review(s) of 12/17/97 concert, Carrboro, North Carolina

There are two reviews of Patti's Carrboro, NC Performance at the *Cat's Cradle* (12/17/97) in the local entertainment weeklys. They are too long for me to type in their entirety, but here are some excerpts. ...Having Patti in my neighborhood was a wonderful x-mas gift for me!
Susanne Romey

INDEPENDENT "Patti Power" by Peter Eichenberger

". . . Last Wednesday night, Dec. 17, three years after the loss of her husband in 1994, Patti Smith presented herself to a throng of 750 at the Cat's Cradle, her first appearance in the area in 20 years.

. . . The set was a good blend of the old and the new - cuts from her seminal LPs as well as from her new CD, 'Peace and Noise'. The band delivered a well-crafted, satisfying performance, doing everything a rock 'n' roll band is expected to do, . . .

. . . But there was something that wasn't quite right that night, something in the air that dulled the luster of expectation, and I can't quite figure out what.

I quess maybe it was the unapproachable ideal of what it would be like to see a legend. But there was more. The crowd seemed to be prickly and dissatisfied. Maybe it was the sheer numbers.

. . . I guess that's one of the pitfalls for a musician going on tour after having been out of commission for so many years. There is the risk of existing locked in time, real only as minute lines etched in a piece of plastic. The world kept turning while Patti and Fred raised their children in the suburbs of Detroit. Her vision of hope and the communal possibilities of life have remained with her, even as those same visions may have faded for many of the generation that has risen after hers.

. . . Patti Smith and her band put on a show as solidly constructed as any you will hear. I am thrilled that she is back, almost as if she had never been gone. She continues to weave an enigmatic yet accessible tapestry of the purest stripped-to-the bones rock'n'roll as a solid foundation for the most engaging lyrics put to music that I have heard. Welcome back sister."

Copyright © Peter Eichenberger 1997

THE SPECTATOR "Patti Smith Works Cat's Cradle, 12-17-97" by Tony Madejczyk

"The Mother of All Punk arrived in Carrboro to a sold-out-show.

. . . She's never played with a better band. The last time I saw her was in 1977. . . Tonight her singing had the control and intonation that, on her early records, was more like a struggle. Ever respectful of another poet, Smith performed Dylan's 'The Wicked Messenger.' Also mindful of the clarity and strength of decidedly non-intellectual songwriters, she easily shifted into Hank Williams' 'I'm so Lonesome I Could Cry.'

. . . Earlier, I was feeling the warmth and respect the audience had for Patti Smith. There was a lot of love in the room. Everyone wanted to enjoy her presence and celebrate her triumphs and tragedies. Then things got ugly. A heckler? . . .

. . . A lovelier moment, so focused in its energy was Patti's reading of a footnote to Allen Ginsberg's 'Howl' accompanied by some very inspired music.

. . . On her way off stage, we were lectured about the evils of alcohol, drugs and something about capitalism. Thanks, Mom. It's fun to see what form of conservatism finds root in people after middle age. I was ecstatic, yet a small nagging sadness nestled within me as I confronted the December air. Does art really matter when someone is so unhappy."

Copyright © Tony Madejczyk 1997

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