As if seeing Patti Smith performing on New Year’s Eve wasn’t enough, the goddess of Rock and Roll brought out her friend, Michael Stipe, the former lead singer of REM, to perform a special cover of Jimmy Webb’s “Wichita Lineman” at New York’s Bowery Ballroom on December 31, 2011. It looked and sounded like this…
P.S. Sorry about the back of some guy’s head popping up throughout this video. I did the best I could 🙂
I can’t think of a better way to close out 2011 and begin 2012 than by seeing the incomparable Patti Smith perform at New York’s Bowery Ballroom! Patti Smith played her annual trio of sold-out New Year’s shows on December 29, 30 and 31 at Bowery Ballroom and I was fortunate enough to see the final show. What can you say about Patti Smith other than the fact that the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is worthy of every accolade she receives in the press – she’s an incredible performer. Mixing poetry with punk and rockin’ for nearly 2 hours and 45 minutes, Patti Smith’s performance was in a word, G-L-O-R-I-O-U-S!
Patti, who turned 65 on December 30th 2011, was in a great mood as she told stories in between songs and urged the crowd to empower ourselves in these turbulent times. She advised us to arm ourselves with knowledge and fight back against injustice because like her song says, “The People Have The Power!” Just before the stroke of midnight, Patti Smith surprised the crowd with the announcement of a special guest star – former REM lead singer Michael Stipe. He poured champagne for the front row as the crowd enthusiastically rung in 2012 with the classic “Auld Lang Syne.” He stayed for a special cover of Jimmy Webb’s “Wichita Linemen” (and a video will be coming soon – so please stay tuned!)
Patti also played classics such as “Redondo Beach,” “Because The Night,” “Pissing in a River,” which she dedicated to the late Amy Winehouse and also played the theme song to “Around the World in 80 Days,” which she dedicated to Mike Todd, who was married to Elizabeth Taylor, who also passed away in 2011. Covers of “Not Fade Away” and “The Last Time” were also played as well as her recently recorded cover of U2’s “Until The End of the World,” which found Patti getting really emotional (and in turn, there was not a dry eye in the house during the song). The great evening ended with a rockin’ version of “Rock and Roll Nigger” and the crowd chanted the chorus “outside of society” in unison with Patti Smith and her amazing band. Patti thanked the crowd for 14 years of New Year’s Eve shows in New York and mentioned that they will not be playing them next year at this time. Where she’ll appear is anyone’s guess, so stay tuned! Spotted in the crowd: Michael Stipe hanging out with actress Toni Collette and Atlas Sound’s lead singer Bradford Cox.
If you got nothing out of this review, please take this kernel of knowledge with you into 2012 and beyond – THE PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER!
Times Square about an hour before the ball dropped.
I am so blessed to go to so many great events and last night, I opened a new decade at the best party on the planet. I was in the Good Morning America studio in Times Square in New York to usher in 2010. Instead of having to deal with the cold, the rain and the crowds, we got to stay inside the studio where it was warm and we had a little section outside (less than half a block from where the ball drops) that was reserved just for our group. Free food, free cocktails and party favors were flowing. It was truly one of the coolest experiences I’ve had in recent memory. We also got to watch Jennifer Lopez rehearsing for her performance on Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve special. Enjoy some pix after the jump, and have a very happy New Year! This is going to be the best decade ever! What are your new year’s resolutions? Let me know. Free speech is one of the only liberties we have left, so let your voices be heard!