Thursday 7 March 2019

#126 TOM WAITS - Complete VH1 Storytellers (1999) (Flac)

Complete VH1 Storytellers
Burbank Airport, Los Angeles
1 April 1999

Soundboard - Remaster

Prior to 1999, Tom Waits last toured in 1987. He had only performed a handful of dates (usually benefit appearances) between then and his first show of 1999 at the SXSW festival. When his appearance at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas was announced the demand for tickets was completely insane. The festival's organizers had wanted him to play the Austin Music Hall (capacity 3,000), but Waits was determined to keep the show as intimate as possible, opting instead to play the 1,300-seat Paramount Theatre. That performance can be found on volume 8 of the Wolf HQR remasters.

Less than two weeks later Waits appeared on the VH1 Storyteller’s programme, the broadcast only consisted of seven songs and was first aired on May 23. This post has the links for the complete audio recording. It’s high quality and an intimate performance by Waits accompanied with Larry Taylor (upright bass) and Smokey Hormel (guitar, banjo and percussion)

After this special show for TV, tour dates to promote the Mule Variations album (released April 1999) began in June and continued at a leisurely pace through to the end of October as listed below. 

Band members are as the VH1 special but with the addition of Danny McGough (keyboards) and Andrew Borger (drums, marimba, percussion)

1999 Live Performances:

Jun. 09 & 10 - Paramount Theatre. Oakland, USA
Jun. 12, 13 & 14 - Wiltern Theatre. Los Angeles, USA
Jul. 13 & 14 - Cirkus. Stockholm, Sweden  (see volume 6 of the Wolf HQR remasters)
Jul. 16, 17 &18 - Metropol Theatre, Berlin, Germany
Jul. 20 & 21 - Congres Centrum, The Hague, The Netherlands
Jul. 23, 24 & 25 - Teatro Comunale, Florence, Italy (see volume 7 of the Wolf HQR remasters)
Aug. 23 & 24 - Hummingbird Centre, Toronto, Canada
Aug. 26 & 27 - Chicago Theatre, Chicago, USA
Aug. 29 & 30 - State Theatre. Minneapolis, USA
Sep. 19, 20 & 21 - Orpheum Theatre. Boston, USA
Sep. 23, 24, 25 & 27 - Beacon Theatre, New York, USA
Sep. 27 - CBS Late Show with David Letterman, New York, USA TV appearance performed: Chocolate Jesus
Oct. 12 & 13 - Paramount Theatre, Denver, USA
Oct. 13 - "KBCO radio/ Studio-C with Bret Saunders". Boulder, USA. Radio interview and session: Picture In A Frame, Fall Of Troy, Can't Wait To Get Off Work & Jesus Blood Never Failed Me. (session on Rats and Angry Flowers, the interview is excluded)
Oct. 15 - Hult Center, Eugene, USA
Oct. 17 - Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver, Canada (see Rats and Angry Flowers)
Oct. 18 & 19 - 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle, USA
Oct. 19 - KMTT radio "The Mountain Music Lounge" Seattle, USA Interview and performed: Hold On & Picture In A Frame
Oct. 30 - Annual Bridge School benefit (Neil Young's Charity) at the Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, USA (see circulating bootleg DVD with the Letterman appearance)

original notes:

Lineage:SBD > Non-Broadcast Tape > CDRx > Remaster (Cool Edit Pro 2.1)  > shn (mkw Audio Compression Tool)  Sound Quality A+

Original Remaster Notes:
After receiving various flawed copies of this set, I decided to do a little research. As it turns out, the copy that generally circulates contains various digital copy errors throughout, though most noticable on the end of disc 1. With the impossibility of obtaining a clear copy of it, I took upon myself
the laborious task of remastering these discs. The first step was to listen through with my headphones and remove all of the skips, gaps, and other bizarre problems that had been introduced onto the discs. Tracks 10 and 11 on the first disc were especially difficult, and a close listen will still reveal a few imperfections scattered throughout. I didn't want to alter the original too much, so the really tough ones remain.No noise reduction or EQ of any kind was performed. While these discs are still not perfect, this version is a hell of a lot better than the versions that I was able to find circulating around.

Original Performance Notes:
I had a difficult time writing a review of this concert as I was listening to it because I was simply laughing too hard. While many performers have a hard time with the Storytellers format, Tom really flourishes, making the most of each opportunity to tell one of his hilarious stories that sometimes have a little to do with the lyrics and sometimes nothing at all. Mule Variations is one of my favorite Waits albums, and my three favorite songs on it are included here. The version of Tom in his 1999 voice performing Ol' 55 (and the hilarious story that preceeds it) is priceless.
The band is excellent, the arrangements are tasteful and interesting, and the vocals are simply perfect. I won't spoil it any more for those who have yet to hear this, but I will say that it should be one of the first Waits bootlegs you should have in your collection. (Remastering and review by Stephen Pickett)
Disc 1:
01. Story
02. Tango Till They're Sore
03. Story
04. Hang Down Your Head
05. Story
06. Ol' 55
07. Story
08. Strange Weather
09. Story
10. Hold On
11. Story
12. Picture In A Frame
13. Story
14. I Can't Wait To Get Off Work
15. Story
16. House Where Nobody Lives
17. Story
18. Get Behind The Mule
19. Story
20. Chocolate Jesus
21. Story
22. What's He Building


Disc 2:
01. Story
02. A Little Rain
03. Story
04. Downtown Train
05. Black Wings
06. Story
07. Jesus Gonna Be Here
08. Story
09. Jersey Girl
10. Story
11. Chocolate Jesus
12. Tango Till They're Sore
13. Story
14. Hang Down Your Head


Artwork included

Thanks to Fransbo at TC (4-22-2009) > whatmamasaid at HC ( 8-17-2009)
(note the track listings on the original artwork included are incorrect - use the blog track listing)