The Go-Betweens: New York City, The Bowery Ballroom, 19th October 2000

It was Jetset’s label night at the Bowery Ballroom on Thursday, with our heroes at the top of a sold-out bill of 4 bands from literally around the globe. Doors were to open at 7:00, but didn’t open until about 8:15, with the first band on at 9:00, apparently due to PJ Harvey’s CMJ Showcase show running over time. The audience seemed equally divided between those that came to hear Arab Strap and those that were there for the GB’s. (Frankly my first listen to the lauded Arab Strap didn’t do much for me and a few other Tallulhaists – we concurred that the “stuck in midtempo” vibe of most of the songs was monotonous.)

The band came on just after 1:00, and the Ballroom was packed. For a first show of the tour, the band sounded great, certainly belying the fact that they had only been rehearsing for five days. Adele was on base, and the new drummer (from Hamburg - forgot his name) was clearly the member that was newest to the material. Robert’s new clothes were striking – he wore a bold red stripy suit that certainly will rival the famous yellow in popularity. Grant played an acoustic guitar much of the night, with Robert playing what looked like his “Danger in the Past” guitar.

Robert apologized to the audience that the band was relatively quite between songs. He put it down to it being first show of the tour, with everyone apparently concentrating very hard on playing. Grant was beaming throughout the show, and Lloyd, you will be glad to know that Grant continued his tradition of speaking to the soundman in midset. He only did this once, however, to talk to sound person about what he viewed as a faulty monitor.

The band’s 75 minute set mixed old and new, with the full band sound being really effective on the “big” songs like “Right Here” and “Spring Rain.” I was frankly surprised to hear two solo songs in the set, Robert’s “Baby Stones” and Grant’s “Easy Come Easy Go.” But you have to think that Robert can’t resist the theatricality inherent in “Baby Stones,” with makes it such a stand out in a live setting.

Magic In Here
Head Full of Steam
Baby Stones
Streets of Your Town
Orpheus Beach
Draining The Pool For You
Going Blind
German Farmhouse
He Live My Life
Right Here
The Clock
Spring Rain
She Sang About Angels
Bachelor Kisses
Easy Come Easy Go

Thanks to Austin for the review

The concert is on the House of Blues website in streaming video.