review of 10/31/96 concert, nightingale's, nyc

[contributed by Pattie K.]

We got to the club at about 9:10. The first band was scheduled to go on about 9:30 with Patti going on between 10:30 and 11. I thought there would be a line around the block, but there were only 2 people hanging outside. One was a friend who told me to check out how small the place was. Inside, there were only 3 people. We still weren't sure this was happening when a car drove up and Lenny and Jay Dee jumped out and started unloading equipment. Lenny remarked that I resembled Patti, which started me off in seventh heaven. When a few more people went inside, I got nervous and paid my $5.

The first band was pretty terrible. A Sex Pistols clone band, who kept dedicating songs to Richard Jewel, the guy who had been accused of the Olympic bombing in Atlanta. When they started, there were still less than 30 people in the room. I don't know if it was because the annual NYC Halloween parade had ended or because the the show had been announced on the radio, but the place suddenly grew packed.

Lenny, Oliver, Tony, and Jay Dee took to the stage. Lenny was wearing a cool psychedelic-looking shirt and blue jeans; Oliver a white t-shirt with foreign writing on it and baseball cap; Tony was hunky all in black; and Jay Dee was puffing away on a big ole CEEgar.

At exactly 11:10, Patti strolled in, looking splendid in blue jeans, a blue denim jacket, and colorful red, purple and white plaid flannel shirt. Someone yelled "Happy Halloween," and she joked that she was dressed as one of Neil Young's roadies. After pushing aside the platform that was supposed to be her "stage," Patti was ready to rock. By this time the place was overflowing with people - some standing on stools and the bar itself, straining to see.

The set list was:

Dancing Barefoot
Gone Again
Redondo Beach
Southern Cross
Wild Leaves
Free Money
About A Boy
Rock N Roll Nigger

Patti stood and danced for the entire set, except during "Southern Cross," when she sat down on a bar stool borrowed from a fan and played guitar. During "Free Money," "Rock N Roll Nigger," and "Gloria," she passed the mic around for the people upfront to sing into. She also seemed to like to watch her band play. Several times, she danced with the fans in the front. She seemed to like the intimacy as well as the instant audience feedback. It was amazing to see that she put as much into performing for less than 200 people as she does for 20,000 people.

I wish I could remember more of her between songs banter, because, as usual, she was ever the standup comedienne.

She dedicated "Gone Again" to Fred, and one song to Michael Stipe and commented about "that video station that I don't want to mention by name" not airing "Rock N Roll Nigger." The set ended after that song. She sat on the band's platform and exclaimed that she had no idea how she was going to get out of the packed club. In response, some fans talked her into doing one last song.

This wasn't an announced show; in fact, it wasn't confirmed until around 4pm that day. Make no mistake about it: everyone near me was a bonafide fan. Everyone knew the words to all the songs. Most of us had seen her countless times in the '70s. It was not a bunch of industry types hanging around looking bored. After the show, she stayed behind to chat to the adoring masses. My friends and I went to a friend's house to re-live the night's memories time and time again. Patti's performance was enough for us; we didn't need any other pieces of the performer. She had given us 110% already.

Copyright © Pattie K.1996

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