Live New Orleans


Elliott Smith

The Howlin' Wolf

October 20, 2000

New Orleans was right in the middle of five nights in a row for Elliott Smith on his Figure 8 tour in 2000. Rotary Downs opened for him, and it was my introduction to them. If only Elliott could see them play today. I'm not sure if I bought the Rotary Downs CD, but I remember the band selling from the stage right after the set. I was INTERESTED in buying, though.

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I first saw Elliott Smith on March 13, 1999, at The Dream Palace in New Orleans. The Blue Nile is where The Dream Palace was. The Dream Palace had the stage where the soundboard is now, and it had an alternative atmosphere that wasn't re-created by The Blue Nile, purposefully or otherwise. Elliott played for a WTUL fundraiser that had many bands playing on Frenchman that night. I was fortunate to see him touring behind XO in such an intimate place. Unfortunately, since the place was so packed, it would have been more trouble than help to move from behind the bunch of bumbling, drunk idiots in front of me. I guess they were people who didn't care about the music but just wanted to be in the cool place. So, that kind of ruined it. But, I remember being jazzed. I know he played "Independence Day." That's my favorite song off of XO. I noticed the two black leather wristbands he wore, and I remember he barely said anything.

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Eliott seemed more animated at The Howlin' Wolf. Not much more, but enough. Maybe because I was closer and he had a full, kick-ass band behind him. The sound was immaculate, and the band was a treasure. It had two extra guitarists, if I remember correctly. If you went, send me an e-mail. What a great show. Elliott sang his heart out. It was other-worldly. If you've heard Figure 8, you know new symphonic markers Elliott reached for on that album, and somehow, every one of those sounds was created. Imagine hearing the epic "Happiness" live. Wonderfully heartbreaking. I remember looking over at a friend at the other side of the floor and giving him a smile, as if to say, "That's Elliott Smith!!" Maybe I wouldn't haven't been so star-struck my second time around if Figure 8 wouldn't have been so good, but sometimes I prefer it to XO. I only remember those few songs, but here are the setlists from the previous and next nights taken from www.geocities.com/elliottsmithgigography. Thanks to them.


Houston:


Son of Sam
Division Day
Can't Make A Sound
Coming Up Roses
Junk Bond Trader
Say Yes
Needle in the Hay
Waltz #2 (XO)
Happiness
Ballad of Big Nothing
Independence Day
In the Lost and Found
Clementine
Stupidity Tries
Everything Means Nothing to Me
Somebody's Baby
Southern Belle
Angeles


Atlanta:


Needle in the Hay
Son of Sam
Division Day
Can't Make a Sound
Clementine
Waltz #2 (XO)
LA
In the Lost and Found
Ballad of Big Nothing
Independence Day
Speed Trials
Bled White
Stupidity Tries
Coming Up Roses
Everything Means Nothing to Me
Somebody's Baby
Color Bars
Say Yes
Thirteen [Big Star] (abandoned)
Nighttime [Big Star] (abandoned)
Angeles
Fond Farewell

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