Nils Lofgren 2/24/05 XM Performance Theater

Discussion in 'Music' started by Bill-DC, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. Bill-DC

    Bill-DC Auditioning

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    I was invited last week to see Nils Lofgren at XM Radio's Performance Theater. It was a fantastic experience and I posted this over at the Satellite Radio Forum. A reader suggested posting it here, so hope you enjoy. If you ever get a chance to get to one of these XM Performance Theater shows by all means, do so. This will be aired the week of April 11th. ----Bill

    Nils Lofgren
    February 24, 2005
    XM Satellite Radio Performance Theater
    Washington, DC

    28 years ago in the spring of 1977 I saw Nils Lofgren perform for the first time. I was in ninth grade, age fifteen and the show was at Georgetown University’s
    McDonough Gym. A bunch of us from the Wood Acres neighborhood in Bethesda MD either hitch hiked or took a bus to the show. Now I don’t remember a whole lot about that show as one, it was 28 years ago and two, well I won’t go into what else I was enjoying that night. I do remember Nils’s energy that night and how awesome it was being at my first concert.

    Over the years as I grew up, I would catch Nils whenever I could. I’ve seen him at various clubs in the DC metro area. Places that no longer exist like the Psyche Delly in Bethesda, the Bayou in Georgetown. Current venues like
    The Birchmere. Outside venues like a park in Frederick MD whose name escapes me and on G Street near MCI Center. Of course I’ve seen him numerous times over the years with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

    To this day, I still get pumped up whenever Nils is in concert. Perhaps it is because his music has always gotten me through good and bad, happy and sad times in my life. Maybe it is his energy and devotion while he is on
    stage. Or it could be that he is one of the most fan friendly people out there, always graciously signing autographs and chatting with fans after his shows.

    I thought I’ve seen it all until yesterday.

    Thirty Nils Lofgren fans were invited to XM Satellite Radio’s Performance Theater for a recording session that will be broadcast later on XM. After a long wait, while the technicians got the theater ready, XM Radio’s Mike Marrone greeted us. Mike is Program Director of XM’s acoustic music channel, The Loft.

    A little over a year ago, Nils sat down with Mike and discussed his career and played in studio. This was one of the best interview sessions with Nils I’ve had the pleasure of hearing. Mike gave us a little tour of the XM studios, telling us that Bob Dylan's two favorite stations were Hank's Place, a station that plays a lot of country music and Bluesville. Someone asked Mike if The Loft was one of Dylan's favorites and he said not really because Mike played a lot of Dylan.

    He also told us this wouldn’t be like a club setting, that sometimes in the middle of the song, Nils could stop and make adjustments and start the song over. The session would be a lot like the "Authorized Bootleg" album we listened to growing up.

    We were seated and Nils arrived to a warm applause and settled down. While warming up we were treated to a few riffs of "Rusty Gun", a great song from his days as a member of Grin.

    Then the show started. I’ll post the set list after this note. Nils played a lot of the old classic tunes we know and love. He played a couple Bruce Springsteen songs, including “If I Should Fall Behind”, a personal favorite of mine. He also gave us a new song called “In Your Hands” who he wrote for his wife Amy when, according to Nils, he forgot to get Amy a Christmas present, so he wrote a song
    for her. During the show, we also got a treat in his brother Tom Lofgren and Buck Brown joined in.

    All in all, it was a fantastic experience and we got to see a lot of behind the scenes technical work that went on to produce this show. To be fifteen feet away and see a musical icon like Nils work his guitar is indescribable.

    After the show Nils came out and chatted with us, posed for pictures and yours truly was able to get a set list signed by Nils. While he was signing, I told him that his version of “All I Have To Do Is Dream” off Breakaway Angel was outstanding and that my wife and I used this song for our first dance at our wedding. Nils was appreciative of that and he was very gracious to us all, thanking us for coming out and supporting him.

    Part of me wants to see him live at The Birchmere this weekend. Another part of me says I will not top yesterday’s experience.

    The set list:
    Gun and Run
    Damaged Goods
    You
    If I Should Fall Behind
    Wonderland
    In Your Hands
    Like Rain
    Keith Don’t Go
    Goin’ Back
    Irish Angel
    The Sun Hasn’t Set On This Boy Yet
    Moon Tears
    First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
    Because The Night
    No Mercy
    I Came To Dance
    Shine Silently
     
  2. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Bill, I seem to have overstated the level of interest in this thread...oh well, I will do my part to keep it at the top!

    Note: Bill posted this over in the Satellite Forum, and I suggested it might get some traffic over here with the rest of us Music lovers.

    Bill's post inspired me to dig out my '88 Ryko reissue of Nils' '75 self titled album (with "Keith Don't Go").

    I had not played this in years, but the truly amazing part is that not only are the songs great, but the sound quality puts most new releases to shame. A great album...not sure if its still in print, but well worth a listen if one is so inclined.

    So, Bill...this is the only Nils I have in my collection. Given that you appear to be an uber-fan, what other titles would you suggest? FWIW, I consider his S/T release darn near perfect. What else in his catalog would be in the same vein?

    Cheers!

    BGL
     
  3. Bill-DC

    Bill-DC Auditioning

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    Nils was in a band called Grin prior to going solo and one of the best albums they had was 1+1. There is a Best of Grin as well. Both can be found on CD.

    The top solo albums '70's-'80's, in addition to the one you own, IMO are Cry Tough, Night Fades Away, Wonderland and Flip.

    Going into the early '90's I like Silver Lining, which features the song Valentine (Bruce Springsteen on vocals) and Silver Lining.

    In 2002 he released Breakaway Angel, which my wife and I used his All I Have To Do Is Dream for our first dance. Other great tunes on that CD are Putting Out Fires and I Found You.

    Four live releases stand out.
    Bootleg, a remaster of his session at the Record Plant that was broadcast on KSAN and later made into an essential bootleg which was a must have for us fans in the '70's and '80's.

    Night After Night, released in 1977, this was the first live album he released and it features just about all the tunes you have on that '75 solo album.

    Archive Alive, another compilation of his greatest hits live.

    The Nils Lofgren Band Live-His concerts at The Rams Head Tavern in 2002 are put on this 2 CD set and this is pretty awesome work by Nils and the band.

    You can get The Nils Lofgren Band Live, Break Away Angel and other CD's at his web site nilslofgren.com

    Hope this helped.

    Bill
     
  4. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Great info Bill....thanks.

    Now I have a lot of discs to check out. The HTF has a way of costing me money.

    BGL
     

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