This concert experience began for me this past Wednesday when I was hosting Step Outside, the Strange and Beautiful music program on WMNF 88.5fm. At the last minute I was alerted that legendary guitar hero Jerry Outlaw would be coming in to talk about the Adrian Belew Power Trio show at Skipper's Smokehouse where his band would be the opener.
Being intimidated by the thought of doing an interview I felt a bit nervous. I'm glad now that it was Jerry who was my first interview. He is a very, very nice guy; intelligent, witty and an incredible musician. He is very humble about his playing and the interview went well (live) and even though I was programming, juggling CD's and answering the phones while trying to keep Jerry entertained, the program went smoothly. And what an opener his band was, playing several great originals as well as some great (GREAT!) versions of songs by Jeff Beck, Frank Zappa ("Dog Breath" and "Black Napkins") as well as a note-for-note version of "Miles Beyond" by the Mahavishnu Orchestra (off the air Jerry told me they would have played "Birds of Fire" but didn't have their violin player).
Friday night came around and as usual the ABPT put on an incredible show. Backed by Julie and Eric Slick, Adrian Belew played from a catalog of music that extends back to the early 80's when he began with King Crimson. He played a lot of new songs from his Sides albums as well as music from Lone Rhino and Op Zop Too Wah. As always, either with King Crimson or solo, he was energetic, friendly, amazing. He was discovered by Frank Zappa in the late 70's and was hired on as a "stunt guitarist" in Zappa's band at the time before he was stolen by David Bowie and then later joined the Talking Heads. From there he formed his own band that opened for League of Gentlemen where he met Robert Fripp and together they formed Discipline which immediately became a revamped version of King Crimson.
Great crowd overall. Just a few basement dwellers, too few to distract. Lots of friends to meet and greet, great local talent in the crowd and pretty, pretty girls.
"Ampersand"; an amazing extended jam version of "Beat Box Guitar"; Adrian solo, playing The Beatles' "Within You, Without You"; "Thela" even with a late entry pre-record; also great were "Big Electric Cat" and "Of Bow and Drum".