Paul Westerberg - 2002-08-02 - The Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto, ON, Canada
Aug 2, 2002 - Toronto @ The Phoenix
Okay, I am a bit whacked out of my mind and body by the whole road trip which included way too much beer and pizza but here goes nothing.
The most amazing thing I have ever seen in my life was when Paul smashed one of his acoustic guitars in a fit of rage because it was clipping repeatedly. He has a bit of a temper I guess. I have never seen anything like it. He was playing 'Achin' To Be' when it started clipping again and he went nuts! Now don't get me wrong, I am not for smashing guitars for several reasons, moral and otherwise, which I won't go into but it was an incredible scene.
That's all I really wanted to say about the show except that it was the best show I have ever attended for several reasons, personal and otherwise, which I won't go into right now because I have only had about 2 hours of sleep in the last 38. Everything about the show was perfect and special even though Paul complained about the monitors. I'll bet he will remember it. We certainly will never forget. He looked really different than in 1996. He was dressed very Stonesy. Maybe because The Rolling Stones are in Toronto rehearsing.
I am sure others will send in the set list and maybe a picture. I was in no mood to take notes after eight hours of driving. There were too many good one liners and jokes and incidents to mention. I seem to remember that there were many highlights to the set but I would need to see it before I could recall them all. 'Let The Bad Times Roll' was perhaps the biggest highlight for me but so much else happened. It was an extreme show to say the least. From one end of the spectrum to the other. He had me singing, he had me shaking, he almost had me crying. A lot of love in the room that night.
well, what can i say...absolutely stunning, yet as always with westerberg, paradoxical and confusing. my personal highlight was easily "crackle and drag," which was simply incredible. checking ted hughes by name; very sad. the guitar smashing halfway through "achin' to be" was amusing, to say the least. some fool went up on stage after the show to steal the smashed guitar (it was the black acoustic he most recently played on conan) and almost made it off before one of paul's people ripped it out of his hands. i am sure a couple people in the front row are proud owners of some wood shards that went flying, though.
the crowd were typical assholes. there was one section of the night where paul did about 4 songs from "stereo" in a row, and there was an insane amount of chatter almost over the music. these fuckers think that westerberg hasn't written a song since 1985. someone kept calling for "unsatisfied," so he said "make me want to play it" and the crowd went crazy and he retorted with something to the effect of "you guys fucked up - i'm satisfied with that" and went on. he played the encore sitting at the couch at the back, and only used his coterie of tambourines for the two lines of "customer" he did.
here is the seemingly tragic thing about seeing westerberg live: the audience. it seems that most of the people at the show are/were the same age as or a little younger than paul, but while they "grew up" listening to the 'mats, they seemingly took everything paul wrote as a joke. here's paul, getting old, but still as fucked and intense and emotional, if not just crazy, as he ever was. meanwhile, his "devotees" in the audience did nothing but talk about "business" and their crappy jobs all night. or at least that's what i heard. it's sad, but in the end, heartbreaking show. here's the list as best as i can muster:
customer (two lines w/tambourine)
once around the weekend
crackle and drag
waitin’ for somebody
best thing that never happened
i will dare
between love and like
i’ll be you
dirt to mud
got you down
we may be the ones
knockin’ on mine
achin’ to be (cut off by smashing of guitar)
not belong together
two days ‘til tomorrow
kiss me on the bus (up ‘til first chorus)
some other rockin’ cover i didn’t know
postcards from paradise
eyes like sparks encore:
here comes a regular
if only you were lonely
there ya go.
Another great show Friday. I rate it just slightly better than the Thursday show in Buffalo. He came out wearing the suit he wore on Leno with the dots on it. Opened with It's a Wonderful Lie, then into Alex Chilton and High Time
Encore had Paul sitting on couch. He played Swingin Party, Here Comes a Regular and If only you were lonely
Here are the other songs played.
I will dare
About half of Kiss me on the bus. The audience helped him on this. Halfway thru he
went on to an awesome rendition of I'll be you. Probably the highlight of the night.
A perfect Skyway. He did not forget one word and played it completely without stopping
Achin to be. He only made it to the the line "dances alone in nightclubs" and then had problems with his guitar. He then smashed it to pieces.
Waiting for somebody
Knockin on mine
Once around the weekend
Crackle and Drag
Best thing that never happened
Dirt to Mud
Got you down
We may be the ones
Let the bad times roll
Postcards from Paradise
Lets not belong
2 days till tommorow
eyes like sparks
between love and like
I think he played a cover as well. I did not know it
After the third song, Paul grabbed his tambourine and went to the microphone playing it. He than sang "I'm a customer, How bout cigarettes, I'll take sugarless" He then stopped and went into another song.
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