Last night I caught the Little Feat show at the Granada Theater in Dallas, TX, and at the same time took a time machine back 34 years, to one of my very first concerts. The last time I saw Little Feat was May 15, 1977, and I was a 16 year old living in Baltimore. I hadn’t even seen my first Grateful Dead show yet! From what I remember, the band was touring for its “Time Loves a Hero” album, and they were the opening act for the Country-Rock band, Poco. Little did I know at the time what a big impact the group, and its founding father, Lowell George, would have on Rock music.
Last night’s show was a good mix of old, classic tunes, such as Willin’ and Truck Stop Girl, from their first album (Little Feat 1971) and more recent songs, like Cajun Rage, from their 11th studio album, Ain’t Had Enough Fun (1995) and The Blues Keep Comin’ which doesn’t appear to have been recorded yet. Church Falling Down, which originally appeared on Fred Tackett’s solo setlists a few years ago, is now in the Feat rotation.
Some of the highlights were the older tunes. I especially enjoyed Spanish Moon into Skin it Back, complete with a horn section. Dixie Chicken was full of surprises. First, half of the band left the stage about mid-way though the song, leaving only Sam Clayton, Bill Payne and Kenny Gradney on stage. Gradney played a bass solo, and then Payne segued into The Yellow Rose of Texas, before the rest of the band returned and played the rest of the tune. Willin’ turned into an audience sing-along, and before Don’t Bogart that Joint, Paul Barrere suggested that the crowd should sing the song while the band played the National Anthem of Jamaica. He said the songs were almost the same, referring to proliferation of the ganja on the island. The set ended with Let It Roll, and the encore was High Roller.
After more than 40 years touring, these guys still have it. I was looking at my Waiting for Columbus LP, which I got autographed at the show by Bill Payne and Paul Barrere, and realized that the band still includes four members that played on that album in 1978: Paul Barrere, Bill Payne, Sam Clayton and Kenny Gradney. New members are: Guitarist Fred Tackett, who joined before the Let It Roll album, released in 1988, and Gabe Ford, on the drums, who joined the band after the original drummer, Richie Hayward was unable to play due to illness.
Cajun Rage Red Streamliner Texas Twister 44 Blues Blues Keep Comin’ Dixie Chicken Truck Stop Girl Willin’ Don’t Bogart that Joint New Delhi Freight Train Church Fallin’ Down Spanish Moon > Skin It Back Let It Roll E: High Roller
Just for fun and a little nostalgia, here the setlist from May 15, 1977 at the Baltimore Civic Center, the last time I saw them:
Walk All Night Skin It Back > Fat Man in the Bathtub Red Streamliner Oh Atlanta Dog Day at the Races All that You Dream On Your Way Down One Love Stand > Rock ‘n’ Roll Doctor Old Folks Boogie Dixie Chicken > Tripe Face Boogie