Jefferson Starship; Sellersville Theater 9/24/08

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Jefferson Starship; Sellersville Theater 9/24/08

Postby jimmy19029 » Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:34 am

First up was the bad Marty Balin tonight. It seems that he was unable to make this, and the most recent concerts, due to a family emergency. Since the late 90s the group has been touring each year in different configurations, numbering anywhere from 3 to 11 players. Their website will usually try to let ticket buyers know in advance who will be on certain tours. But sometimes certain members won't be available at the last minute. As it is, Marty has begun to appear with the band less & less the past few years due to family commitments. But when he is there, it gives the audience the FULL JS experience.

But even without him, a Jefferson Starship show is still a great time. For awhile there in the 80s, the group began to feel pressured to stick to a similar setlist and include all their hits. Guitarist/singer/co-founder Paul Kantner began to rebel against this idea and quit the group in 1984. But since their 1992 resumption, the band has become more like the Grateful Dead...different setlist every night and a more impromptu "let's try anything" looser type of mood on stage. These days an audience never knows from night to night what the group might decide to pull out. And it makes for quite a fun show, especially for those of us that have seen the group numerous times in all its different configurations.

Having original JS member David Freiberg back was a huge plus. Of course, he dazzled us with the classic Pride of Man and played another from his Quicksilver days, Cowboy on the Run, as well as his own Jane(a 1979 hit for the group) and Woody Guthrie's Pastures of Plenty.

In fact, the folk roots of Paul & David were the main theme on this tour as the group's latest release, The Liberty Tree, features covers of classic folk songs, like Wasn't That a Time and Kisses Sweeter Than Wine(The Weavers), Chimes of Freedom(Bob Dylan), the aforementioned Pastures of Plenty and traditional folk classics, like Frenario and Follow the Drinking Gourd.

Paul Kantner was in a very upbeat mood as he would tell stories about the songs or the days of the 60s. "The era that we Catholic boys called the golden age of f---ing. My kids always complain that they wished they grew up in my time...the days after the pill but before disease. They whine..'Dad, that's not fair. You got to do EVERYTHING'..I just tell them..Sorry, there must be SOMETHING left you can do now..." His son Alexander was married this year and asked Paul if he would sing at his wedding. Paul made a face pretending he had to be coaxed..."Oh, alright.." He chose Kisses Sweeter Than Wine. The Drinking Gourd, he explained, was a code name for the Big Dipper that runaway slaves would follow to make their way north. And it was also the name of the club where Paul met Marty in 1965 and started the Jefferson Airplane not long afterwards. I remember first hearing Drinking Gourd myself when I was a child, on a TV commercial for the Boy Scouts.

Paul set up Chimes of Freedom by explaining that Dylan had different periods...his early period, his Christian period, his Vegas period, his f---d up period....."But that early period...Oh Jesus Christ & sex, what a great period that was"! He said Chimes had about "eleven thousand verses"..."Hey, the man loves lyrics"...but that they were only going to do three. At one point he asked the house lights not to be turned down too low since he wouldn't be able to see to read his lyric sheet. "Hey, I love lyrics too! You can't expect me to remember everything I wrote"! He laughed.

The new singer, Cathy Richards, has a fine set of pipes! She really tore it up on Eskimo Blue Day and Fast Buck Freddy as well as her own Closet Cultivator and Miracle(She said she would do this one in place of Miracles since Marty wasn't there to sing the latter). Just about every time she finished singing, I could see Paul beaming like a proud father as he introduced her.

Chris Smith, who's been with them a decade now, held down the keyboard and bass parts as usual and was an absolute joy to was 16 year JS vet Mark "Slick" Aguilar on guitar. And a surprise for all of us 80s era Jefferson Starship fans was the return of Donny Baldwin on drums!

The band wrapped things up with a cover of U2's Pride in the Name of Love which sequed right into Somebody to Love. Then after encores of Redemption(paired with John Lennon's Imagine) and Get Together, another fantastic Jefferson Starship show was over....till next time....

Set 1:
Ballad of You Me & Pooneil
Eskimo Blue Day/
White Rabbit
Fast Buck Freddie
Wooden Ships

Set 2:
Alexander The Medium
Follow The Drinking Gourd
Chimes of Freedom
Wasn't That A Time
Kisses Sweeter Than Wine
Cowboy On The Run
Pastures Of Plenty
Closet Cultivator
Miracle (Cathy's own solo song)
Your Mind Has Left Your Body
Pride of Man
Pride(In the Name of Love)/
Somebody To Love

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Postby Moon Beam » Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:20 pm

Thanks for the review Jimmy, sorry to see that Mr Balin was
a no show but I'm glad you still had a great time.
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