Mudcrutch at Troubadour, Tuesday April 29 2008
Synopsis: Those old guys in vests can still put on a good show. Tom, Tom, Randall, Mike, and Benmont took the stage shortly after 9, performing a set of old and new Mudcrutch tunes, a few bluegrass and rock classics, and two Bob Dylan covers. I am very anti-bloated-old-guy-reunion tour, and this show avoided those traps and remained true to the spirit of the Mudcrutch story: a few (albeit very talented and accomplished) buddies decided to hang out again and have some fun.
General vibe: Your dad got drunk at the best Fourth of July barbeque he has ever attended. I would estimate that 10% of the audience was under 30; most of the rest were in solid dad territory. Some were drunk dads, some were sober dads (lots of bottled water). Some were reminiscing hippie dads, who loved the inclusion of “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” in the encore. Whoever was in the control booth was a responsible dad, as the volume was not painfully loud. This was the first show I have been to in over a year where I have not been compelled to put in earplugs.
My motivation: Unlike most of the people there (I assume), I am not a die-hard Tom Petty fan. The only Petty material I own is a copy of “Stop Draggin’ my Heart Around” with Stevie Nicks that was on heavy rotation after devastating college breakup. But I figured if I like his Heartbreakers material, I like the Troubadour, and I like forays of his peers into bluegrass territory (e.g. Jerry Garcia and David Grisman albums), I would like this show. My expectations were exceeded, and I was very impressed with the guitar playing of Tom Leadon and Mike Campbell.
Anecdote: A really loud, drunk middle-aged couple was next to me at the bar. The male part of this couple eventually fell off his barstool twice. The woman part was wearing a t-shirt advertising a 1981 show at the LA Colliseum, featuring the Rolling Stones as headliners, with opening acts J. Geils Band, George Thorogood & The Destroyers, and Prince. Someone approached this woman and said he had been at that show, and they discussed their shared memory of Prince wearing crazy shoes and getting booed off the stage. I guess Prince had the last laugh on that one.
Incomplete, out of order set list:
Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again
Off the Hook
Shakin’ at the High School Hop
Queen of the Go-Go Girls
Lover of the Bayou
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
Bill Monroe song (I missed the title)