15 November 2003

Crimbus Outside Venue Kingston NY

00.19

Crimbus Outside Venue, Kingston, NY.

Arriving on a Friday, it felt like Sunday.

The venue didn't promise much at the beginning: it feels a little unloved, a little unused, and without a waiting reservoir of energy to be accessed & power the proceedings. Living Colour came on to a cold house, literally & metaphorically, and had to work to bring up the temperature. They succeeded.

The Crimson soundcheck was a sonic nightmare. Awful, horrible sound. But during the show, onstage, it began well & got better. I don't know what FOH might have been but I trust Greg Dean, the Crimson FOH Guy. At a point in the performance, I found myself with a sense of distance & connection, outside & inside at the same time. Something like, the participant observer participating & observing.

The Crimson Fifth Man, TLev, came by to visit at soundcheck & brought his wife to the show. Tony has moved to Kingston from Woodstock and lives 11 blocks from the venue.

23.41 Beacon Theatre, NYC.

Living Colour walked onstage to deliver. And they did. The audience gave them a deserved standing ovation. Tonight is the last show we share with them on this batch of touring. A personal, professional, musical joy & blessing for me.

A strong KC show providing interesting new turns on old wrinkles. For me, there were more guitar & Lunar Module breakdowns in one performance than I can remember. I have two pick-ups on my guitar & both failed, fortunately not simultaneously. There are two sides to the Lunar Module stereo, and one side regularly dropped out. I have two output volume pedals, and even one of those collapsed at the end.

A very strong & enthusiastic audience with many varying needs & demands upon the performance, a variety of which were called out loudly throughout the show. There were flashes in the middle, and flashes at the end. Their effect was significantly neutralised by a remarkable level of generosity & active goodwill: the eruption of flashes at the end of the show would otherwise have completely unseated me. How amazing that all this intent was being held in check, waiting, ready to pounce, throughout the performance.

Tonight was a personal redemption of our last NY show, the second of two nights at the Townhall earlier this year. That one was experientially, subjectively, awful. I heard nothing but sonic soup returning to the stage from the back wall. That specific, dreadful show directly lead me to adopting headphones for onstage monitoring.

Our hotel in NYC is Hotel Designer, and it is not good. The public areas are fine, the private area, i.e. my room, is bad. Cheap & nasty construction with no insulation, continual whistling from the heating & constant noise from the streets below, a television smaller than either of my Powerbooks - but it looks Designer!

The last time we were here we had better rooms, although it took me several minutes before finding the chic light switches to switch on the chic bedside lights. This time, we were not given the rooms we had been promised. Overall, a dog in chic's clothing. I doubt that we shall return there again.

But later tonight I shall return to my lonely, noisy room, the furthest room from the elevator. For now I am re-equilibrating, chilling & absorbing the show.

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