Part Two of “Come and Watch us Sing and Play”; the Monkees Live in St. Louis!

(Part Two of) Come and Watch Us Sing and Play

          The Monkees at the Fabulous Fox Theater, June 5th, 2014

St. Louis, Missouri

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The concert started with the screen tests aired as bits during their TV show (there were no never-seen-before bits on the screen), followed by the theme song and opening video of their show. I’m kind of glad they didn’t perform it.

  1. Last Train to Clarksville (from The Monkees – first album)
  2. Papa Gene’s Blues (from The Monkees – first album)

3.      Your Auntie Grizelda (from More of the Monkees)

  1. The Kind of Girl I Could Love (from More of the Monkees)
  2. She (from More of the Monkees)
  3. Sweet Young Thing (from The Monkees – first album). This was the first of many times Pete played banjo. Ironically, days before I was listening to George Harrison’s Wonderwall Music on which Peter played the banjo. Legend says his track was not included on the album – but it was in the movie – but I hear banjo…)
  4. I’m a Bleeder – er – Believer (from More of the Monkees)
  5. (I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone (from More of the Monkees)

Here was the first “break” featuring many video clips of the show – including Mike’s rapid-paced singing of his own “Different Drum”.

A wonderful part of the show was dividing the sets into their respective albums. The next set featured (mostly) songs from their most popular album Headquarters, unless otherwise noted:

9.      You Told Me

10.    Sunny Girl Friend

11.    You Just May Be the One

12.    Mary Mary (from More of the Monkees) (with this song Mickey took over the drums – I watched and he did very well – and the other drummer did percussion)

13.    Girl That I Knew Somewhere (B-side of A Little Bit You, a Little Bit Me)

14.   Shades of Grey (this song had a particularly great video montage – although it did distract from the band – it was here Mickey’s teasing Pete’s hair during the chorus). This was the first Davey song, although he co-sung it with Peter.

15.   Randy Scouse Git (this was preceded by the clip from the British TV show Til Death Do Us Part that inspired the title. The show was Americanized by Norman Lear and renamed All in the Family. So during a trivia night if you ever want to link the Monkees with Archir Bunker … here is it!

16.    For Pete’s Sake

17.    No Time

Video clips during this set break were clips of the show in Spanish.

18.    The Door Into Summer (from Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd … pant pant, hereinafter “Pisces”)

19.    Words ((from Pisces)

20.    Tapioca Tundra (from The Birds, the Bees and the Monkees)

21.    Going Down (B side of Daydream Believer)

The video screen showed clips of their movie “Head” … oh dear god in heaven are they going to do songs from “HEAD”!!??

The movie was awful, but the soundtrack was the best thing they ever did. It should air with Sgt. Pepper as examples of sixties pop/rock. I’m not kidding.

This was the best part of the show.

22.    Porpoise Song. Oh my god, they did the Porpoise Song. If anyone recorded this that loud voice in the audience singing along was me.

23.    Can You Dig it

They showed the video of Nilsson’s Daddy’s Song with Davy singing. The CD has a bonus track of Mike singing it. I liked that version better. So much so that I forgot that the “official” singer was Davy!

24.    CIRCLE SKY!!! (caps intentional – by now my sister and nephew asked me to sit down and stop embarrassing them. I never. NEVER. thought I would hear this song live. I hoped that someday I might see a solo set by Mike Nesmith, but this was a thrill.)

25.    As We Go Along (and by now the people sitting next to me were reacting and ushers had to be called. This is one of my favorite “deep tracks” by the Monkees. Hardly anyone knows about this beautiful Toni Stern/Carol King tune)

26.    Long Title: Do We Have To Do This All Over Again

After this wonderful set more videos aired as we headed for the big finish…

27.    What Am I Doing Hanging Round? (from Pisces. THIS is my favorite Monkees song. I was sooo glad they did it. Plus they did it at a slower tempo than the original. Overall the “new” live arrangements were superb, sometimes better than the originals)

28.    Daydream Believer (from The Birds, the Bees and the Monkees). This was sweet. Each of the surviving members took a verse, with Mike Nesmith taking the last. His velvety voice fit perfectly.

Encore:

29.    Listen to the Band (from The Monkees Present) (this was accompanied by a video of the song that I never knew existed)

The band members were introduced.

30.    Pleasant Valley Sunday (from Pisces). You knew this song was coming. It was one of their biggest hits and one of my favorites. Damn fun to play on the guitar, too.

I asked my sister how the show compared to the others. I expected the ones with Davy to be more Vegas-y. Lots more showmanship, horns, dancing, etc. I pointed out Mickey’s dancing during “Going Down” as an example of “Vegas-y”.

No, she said, those featured rock bands and were done in similar styles as this. The first tour with Mike Nesmith featured some of his solo songs. Ooo, I would have liked to hear some Nesmith tunes – Joann, for example.

She said there was more banter between the band members in their 2012 tour. There was some here, but not as much. I don’t mind that – I go to a show to watch them play. They can banter on Letterman…

The audience went bananas throughout. And there was quite an age mix – older men and women and small kids. Nothing like the Wiggles show, mind you, but there were kids under ten there. They used to introduce “…Believer” with “we used to do this before Shrek did…”

We need to start a petition to either make them put out a live album or a studio album of these arrangements pronto. Who’s with me?

Gentlemen, you were never jokes; you were never Beatle rip-offs. Bravo for Peter’s jibe about “we were accused of not being the Beatles, along with three million other bands…”

Thank you for nearly fifty years of wonderful music. And thank you for performing it for one night!

I am so glad I went – what a wonderful show. If you can, go see them. As Davy Jones’ death proved, we might not have many more chances to see them. In other words – you’d better get ready; they may be coming to your town.

 

Here’s another great review of the show: http://www.thetelegraph.com/news/lifestyle-news/1414036/The-Monkees-turn-back-the-clock-in-fun-energetic-show

 

Copyright 2014 Michael Curry

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