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X Brothers, ASPCA Benefit, Union Square, NYC: Now I wanna be your dog April 10, 2007

Posted by Anton A in American music, X Brothers.
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I got off work at 3:00, sped home, wolfed lunch, hopped a train to Hoboken, took PATH under the Hudson to 14th & 6th, & emerged into the chilly 5:30 April sunlight.  Walked up a block, hung a right & headed east along 15th, a block I’ve walked literally thousands of times – this was part of my daily route to work for 18 years.  But this time it was a little different with Burning For You bouncing off the buildings, faintly at first but louder with every step, until I emerged into Union Square where Joe and the X Brothers were already tearing it up, with Dennis Dunaway filling in for Andy Hilfiger on bass.

The ASPCA event was set up at the south end of the park.  I continued down the path, wound up at stage right and stopped right there. I had a great side view of the band. Since I was in back of the PA speakers, the sound was mostly coming from the amps and the stage monitors, crystal clear at a very comfortable level. Couldn’t have asked for a better spot.

A device in front of the stage that looked like something from a low-budget sci-fi movie proved to be a heater; it blew hot air at the stage, since the day was so chilly.  Unfortunately the varying hot & cold zones on stage gave Joe tuning problems all afternoon, but he handled it all with good humor. 

The band quickly warmed up and Joe’s jacket came off.

Here’s the setlist for Set 1:

Purple Haze, Burning For You, All Along The Watchtower, Come Together, Not Fade Away, Voodoo Child (Slight Return), Birthday, I’m Eighteen, Godzilla

Set 2:

Walking The Dog, Back Door Man, Roadhouse Blues, I Wanna Be Your Dog, Honky Tonk Woman, Jumpin Jack Flash, Godzilla, Don’t Fear The Reaper

Towards the end of I Wanna Be Your Dog, I notice a fellow walk up and stand next to me.  I take a second look and realize it is Albert Bouchard.

The song ends and I figure this is a good time to start my traditional yells for Cagey Cretins.  Albert looks over at me and laughs.  I take this as a good opportunity to introduce myself and have a quick chat about a mutual friend, which was cut short because it was Albert’s time to be on stage and whack the cowbell on Honky Tonk Woman.  Albert then took over the drums for a blistering version of Jumpin Jack Flash

They closed out the gig with a glorious dual-cowbell version of Don’t Fear The Reaper, with an ASPCA staffer on second cowbell.

At the end of the first set there were two young black guys standing in front of me.  Jimmy went into his drum solo on Godzilla and they were just bugging on it, yelling and urging him on.  After the point where Jimmy speeds up the tempo, the one guy turned to his friend and said “Whoa!  That is just too fast now!  I can not get my brain around that shit at all!”  Jimmy noticed that they were digging it and would look at them and yell “Yow!” after he finshed a phrase, and they would go “Yow!” right back at him.  This went on for some time.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone have more fun with a drum solo.

What a great afternoon this was!  It was a special treat to see Dennis work out with Joe & Jim on all those classic tunes.  The rendition of I’m Eighteen was right over the top; I loved every second of it.  But every song was great.