1986-12-29 (1st show), NYC, Lone Star Cafe, Mick Taylor show review by GimmeMTguy
After addressing technical difficulties, to while away the time before the sound it fully set up, Mick starts strumming Hi-Heel Sneakers, and then he sings for the first time onstage in his solo career.
"Put on your red dress baby, 'cause we're going out tonight." He explains "just filling in" -- it will be a few more months until he is ready to take on lead vocal duties in his band.
Jon Young is playful in the middle of the tune and it bounces along for a good start.
A pleasant but unexceptional Giddy Up leads MT to ask the crowd whether they have any requests, then he quickly amends that to "how about some Blues?"
An unusually languid pace distinguishes this Red House, but as often happens, Mick works with deliberation up to a higher gear, before ceding to Jon Young's vocals. After the first verses, MT is back to the very slow Blues style of earlier.
For some reason, Jon Young does not seem to come back for more verses, and Mick suddenly switches over to a faster blues sounding initially like Hideaway. Jon Young quickly starts singing "I guess I'll go over yonder" as if he had initially missed his cue, but Mick just pivots away from the rest of Red House into a generic somewhat higher energy Blues.
Just another one of the endearing mysteries of MT's live shows.
Will It Go Round in Circles
The Billy Preston tribute is a crowd pleaser, with Wayne Hammond handling lead vocals and Jon Young singing harmony.
After an odd and somewhat lackluster early show so far, Mick introduces "something we haven't done in a long time" -- and he and the band proceed to pull off a perfect, sublime and incredibly moving Spanish.
Every aspect just soars. MT plays the challenging opening measures perfectly. In the first quiet section three minutes in, Hammond plays some gorgeous, fast-plucked bass runs while MT strums his distinction rhythm guitar behind him, providing unexpected goosebumps.
Young and MT build from the middle section into a crescendo unparalleled in all of the versions of the song, it has to be heard to be believed.
That's the thing about Mick Taylor. He can be playing just an average, enjoyable show and suddenly shear your head off with incredible melodic genius.
If this performance doesn't wow you, you aren't going to be in much agreement with any of my reviews, for sure.
Mick says something after the ending, which I cannot fully make out, but he refers to "the things I do" and I can't help but think he knows he just tore off something quite special.
Can't You Hear Me Knocking
The standard finale showcasing the entire band, and it would be unfair to expect it to top Spanish. MT and the band had a special guest coming for the late show, and it was time to wrap up the early show. The crowd was appreciative and energized by the performance.