lori that I couldn't remember a time when I felt this euphoric. She gently reminded me that our wedding day might have been such a time. (OOPS!!!!) Tony remarked after the show that this concert was the first time on the tour he played "perfectly". No arguments here. Jerry's bass playing was "spot on" (as the Brits say), as he jiggled sweat everywhere instead of hair. Mike made a funny comment about Iain being replaced on tour with the DAT, which worked perfectly throughout the entire show -- a small miracle apparently. By the way, Iain's absence resulted in 4 band members on stage. There's that number again! Lori and I noticed that Mike had a satisfied smirk on his face after each song. That was cool to see.
After the show, we hung out near the van waiting to chat with the band. Tony noticed my "Doubt" songbook, which I brought for autographs, and I introduced myself to him. As Tony's picture was not in the songbook, I told him he would have to draw himself, then sign. He actually did it! Mike later laughed at Tony's self-portrait. I then showed Alan HIS picture in the Doubt songbook. Upon seeing his old hairdo, Alan referred to himself as a "posin' fookin' poof". I laughed out loud. Alan then proceeded to draw himself in the songbook -- with hair -- and sign just as Tony had done. Either self-portrait would make an excellent album cover or liner note
some day. There were a lot of crack bums after the show carrying gear to the van and demanding payment. When I saw that Mike was being accosted for the
2nd time, I paid the bum myself. I also helped Jerry carry some gear to the van. It was the very least I could do to show my appreciation for all the great innovative music these guys have, AND CONTINUE TO, put out. At one point, I told Mike that he was still creating vital new music and he replied -- "Well, I'll keep doing it then".
House of Blues Orlando June 9th 2002
I was going to write a review last night when I finally arrived home, but my thoughts were spinning so fast I could barely form them into coherent words. Two disastrous leave takings at home, two trips into the restaurant as my jealous husband had covertly stolen my MasterCard (nice touch) and two trips into Downtown Disney, as my daughter left her pocketbook (with the tickets no less) in the restaurant in Kissimmee. Ugh! It has been ten years since I last saw JJ play live, but you wouldn't know it to watch them on stage. They are still a brilliant band, still very much a great band to see live. Meredith Brooks played
before the boys took the stage, and while she played well (for that sort of music), the crowd didn't seem much into it. A few lonely stragglers stood
on the dance floor in front of the stage, but for the most part the dance floor remained empty. When she left the stage, a couple of people clapped for
an encore, but the girl behind me said "no way, bring on the real band." As these were my thoughts exactly (but I was much too nice to express them
out loud) I started laughing. We chatted and I found out she had won her tickets from a local radio show. How lucky!!! As soon as the curtain opened my
daughter and I made our way to the front (and almost center) of the dance floor where we remained the entire show. It was so great to see JJ
performing live once again. I couldn't help thinking in an entirely personal way during RHRN how exactly fitting the words were "there is no other
place I'd rather be." I'll try to give you a setlist, however I was enjoying myself too much to be bothered with writing it down. The crowd was
enthusiastic, if small - Mike remarked once about how loud a reception they were getting for such a small group or something to that effect. Jerry
was magnificent, as was Al - just the way I remembered them playing. It was so cool just watching the guys smile and have fun on stage again. They
seemed relaxed and happy. It was my first time seeing (and later meeting) Tony, and I was extremely impressed with his ability. Mike, well of course Mike was
brilliant. His voice was as beautiful as I'd remembered, very uniquely his own. It did sound to me as if he was straining it at times. What a challenge, to keep a throat losenge in your mouth while singing and dancing about on stage. Several times during the performance there were shouts from
the girls in the audience...Mike you're so hot...Mike you're hot - we love you. I can remember feeling a bit superior as they were shouting - until
a little niggling voice giggled and said inside my head - you think he's hot too (all the guys in JJ are hot!) you just haven't the nerve these young ladies have to shout it out! So anyway, it seemed to us as if everything went just as it should throughout the performance, no real flubs. I was very
happy, immediately following the show, to meet Tom from NY(an incredibly nice guy and major fan) and Hazel (a fellow Floridian and shy fan). We had a
nice chat and exchanged stories about the band, then followed a really nice HOB security guy out back to the "meet and greet." Tony was out first I
think, at least that's who we spoke with first. He came right up to Tom and began chatting. He is very charming! Then Al stopped by and spoke with us. He
is way cool, very friendly. Then we talked to Jerry. He is incredibly sweet, very nice to talk to - we had a great chat. I remember talking to them
ten years ago and being very impressed with how normal and delightful (pardon the archaic description, please) they were, and they are still the same today.
I sort of kept missing Mike while he was out (too shy to make the approach - especially put off by the thought of shouldering through the two younger
girls, the ones shouting earlier Mike you're hot!) but finally managed to snag his signature on my ticket stub and a quick photo (thanks to Tom). Mike
seemed...I don't know - maybe preoccupied, or tired. I remember after the DC gig ten years ago he seemed so incredibly high from the performance when
we spoke out behind the venue. Ahh well.... The fans who waited out back seemed enthusiastic, and thrilled, and very grateful the band gave us a few minutes
to chat with them. I have to say it was strange not seeing Gen and Iain with the boys - you both were much missed. Jerry was saying Iain is having
band dreams, even though he's an ocean away. That's so cool, the psyhic connection and all that. I have band dreams too...uh well that's a
different story. "So what the hell is wrong with fantasy?" to quote someone, umm...who was that again?! Just kidding!
The playlist was probably very similar to earlier shows. I'll try to list the songs they played.
Right Here, Right Now
Real, Real, Real
Who, Where, Why
Zeroes and Ones
To Get There
International Bright Young Thing
The Rocket Ships of La Jolla
In the Face of All This
The Next Big Thing
I know I'm missing some of the songs, this is my best attempt at a partiallist, totally out of order by the way. Altogether a truly memorable evening.
I couldn't help think to myself as I left - they're still doing it, the boys in Jesus Jones are still making dreams come true. Thanks guys! Wendy get ready!!! Hazel, you want to make a roadtrip to Ft. Lauderdale on the 12th???
Kansas City 20/6/02
Jesus Jones being my band of choice and all, I dragged my fiancée Vesna from Nebraska through wind, rain, and the most boring landscape in the United States (a.k.a. Iowa and Illinois) to three consecutive concerts in Chicago, Detroit and Ann Arbor. That was in December, when I thought that it would be my only chance to catch them live, shake hands with people who influenced my life, art and beliefs more than that other Jesus. This, thankfully, was not the case. Summer U.S. dates were announced for the keyboard player-less version of Jesus Jones, which rather coincidentally matched up with my own wedding, move to Arizona and subsequent honeymoon in Yosemite State Park. I planned to attend 5 dates, Vesna thought I was mad, somewhere the concept of a Jesus Jones Death Cult was mentioned and it stuck.
June 20th, Kansas City-- The first of 5 ( ultimately 3 due to 2 cancellations) Jesus Jones shows for me and what luck, it's my bachelor party with my oldest friends seeing my favorite band, swamped with free drinks at a beach club "thousands of miles from the beach" (singer Mike E's words).
Throughout the tour the band has been posting up-to-date tour diaries, containing rather intimate information such as bowel difficulties, skin diseases, ant attacks and engagements. It is a bit like a rock n' roll Big Brother.
The band are playing at the same time at the same club as a Phil Pantera's side project, a dubious prospect made stranger by the fact that Jesus Jones is playing outside, eye-level on a deck 1 1/2 feet away from a good-sized horde of college girls. JJ guitarist Jerry later tells me that this was extremely nerve racking, and during the show Mike comments that he can't make any mistakes because it everyone can hear it so clearly, but, hell, from a fan's point of view, it was like having the band play at your backyard! The sound was indeed crystal clear and it was a gorgeous, cloudless night, and the whole of Westport could hear what was going at the Beaumont.
Jerry is assaulted by a groupie in the middle of the set, and changes the lyrics to "All the Answers." He coaxes free drinks out of me, before I have read the St. Louis tour diary to see that it is a scam.
Drummer Tony is trailed by 2 fat women who must think they have a chance-- they must have read the tour diary where he's checking out old ladies. As the story goes, he ends up head over heels for a barmaid named Missy. "How did you fall in love?" Vesna asks him at the Phoenix show. "I don't know, I was drunk!"
Some one videos this and apologizes profusely at the end for any upset this may have caused. I can relate: my friends and I have minidisced this one, as well as tons of photos, probably the best of my Jesus Jones-photo-taking career.
During "Right Here, Right Now," I take a look at the crowd behind me and see some fat guys waving their arms in the air like Pentecostals. It's quite a sight, hopefully a good photo.
Their hardest and doomiest song, "Idiot Stare," at this club is reminiscent of Radiohead playing "Creep" at the MTV beach house all those years ago but it still goes down well with even 2 of my friends who came with me not really liking JJ. New converts are made.
Tonight is also the first night I'm not nervous in approaching the band and I have to say out of all the shows I've seen so far this was my favorite, up close and personal and crystal clear. We are lucky enough to chat with each member post-show and, as is customary for a Jesus Jones tour, hand Mike Edwards a Simpsons figure-- this time the undying Hans Moleman.
June 22nd is my wedding and shortcutting paying a DJ, I (the groom) make the mix CDs. Typical disco/ love song fare is ignored in favor of Jesus Jones's "International Bright Young Thing," "Get a Good Thing" and "Right Here, Right Now," alongside Eels, U2, Beatles, and the Wonder Stuff.
June 24th, Phoenix, AZ- At the Bash on Ash near ASU, a club that confines the drinking to 3 feet from the bar and the smoking to outdoors only. This discourages any drunken freeform dancing that one would normally associate with a rock concert. Vesna and I had only moved to Phoenix that very morning, and after 24 hours confined to a cramped auto with an out-of-control puppy and Doritos for breakfast, lunch and dinner, we were not feeling too well spiritually. Still, it's Jesus Jones and we're going to have a good time, dammit. The Death Cult must move on.
This tour brings with it 4 songs not played in December, "All the Answers", "Never Enough", "Chemical #1", and "The Next Big Thing." "All The Answers" has always been far and away one of my favorites, and live it carries a swaggering groove absent from the album version. It also seems to be the source of most confusion among band members, when Jerry and bassist Al are required to sing the middle bit, one or the other changes the lyrics or starts early, providing amusing looks from the rest of the band. Even with the silliness it still was a contender for best live song in my book.
"Next Big Thing" live is far meatier than its album counterpart and far better for it. Even Al, who previously refused to play the song on the grounds he hated it, has done a 180 and now says he "likes it." Stomping hard, like a bastard child of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and an old Aphex Twin ambient tune, "NBT" has gone from something I'd usually skip to one of my favorites. "Chemical #1," on the other hand, loses its multiple-voice-harmony-whatever parts live and isn't as unique as its recorded version.
Top marks, for me anyways, go for a pair of newer songs, "Rocket Ships of La Jolla" and "To Get There," the latter carrying a menacing anthemic power that rivals Godzilla in smashing power. Additionally, it's a great showcase for Mike E's voice towards the end, not to mention Tony's fast-slow drum rolls.
Show-wise, the wife and I were beyond fatigued and I must've flashed Jerry in the face with my camera-- road manager Wiff gives me a "cut it out with the camera" face. The crowd of wasn't as sizable or hyperactive as KC, despite the presence of many JJ shirts in attendance. But you can't fault the band for putting in everything they had regardless, especially knowing that they themselves had suffered through 3 days of a mind boggling boring drive from Chicago to Phoenix. The true sign of a professional is grace under pressure, and Jesus Jones has grace.
The Los Angeles and Petaluma shows are cancelled due to some reason or another that has slipped my mind, so the final show for us is the last day of JJ's tour in San Francisco. In between Phoenix and SF is a time of building furniture, getting our house in order, visiting relatives and old friends in LA, taste testing wines in Gilroy ("The Garlic Capital of the World" brags Main Street), and learning about mummies via the audio CD The Mummy Congress. We forgo any sort of photography or MD recording for this show, opting to relax and enjoy a concert without worrying about technology. Besides, how many photos of someone playing guitar can one have?
The band play characteristically well, although the DAT machine seems unusually loud-- I think this was the first time I could clearly hear the house piano in "Move Mountains." Jesus Jones's final show is well-attended, chock full of unusual people (a stone-faced business man mouthing "Right Here...", a pushy Goth girl loudly announcing she doesn't even like the band, many teens for some reason). We meet some people from Sacramento, their leader John sporting a Carter USM shirt and being an actual bandmate of Fruitbat. Although bars in SF are supposed to stay open until 2 am, everyone is swept out the door immediately following the end of "Idiot Stare" (around 11:30 pm), and Vesna and I follow John around back to say bye. Approaching the band's van, Mike E waves Hans Moleman out the window and we wish him good luck on his upcoming Amateur Tour De France bike race. Tony vanishes with his new love who came to SF at the drop of a hat, Al is off with his wife, and Vesna and I head north to camp. Our honeymoon will finish up in Yosemite, a relaxing day of climbing waterfalls and feeling insignificant alongside centuries-old trees.
After 6 shows and endless photos, the Jesus Jones Experience is burned in my brain, a scar marking one of the Jesus Jones Death Cult.