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Home » John Paul Jones

328 Performance Hall, Nashville, TN

9 November 2001 2,301 views No Comment

Set-List: (Unconfirmed) Zooma / Nosumi Blues / The Thunderthief / Snake Eyes / Tidal / That’s The Way / new song / new song / When The Levee Breaks / B-Fingers / Freedom Song? / new song
Encore: Black Dog


Here are a few notes from Friday night’s performance at Nashville’s 328 Performance Hall. Once inside, I naturally migrated toward the bar and then to the stage to check out the gear. Jones’ SWR cabinets were prominently displayed in basically the same manner that they were last tour. While Nick Beggs’ amps and midi equipment was set up on stage right. Terl Bryant’s drums were different this outing. He used Premier drums last time, but this time he was using a nice looking “Jalapeno” 4-piece set. I’ve never heard of these type drums before, so I’m figuring they’re a custom outfit. Jonesey’s Bass lap-steel was there on stage-left. The absence of a keyboard setup kinda worried me.
At 8 PM sharp, the house lights went down and the sound system started pumping the strange soundscape from ‘Zooma’ as I seen the fretboard of the 12-string bass light up. Then, boom! There they were! Jamming their asses off to ‘Zooma’!!! I gotta say that Jonesey’s looking fit as a fiddle. A little less hair than last time, but he looks terrific. He was dressed in black jeans, button-down purple shirt and a sharp looking vest. Nick Beggs was wearing one of his trademark kilts, and Terl Bryant looked comfortable in tee-shirt and jeans.
After ‘Zooma’ they moved into ‘Nosumi Blues’, which gave Beggs some time to demonstrate some awesome Chapman stick technique. After ‘Nosumi’, they kicked it back into a nice riffy song that I was sure had to be off the new album. I was right. It was ‘Thunderthief’. If this song is any indication of what we can expect from the rest of the album, it’s another jewel. After ‘Thunderthief’, they jammed on a couple more off ‘Zooma’. namely ‘Snake Eyes’ and ‘Tidal’.
Then Jones switched to a madolin, Beggs got and acoustic guitar and Terl came out to the front of the stage with a Bodrahn (Irish hand drum). I didn’t know what to expect here. I was soon to find out though. Jones moved a music stand with lyric sheets on it close to him and announced he was going to sing a song. Ok, I was naturally a little leery here, hoping that he’d improved a little since ’77. What happened next blew me away. The first notes of ‘That’s The Way’ trickled across the room and I literally _ran_ to the stage to get a closer look. Ladies and gentlemen, Jonesey didn’t do half frickin bad! Mind you, he’s no Robert Plant, but damned if he didn’t do a damn respectable job on the song, with Beggs and Terl adding harmonies at the end of the tune. This brought the crowd to it’s feet, in a standing ovation. Jones was smiling and being very humble about this.
Band introductions followed and Hugh Manson got a intro from Jonesey as he brought him a ukelele onstage. Yes, you read that right, a _ukelele_! What followed was a little celtic-sounding number with Jones singing, accompanying himself with the ukelele only. This he said was also from ‘Thunderthief’. Then Hugh brought up an electric version of a ukelele, complete with cutaway body and all. It was really cool! They kicked into an instrumental number with Jones jamming the piss out of that little ukelele. The sound was awesome, that little uke had distortion and all. Monster, simply monster.
Then John Paul moved over towards the lap steel, as Terl kicked out the opening notes to ‘When The Levee Breaks’. This was the highlight of the evening for me. The JPJ Orchestra simply rocked the house on this one. Quite possibly they did this better than they did last time out. After ‘Levee’, he got his bass back out for ‘B-Fingers’. This tune is one of my favorites off ‘Zooma’, so naturally I was coming unglued on this one. Jones wasn’t happy with the sound of the amp on ‘B-Fingers’ and motioned for Hugh to come up and dial him in. Hugh steped up and cranked up the presence on the amp and it made all the difference in the world. It really sounded good after that little adjustment.
After a couple more tunes, the boys waved and bowed and left the stage. The crowd called for an encore and wasn’t to be disappointed. The JPJ Orchestra returned to the stage and he moved toward the lap-steel and I knew what was going to follow. ‘Black Dog’!!! They absolutely tore it up on this song!!! What a grand ending to a kickass show.
The one thing that may have disappointed me the most about the whole John Paul Jones show was that the volume for Jones’ set was _much_ lower than King Crimson’s set. This is to be expected though, since Jones _is_ the opening act here. When I seen Jones last year in the same hall, they probably had to go around the next day and tighten the bolts in the ceiling from the sonic bombast. wasn’t the case this year.
After Jones’ set, King Crimson took the stage for what turned out to be a good performance, although I found it to be a little too avant-garde for my tastes. But I’m admittedly _not_ a King Crimson fan by any stretch of the imagination. So I spent much of their set outside smoking (Fripp wasn’t allowing smoking in the entire building…the prick) or holding up the bar. Once while I was standing at the bar, Nick Beggs came over and we had a pleasant conversation for a few minutes. Nick is genuinely a really nice chap, who obviously is thrilled by the opportunities to play with JPJ.
JR Sroufe

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