Review(s) of 03/09/98 Tibet-House concert, Carnegie Hall, New York City

Patti's Set List

by Alison Armstrong

The familiar hipster joke in honor of Allen Ginsberg and some comments about Allen's death, how tranquil his death was, followed by a Ginsberg poem, which I think she said was called "New York."

Patti left for an hour or so and then finished the show with "Spell" (playing clarinet and briefly accompanied by Tibetan monks), "1959", and "People Have the Power" (joined by all the performers on stage).

Patti definitely rescued the show from toxic tedium. Although I thought the first part of the show was quite energetic and stimulating, featuring performances by Live, Philip Glass, the Drepung Loseling monks, and a Tibetan singer (Dadon Dawadolma?), in addition to Patti's reading of Ginsberg, the middle of the concert was, IMO, interminable. The experience reminded me of sitting in a doctor's office with nothing to read except Better Homes and Gardens, and nothing to listen to except ho-hum mellow no-melody tunes. But, just as I was getting increasingly impatient with all the easy listening fare, Patti came on stage, bringing her usual whirlwind intensity. Vibrant, passionate, sexy, and entrancing, Patti shook things up and brought some much-needed fervor to the occasion.

Actually, in addition to hearing more of Patti, I'd have liked more Tibetan music. Sheryl Crow, Natalie Merchant, and Caetano Veloso were, I feel, the weakest parts of the show.

Copyright © Alison Armstrong 1998

Tibet House Benefit Concert

by Jeffrey Stromberg

Here's a few thoughts about last night's wonderful Tibet House Benefit Concert. The show moved very smoothly and did not seem at all tedious, tiresome, boring or anything of the sort. All the performers interacted well with each other and the harmony of the Buddhist Monks and Patti during "Spell" and "1959" was awesome. When everybody came on stage for "People Have The Power", it was very powerful! The "acoustic" version of "1959" was good in an interesting way. Patti RULED on her clarinet solo for "Spell."

Live gave an excellent performance of their "Lightning Crashes."

Philip Glass' piano solo was excellent.

I have never been a big John Cale fan but he sounded as good as I've ever heard him.

Sheryl Crow is a very talented artist and a beautiful woman too!

Natalie Merchant looked better than her "appearance" on stage in Poughkeepsie. Her performance last night was adequate.

There was only one political speech and it was very well-put and concise without "pressuring" us to "side with" the point of view.

Angelique Kidjo was genuinely thrilled to be there - especially when she did a duet with Sheryl Crow.

The solo by Dadon Dawadolma was quite moving as was the duet between Natalie Merchant and Yungchen Lhamo.

The Brazilian singer Caetano Veloso performed a song "Terra" and then introduced Patti Smith.

I am anxiously awaiting the development of the roll of film that I took during the show - it should be ready about noon today. CAN'T WAIT!
(By the way, thanks to the staff of Carnegie Hall who "allowed" photo taking even though Carnegie Hall is famous for it's NO PICTURES ALLOWED policy. I guess it's because it's was a benefit show. Who knows? I just know there were lots of flashes going off all night!)



Copyright © Jeffrey Stromberg 1998

Patti at Carnegie Hall - Some Comments

by Breton24 (Derek)

"...The familiar hipster joke in honor of Allen Ginsberg and some comments about Allen's death, how tranquil his death was, followed by a Ginsberg poem, which I think she said was called "New York."..."

This poem is called "The End," written in New York, 1960. Patti was reading it from the Collected Writings, or whatever that compilation is called, but it originally appeared in Ginsberg's Kaddish.

Patti was easily the highlight of the show. My hopes for Patti in a duet with Caetano Veloso never materialized, instead all we got was Caetano re-introducing Patti to the stage.

Natalie Merchant did some superfluous humming to one of Veloso's tunes, and I wondered if she would have served Patti better by doing a duet with her on "Because The Night" -- come to think of it, it would have been awful if they did that!

Even though I'm an admirer of Veloso's music, I have to admit that he certainly didn't gain any new fans at this show.

All the performers just seemed a bit too respectful and a bit too timid to take the music to any level of intensity, except for Patti and John Cale (Cale could have opted to play a few solo pieces on the piano but went with an electric set instead.) Unfortunately, the sound during Cale's set was poorly mixed which diminished his performance.

I think the two audience mikes that dropped down in the middle of the hall's orchestra section, and the third mike that pointed into the audience from center stage, were detrimental to All the performances of the evening. I could hear every single cough in the house, and during the quiet acoustic sections, this was annoying.

Still, I can't say I didn't enjoy the show. It was just no great shakes; Except for Patti, who roused the entire house during PHTP. I know the naivete of those lyrics has been discussed here before, but somehow seeing about thirty people on stage singing the chorus, as a group of Tibetan Monks stood in awe lent the words a new-found legitimacy.


Copyright © Breton24 (Derek) 1998

PHTP Closes Tibetan Benefit Show!

I'm grinning all over the place and totally delighted that Patti and "People Have the Power" closed the show with 30 performers all singing it. It just reminds me of stories of all the Newport Folk Festivals and other concerts where Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, and everyone who had played would close with Dylan's "Blowing in the Wind" or Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land."


Copyright © ALAN K FRIEDMAN 1998

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