1986-11-30 (2nd show), NYC, The Bottom Line, Mick Taylor show review by GimmeMTguy
With jet lag now shaken off, the Hot Water Band, billed as Mick Taylor's New Electric Band on the tickets, launches into a crisp Tusks in the late show at the iconic Bottom Line in Greenwich Village.
Put It Where You Want It
Joe Sample's Put It Where You Want It continues the jazz fusion theme, and the effect is tasty and restrained in New York's primary showcase venue for the music industry. Mick comments that the applause is welcome and that it generally seems quiet up on that stage. The table-seated crowd and high stage provide a different atmosphere from the more raucous, rough and ready bar-style venues on this tour.
A breezy Giddy Up wholly avoids the intense musical Sturm und Drang of many later versions, but the audience is nonetheless appreciative.
Will It Go Round In Circles
Will It Go Round In Circles maintains the staid professionalism, with Mick afterward crediting Wayne Hammond's lead vocals and noting again that it is "so quiet in here."
Red House is introduced pointedly as a "nice slow Blues". Mick keeps his phrasing short and sweet, and the impression is the performance is more a showcase for Jon Young's vocals. Jon really puts on a show and then, a bit after the five-minute mark, Mick Taylor unleashes one of the most incredible solos of his career. Two minutes of pure, fluid anguish, long bent notes followed by speed runs, perfectly placed tension-building repetition and ultimate resolution.
Red House is such an iconic Hendirx song for MT that I sometimes feel like it is more of an obligatory tune or academic tribute than it is a lament that one's baby "don't live here no more."
This performance has Mick seemingly sweating it out and choosing exactly the right notes on the fly, in the same way his best solos with the Stones expressed the immediacy of emotional release.
This is a Red House for the ages.
Hot Water Music
It all comes together in Hot Water Music, where the precise playing is highlighted by impeccable Mick Taylor speed runs (a form of playing that MT does not usually engage in) which comprise the centerpiece of the composition. By now, it surely feels like the band is playing its group-written namesake tune for the industry people in the audience.
The performance of Going Down is as good as it gets, and provides a sample for comparing the MT treatment to that of other guitarists. Amazing fluidity with a simultaneous precise rhythmic attack.
Can't You Hear Me Knocking
Can't You Hear Me Knocking stays close to the studio version in format, and continues the disciplined, best-foot-forward approach of the entire set.
Third Stone From the Sun
Encore Third Stone From the Sun really shines. It calls upon the skills of each of the band members to recreate what Hendrix did in his studio version. Knowing that Mick Taylor cites Jimi Hendrix as a huge influence (whereas he is careful to cite that some famous contemporaries of his were not as much influences on MT as they were just contemporaneously all developing their own styles based on common influences), it is understandable why the band plays with the excitement it does, and the desire to honor all of the elements that Hendrix created, without much freelancing.
All these years later, it is a wonder to me that Mick Taylor's performances of Third Stone From the Sun have not been paid more attention.