Where I was at: Bowery Ballroom 12.30.09

so here's the setlist from Patti Smith's Bowery Ballroom show on her birthday - December 30th, 2009 - the lucky recipient kindly held it up for my camera. The show was excellent, as expected. Right out of the box with 'Land', 'Ask the Angels', and 'Privilege'. A ton of well chosen cover songs too. Michael Jackson's 'Billie Jean', George Harrison's 'Within You Without You', Buddy Holly's 'Not Fade Away.' The band with Lenny singing (minus Patti) did two Jim Carroll songs including a knockout 'People Who Died.'

Patti's always been great over the years with her choice of live cover songs. Like a good DJ, she always seems to pull them right out of a hat. Back in the day, one of my favorites was her cover of Debby 'Boone's You Light Up My Life', which I excerpt below from - really - Kids Are People Too.  I can't overestimate the impact at the time of the ironic crossover beauty of a NYC punk poet singing a top 40 megahit by Pat Boone's daughter (I remember her at a record store signing in Times Square telling all her fans not to waste money on the album - "buy the single").

But her best cover song at this year's show was her encore - Patti and the band doing the O'Jays 'Love Train'. Such a feelgood song - I still can't get it out of my head. And so. as much for myself as everyone else, I provide a link to the O'Jays doing Love Train on Letterman (search out the Soul Train Line Dance version from 1973 yourself).

Also for your viewing pleasure, a few choice pix of Patti onstage at the Bowery Ballroom.  "People round the world, join in..."