Patti Smith in Royal Oak

I was beyond excited to see that Patti Smith was playing Detroit again. I saw her 5 or 6 years ago in St Andrews Hall in Detroit.

I found out a couple days before that she would be playing “Horses” live in its entirety. I was beyond excited: I really love when artists revisit their past albums and I had listened to the 2005 “Legacy Edition” of Horses almost non-stop after getting tickets.

Here are some highlights from the concert:

  • “I know I’m in Michigan”: During the Horses half, someone yelled out her name. “Paytay,” Smith said in an exaggerated Michigan accent, followed by a laugh. You know your in Michigan, she said, when they say Paytay. Smith lived in Michigan with her late husband Fred “Sonic” Smith. Other people would use the pronoucication, but not him, “Fred would call me Trisha.”
  • Horses: As awesome it was to see Horses in its entirety and live, and the moving end track Elegie, I think the Legacy live recording is better as a whole (maybe it’s the soundboard recording or acoustics?) But nothing touches seeing it live
  • Land + Gloria reprise: My favorite part of hearing Land, both on the recording and live, is the reprise of Gloria. It’s natural. In fact, I can’t recall how the original album version ends I’ve listened to this live version so much.
  • Frederick, a disco song? One really interesting point was after she sang to ode to her late husband, “Frederick.” She said she thought it would be a hit “like an Adele song.” She was poetic in describing it: Disco balls around the world would glisten to Frederick.
  • “Everything is awesome” After one of the songs, Smith said “That was awesome.” The word awesome, she added, was something she hated to say. “That’s so awesome.” But she was watching Chris Farley on SNL and developed a little bit of a crush on him. And when he did the skit where he said “that’s awesome” during interviews with famous people, she fell in love with the word.

While I maybe unfairly compared the Horses section of the show to a previous recording, the second half was unlike anything I ever heard. She invoked us to ball up our problems like that one famous Tigers pitcher and throw them in the front window of the White House. (It was Jack Morris she added at the end of the show).

I don’t like to do this, but I do record some sections of shows if I can — and I was on the edge of a row so not in the way of anyone. Here are the last two songs — “People Have the Power” and “My Generation” (10 minutes!).


 

 

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