Hotel Café - Los Angeles, CA - March 3, 2007
Pete Townshend - Acid Queen, The Real Me, Drowned, Won't Get Fooled Again, I’m One (with all)
Rachel Fuller - It's a Motherfucker (w/ Pete), Cigarettes and Housework, Sir Walter Rayleigh, Pleasure Seeker, Blue
Tenacious D - Dude, I totally Miss You, Tribute, Fuck Her Gently, Who Medley (Pinball Wizard, There's a Doctor, Go to the Mirror/Listening to You)
Joe Purdy - Canyon Joe, Outlaws, Don't Cry Baby, Front Porch Jam, Let My Love Open The Door (w/ Pete), Talk About Suffering (w/ Pete)
Alexi Murdoch - It's Alright, Dream About Flying, Orange Sky (w/ Pete and Rachel), Slow Revolution
Ben Harper - Instrumental, Lifeline, Reason to Mourn, I Shall Not Walk Alone, Morning Yearning, Please Bleed, Diamonds on the Inside (w/ Pete and Rachel)
Review by Gary Stockton
Rachel, thank you for putting together one of the most amazing nights of music in my life. It was incredible!
There is one word I have to describe last night's attic jam, Gold. We were being given Gold by each of the artists who stepped to the stage. These are the artists Pete speaks of, the new movement, who can stand on a stage with six strings and blow you away with their words and their soul. Many of these artists I had never heard before last night, but I can tell you, I will be finding more of their music, thanks to you Rachel.
Tenacious D - Jack Black and Co. I actually could buy their album, and take them serious as artists, but their intent was to make me laugh, and they succeeded. Don't remember the names of the songs, but the one about "fuck you hard" was a classic, and "Pinball Wizard" rocked, would love to know what was said backstage, would love to know what Pete thought of it.
Joe Purdy - what a talent. When you and Pete played with him, amazing. Pete making eloquent harmonic notes on his 12 string, you playing high grace notes and simple chords while Joe astounded us with his poetic lyrics ("orange sky"?). Joe introduced one of his heroes, then his Father stepped to the stage with his mandolin to join his son. I'd love to do that.
Your beautiful voice, clear as the blue day with an amazing sound system, "Pleasure Seeker", amazing. "It's a Motherfucker" with Pete and yourself, amazing. You looked lovely. Wish we could have caught your attention and waved hello, we were standing next to Meg Ryan and Laura Dern at the celebrity table.
Then, out of nowhere, this young fellow Alexi Murdoch steps onto the stage, tunes his guitar for what seemed like an eternity, then continued on to quietly blow every member of the audience away with his music. Quiet spoken, an Englishman, kind of Nick Drake, his accent showing slightly in his singing, and his organic lyrics. No crescendos, not a single power chord, but enough power and weight in a single line to make tears well up in your eyes. Amazing!
Alexi Murdoch brought old Gibson six string guitars, Ben Harper brought his own string section. That's right, two violinists and a cellist walked on, tuned up, then left the stage for Ben's introduction. I had never heard his music before, and I wasn't disappointed. Favorite moment was during a quiet song, Ben leans up raising his right fist, squeezes the most emotion out of this particular line, practically cries right there as the strings quiet down. You have to see this to believe it folks. He literally poured his soul into his performance. Then, during "I'm One" with Pete, Ben was coming up to the last verse in the song, points over to Pete, then, again, clenches his left fist, pumps it to his heart ("I don't want this to go by too quickly"), you could tell this was an amazing night for Ben. Would have loved to have heard more lap steel guitar.
Pete was just amazing, performing The Real Me, Acid Queen, Drowned, WGFA. Looked a little angry at his Gibson near the end. Wow, this is the same room where we spoke in November.
After hearing each of these artists, I think I understand what it takes to share a stage with you and Pete, sheer brilliance. This isn't open mic night, this isn't even a jam session. This is a special thing, and each of your guests understood that. They make guys like me reflect on their own artistic impudence and laziness, they make me strive for more. They were prepared to bare all. I can't wait to see this on a DVD because I still can't fucking believe it.
Thank you Rachel and Pete, we owe you.
Review by Sean 'Duke' Cassidy
Sat 3rd of Mar 2007 found me queued up in the alley of the Hotel cafe for the second time in 5 months for my 3rd Attic Jam show. It was yet again a tiny intimate gathering of many folks that I have known for several years, and as was the case for AJ's past, some faces I haven't seen for quite some time. As it's a GA show, many people arrived early, and there was much socializing for the several hours I waited to get in.
After about 15 minutes delay in opening the doors, the crowd was admitted pretty efficiently, and in no time Tenacious D snuck up onto the stage and began the show. They were humorous and witty, but not exactly the type of act I would normally go see. The Chav appeal was turned up to 10 on their set. A faux sentimental song, a tune about fucking, and a somewhat interesting Tommy medley and they were off.
Rachel came on for a quick intro to Joe Purdy, who set the tone for the next 3 guest artists with a reflective, heartfelt, and somewhat spiritual set. His portion of the show got a bit brighter when he was joined by his dad on Mandolin for a bluegrass song. After closing his set accompanied by Pete on Let My Love Open The Door, Rachel took the stage and did what was probably the best set I've seen from her yet. She did 2 songs she hadn't played in front of an audience before, and both were great! After doing It's a Motherfucker with Pete, she went on to do a really great brand new trackcalled Sir Walter Rayleigh, which addresses the topic of addiction. I can identify with that as it's something I have struggled with in the past. I fortunately have been clean for 10+ years now. Pleasure Seeker, the other song that hadn't been done in public before, was another stand out selection, with its majestic, sweeping classical style piano. A very hearty and dynamic set.
There was a somewhat awkward intermission following Rachel's performance. At least it was awkward for me and the other folks who were crowded and jostled as folks tried to make their way around the room now that there was a break in the entertainment. Things got rolling again with Alexi Murdoch, another soulful, introspective singer/songwriter. He was joined by both Pete and Rachel on My Salvation Lies in Your Love for the closing of his set. Eventually, Ben Harper takes the stage. Both Joe and Alexi mentioned that Ben was to join them on tracks during their sets, but he was absent for that, and slow to even arrive for his own part of the gig! He finally ambled onto the stage to a great response from the crowd. There were quite a few of his fans sprinkled throughout the audience. He did a few quiet heartrending songs before finishing up on vocal duties with Pete playing I'm One.
Then it was time for Townshend. As you may reckon, it was obviously the high point of the night for me, and the main reason I had put so much effort into attending! He played a lively and animated set in contrast to the guest stars who were very sincere and genuine, but perhaps a bit languid. It was great to hear a couple of tracks from Quadrophenia, and to see an acoustic reading of both Acid Queen, which I haven't seen Pete do many times as well as WGFA.
Review by Lauren from Boulder
We congregated at the Hotel Cafe and spent the afternoon hanging out in the alley. The weather was mild, and it was a really delightful social gathering. I love my Who friends. I really do.
All of the tickets were Will Call. With this kind of manageable number of people, I think that was an overall good idea in terms of thwarting the reselling of the tix and keeping them in the hands of the fans (at face). I would only ask that they ANNOUNCE the shows earlier, so that people can make their travel plans. Thank goodness for the Hotel Cafe's website.
Doors were late, but they did a reasonable job of getting people in. It's a long, narrow room, with the stage at one end, against a wall. There were three long skinny VIP tables in front of the stage. The rest of the place was standing room. I ended up on a stool, right beside the artist table, seated higher than the people in the VIP chairs and lower than my friends right behind me. Unobstructed view of the stage and not blocking anyone's view. Perfect.
On to the show...
Tenacious D snuck on when Rachel was in the toilet (her words, not mine - must be a Brit thing). It was Jack Black and one other guy with acoustic guitars. They were tight. They were amusing. They sang a melodramatic song about Jack being broken hearted, missing his friend. Another one about the perfect R&R song. Another about fucking. Yes, really. And best of all, they had the balls to do a Who tribute/Tommy medley. I wouldn't go see them, but they were a fun opener.
Pete got up from his seat at the artist's table to give them hugs and props.
Rachel came out and explained how they had snuck out while she was on the toilet and then introduced Joe Purdy.
We had seen Joe at the Chicago 2 Attic Jam at Martyr's in December. He's a mournful, singer-songwriter guy. I was more taken this night than I was at Martyr's. A number of my friends really liked him, too. His dad (probably about Pete's age) came out and played a few songs with him. Bluegrassy. Then Pete joined him for Let Me Love Open the Door. Most excellent! Then Pete and Joe did some sort of Jesus song. (It was very lovely. I'm just not a Christian.) Ben Harper was supposed to join, but he was nowhere to be found.
Next up was Rachel. I really do like her music quite a bit. She's both a gifted pianist and vocalist. I wouldn't likely have found her without Pete, but I appreciate her as an artist in her own right. She did a splendid version of Like a Motherfucker with Pete on guitar. She then talked a little bit about her struggles with addiction, cleaning up from drugs, including alcohol when she was 25, but continuing to struggle with many other addiction issues, ranging from cigarettes to coffee to sugar. This was the lead in to a song called Sir Walter Rayliegh. Either before or after that, she did Cigarettes and Housework. Then, she played a request for her friend Kathy, a splendid piece called Pleasure Seeker. Lots of classical bits and influences. I very much enjoy when she cuts loose on the keys. I had the perfect view. She then closed her set with Joni Mitchell's Blue.
They then did a long intermission which I think was a terrible idea in that setting. It was probably fun for the 20 people sitting at the tables and socializing, but it pretty much sucked for the other 200 people who were in a packed, standing room only, GA crowd.
BTW, everyone totally respected Pete's space. He was right there, but we all gave him his space. Hopefully he's learning that the traveling fans really are a safe and respectful group, as a whole.
After the intermission, it was time for Alexi Murdoch. If I recall correctly, Alexi is a Scottsman who now lives in LA. I had gone to see him locally a few years ago, and then saw him again at the Attic Jam at Martyr's. He really is quite good. He did two solo tracks before Pete and Rachel joined him for a song that might have been called My Salvation Lies in Your Love. Quite lovely. Then he closed with a new, as yet untitled song.
Oh, during Alexi's set, Pete hopped up to play roadie and fix the mic. (He did this several times throughout the night.) With a gleam in his eye, he looked up at Alexi and said, "I'm your really creepy fan."
Duke shouted out, with a smile, "No, that's us."
Pete turned and looked at us (we know who "us" is) and said both sweetly and sincerely, "No you're not. You're really loving and loyal."
It came across as heartfelt and brought tears to my eyes. I don't know that any of us can fully articulate it, but Pete, you reach into our souls and you do give voice in a way that moves my spirit. Surely you know. If nothing else, it must be obvious that I turn my rather full and busy life upside down just to be in the room when you're making music. I love when you're doing your own thing (solo) and as you very well know, I especially love it when you're doing the Who thing. Even what's left of it. Back to the show...
Next up was Ben Harper. I've seen him several times before and considered him the big bonus of the LA lineup. I was right. The guy's got both talent and soul. Anyway, we had seen him before the show. He drove himself in his Lexus SUV. It was odd that he was nowhere to be found during Joe and Alexi's sets. When it was his turn, his three piece string accompaniment took the stage, but still no Ben. They left the stage. After a minute or two, Ben came out. He did a solo song, Lifeline, on a lap guitar. Then the strings came and joined him for four songs. I'll take a stab at the titles. Reason to Mourn, I Shall Not Walk Alone, Morning Yearning, and The Damage You've Done / I Am Numb. Then the strings left and Pete and Rachel joined him for Diamonds on the Inside. He closed his set with Pete, performing I'm One together. After the first verse, he VERY adorably talked about how he was stalling and trying to make the song/moment last. He was clearly thrilled and delighted to be on stage with Pete.
Finally, it was PETE time. Not like the rest of the show wasn't all great. It really was. But there's no getting away from the truth of the matter that Pete is the big kahuna. And not only did it not disappoint, but it was as extraordinary as I could have hoped. My only unfulfilled wish was for MORE. Rachel introduced him and explained that he had torn off a nail at a recent gig and that the only way to put the pain at bay is to whack it and try to trigger the body's natural response. Similarly, Pete explained that he would be playing an aggressive set. Didn't especially make sense, as it was the same set he did at Joe's a few weeks ago, but whatever. It was fucking fabulous.
He opened with an impassioned performance of the Acid Queen. I'd seen it eight times with the big Band Who in '89, but I don't think I've seen it solo. Maybe in '98, but that would've been with that horrific drum machine. Anyway, it was really, really great.
Could it get any better? Yes. The Real Me rocked me to the core. It was fucking incredible. I had seen the Joe's Pub performance on my computer, but the experience didn't compare. It was one of the best concert experiences I've had. It was up there with Cut My Hair at the extraordinary '96 club shows. (Yes, Pete, I loved you at the piano at the '96 shows. Cut My Hair, Slit Skirts, and All Shall Be Well were among my favorite moments.)
Next up was Drowned. It was great, as always, but having seen it solo over 20 times, it wasn't as big a thrill for me as the previous two tracks.
Same with Won't Get Fooled Again. It was great. Pete's performance was enthusiastic and impassioned. Beat the hell out of the Who2 version. (As I've said elsewhere, I can't bear it without John. Too flat and two dimensional.)
I missed Marty Robbins. I'd love to hear So Sad About Us.
That was it. No finale.
Review by Drew Matich
It was a really fun night, with a major reservation (I'll mention at the end)...I brought 4 civilians to the show, and they had a fantastic time.
Tenacious D started the show (without an introduction from Rachel as she was in the toilet), did their 3-4 songs (not really my thang, but they finished a reverential, frantic Tommy medley consisting of Pinball Wizard, There's a Doctor, and Go to the Mirror/Listening to You that brought the house down).
Joe Purdy followed, sounding like a somewhat more eccentric Adam Duritz to these ears. In a good way. He played a couple by himself, another with his father accompanying him on mandolin (very sweet), and then a great duet of "Let My Love Open the Door" with Pete. He really slowed it down to wonderful effect, making it sound more like a Joe Purdy tune than a PT tune. In a good way.
Rachel then came in with her set, highlighted by a new song called "Sir Walter Raleigh"...about addiction of all kinds. Sounded great.
Intermission...followed by a somewhat anonymous set by Alexi Murdoch (who I have liked in the past...we even used a couple of his tunes in "Dawson's").
Ben Harper played a wonderful set, the first few songs of which were accompanied by cello (not cello cello cello, but a real one), viola, and violin. Pete came up and they duetted on "Diamonds on the Inside" and "I'm One". Ben was absolutely thrilled, as were about 150 others.
Pete stayed on stage and played what I believe was the same set as NYC: Acid Queen, Real Me, Drowned, Won't Get Fooled Again. Was there another one in there? I don't remember. Whatever...absolutely blistering rhythm guitar that made everyone who preceded him seem like they were standing still. Fantastic as always.
As much as I enjoyed the evening, it didn't feel nearly as "special" as the one last November. It just felt a little...well...perfunctory. Come in, do the show, and get out. Neither Pete nor Rachel were quite as chatty during this one, although there was some funny verbal interaction between Pete and some of the die-hards during the other artists' sets. Had I not been to the show in November, I would have enjoyed this one more, I'm sure.. But November was amazing, unexpected, and fresh. Kinda like hearing "Eminence Front" in Vancouver, if you know what I mean. Your mileage may vary, and probably did.