Thursday, April 19, 2007

Patti Smith @ Hiro Ballroom

Punk rocker Patti Smith kicked off her upcoming tour and celebrated the release of her covers album Twelve last night at Hiro Ballroom.

It was the best kind of Patti Smith show - full of poetry, roaring songs and of course, spitting!

She took the stage 8:30-9:00ish and didn't surrender until Midnight performing two long sets with a 15 minute break in between. The first set was full of material from the new album.

A lot has been made over a punk like Patti releasing a whole disc's worth of material featuring other people's songs, but afer you listen to her charge headlong into psychedlics like "Are You Experienced" and "White Rabbit" (FEED YOUR HEAD!) any doubters should be bitch-slapped into silence.

The second set brought out the hits - "Because the Night" and "Gloria" (God, I still love this song!) and some more covers. The best of the night had to be a heart-wrenching slowed down take on Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit". They may have been born decades apart but Patti Smith and Kurt Cobain definitely speak the same language.

Any good punk show has to have an element of the bizzare - this was ours:

Patti put on her glasses to read some poetry when a woman in the crowd started to make noises like a dying kitten. Patti popped up her head to ask if the woman was "okay back there" only to have the "kitten" yell back "There's not enough noise in the town!"

Um . . . okay!

Even Patti was left pretty much speechless by that one.

Other random things we learned during the night (she was in a chatty mood)

- Patti hates Paul Simon so much she never saw The Graduate and considers it "karma" that she fell in love with "The Boy in the Bubble" and just had to record it for her new album.

- Believe it or not, Patti is doing the narration for the new Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie.

- Why did she record Tears for Fears pop hit "Everybody Wants to Rule the World"? Patti - "Because I wanted to! Because I f-ing wanted to!"

Yeah, it was a great night!

Tour dates and listen here.

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