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Home » John Paul Jones

Web Theatre, Phoenix, AZ

16 November 2001 2,105 views No Comment

Set-List (Unconfirmed): Zooma / The Thunderthief / The Smile of your shadow / Tidal / That’s The Way / Freedom Song / new song / When The Levee Breaks / B-Fingers
Encore: Black Dog

I’ve got to say, after seeing Jonesy at the House of Blues in Los Angeles on the Zooma tour, I was really excited to see him and hear the new material from The Thunderthief. I managed my expectations going into this show though because Jonesy was the opening act (his name wasn’t even on the ticketstub! Shame on you Ticketmaster!) and knowing that, his set would be shorter. Also, without the keyboards this tour, I knew I wouldn’t get a chance to hear an instrumental Carouselambra (you’ve got to add this to your next tour JPJ!!!) or one of my favorite tunes from Zooma, Snake Eyes.
Anyway, 8 pm sharp, the JPJ Orchestra (as he would later call the band) start with a blistering Zooma. This song is really great live. Jonesy looked great: very fit, short hair, and for you fashion conscience, he wore a long sleeved purple silk shirt untucked over black jeans. They switched from Zooma right into a new tune (as Jonesy would introduce at the end of the song) called the Thunderthief, the title track. Great rocker, this one. A few of the riffs on this particular track remind me a little bit of Goose from Zooma. After Jonesy says that’s the title track from the new album, the next song one is introduced as one from Zooma: The Smile of Your Shadow. Not particularly one of my favorites from Zooma, but pretty good live. From there, they get heavier going Tidal (last track, Zooma). Another great live song.
Then a change in mood: out comes the mandolin for Jonesy, Beggs has an acoustic guitar, and Terl comes stage front with a big hand drum. Seeing the review from Nashville, I was excited for the first Zep song of the evening, That’s the Way. I sat there, a tear in the eye, jaw dropped, and listen to one, fantastic version. Jonesy was great on mandolin, and very good with the vocals. Completely different from Battle of Evermore on the US ’77 tour. No, Jonesy has a nice voice, and I applaud his effort. No less than a standing ovation on this one.
Band introductions follow (including the roadie who brings out this miniature acoustic guitar, almost ukulele like). Jonesy reads the inscription for us on the guitar: made for JPJ April 1971! Then, as Jonesy is tuning up this petite instrument, just as he’s about to start playing, someone yells jokingly, for the Skynyrd classic Freebird. Jonesy, band and everyone start cracking up, and Jonesy dryly replies, “Well, I’m not that old!” Great moment! This is another song from Thunderthief, with vocals, and when finished Jonesy says it’s called Freedom Song. Really a great song: just Jonesy, his small ukulele and his vocals. Maybe written after the tragic events from September 11, 2001? on first listen, I would liken this song to Robert’s Liars Dance, from Manic Nirvana. Great job on vocals from Jonesy, and another rousing audience response! Then, as his roadie brings out another small ukulele type guitar (this one’s electric), someone from the front row makes a comment which has Jonesy laughing again, and I couldn’t decipher his comment. But, you could really tell that JPJ was having a great time! Anyway, JPJ rocked on the this song, which he said was from Thunderthief, but didn’t tell us the name of the tune. Great song, whatever it was!!!
From there, it’s the evening’s next Zep number, When the Levee Breaks! Simply outstanding! No vocals by the way, but just great! I look at my watch at this point, and we’re 50 minutes into the set, so I fear the end is close. It is. Jonesy switches back to bass, and we get B. Fingers from Zooma. I really like this song live, and after an extended outro jam, the band brings the crowd to their feet. The JPJ Orchestra takes a bow, and exits. An encore we must have, and get: Black Dog! No vocals, and flat out instrumentally outstanding. With that, that’s all for the JPJ Orchestra!
Dynamite show, way too short. My biggest disappointment: No Nosumi Blues from Zooma!!! Why not tonight Jonesy? I’m absolutely crushed!!! My favorite track from Zooma, and it’s not to be for Phoenix tonight! Also, the audience was too subdued (or out of it), and wasn’t as rousing as they were for the LA show in ’99. Jonesy even looked disappointed with the audience at times (like no one singing the ah-ahs from Black Dog). As for King Crimson, they should be opening for JPJ! I left after four songs (way too avant-garde for my tastes). Overall, a great John Paul Jones show, and another must see if the JPJ Orchestra is coming to your town!!!
Erik Hemp

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