The Sadies & Friends, Live Recording @ Lee's Palace
When you are from one of the first families of Canrock-country royalty, you tend to have a lot of friends. And when you decide to record a big live CD/DVD, you naturally bring all your friends along. And your family. And it takes 2 nights and a jam-packed stage to do it up right.
February 3rd and 4th, The Sadies packed Lee's Palace with 2 nights of sold-out shows, each night recording for 3+ hours (via Steve Albini hiding out back in a van) and generally goofing off late into the night. The first set was a low(er) key hint at the goodness to come, with Dallas & Travis Good playing most of their own surf-rock garageband country classics (including just about all of their songs under 40 seconds long and/or with the word "Creek" in it), and then calling out Mother & Father Good for a roof-raising family rendition of "Higher Power". Garth Hudson (The Band) joined with a very cool old accordian, followed by Kelly Hogan and Bob Egan on steel guitar. After nearly 2 hours they called for a break and a breath of fresh (herbal) air.
I'd read the prior night's review, so I knew the best was yet to come...
After the break, everyone who is anyone ever came pouring out: Jon Langford (the Mekons), Neko Case (New Pornographers), Gary Louris (The Jayhawks), Rick White (Erics Trip, Elevator, the Unintended), The Deadly Snakes, Heavy Trash, Paul Rigby (Carolyn Mark Band), and pretty much all of Blue Rodeo. John Spencer (Heavy Trash) launched himself out over the crowd like a lunatic preacher. Max McCabe (Deadly Snakes) beat the living hell out of his tamourine. Neko Case joked and crooned. It was so incredibly MUCH that you didn't know where to look or listen.
Could it possibly get any better? Oh yes, it could. The Good brothers invite Rick White out and launch into a pounding, growling cover of (Pink Floyd's) "Lucifer Sam". After I scooped my jaw off the floor, they did a punkrawk Mekons cover, then eventually called Rick back out for another Pink Floyd song - a huge reverby dramatic "Astronomy Domine". Jesus Christ. (No, he wasn't there, but might as well have been). The enviable ability this band has to swing on a dime from gospel to surf-rock to punk to psychedelic - and do it all really well - shows how incredibly talented they are. Truly.
The Sadies & friends ended the night well past 2:30 a.m. with everyone back out on stage for a huge jamfest. Rather than let it get too drawn out & indulgent, a charmingly drunken Dallas Good (chugging Jagermeister straight out of the bottle sans paper bag = hardcore) grinned, waved his arm in the air & bid "to all my friends, goodnight, & now we'll get the f*ck off!"
Additional photos from this show at: Rock//Paper//Pixels.com