Bernie Marsden Trio Live At Iridium, NYC 9.13.10.
What an unusual wonderful event, Bernie Marsden Trio with Les Paul Trio at the Iridium Club in Midtown NYC last Monday night. Monday nights at Iridium are Les Paul Tribute nights hosted by his trio (Les played Mondays at Iridium with these guys for over a decade, until he passed away last year). The gigs were always visited by great diverse musician guests (recently Jeff Beck payed Les tribute for his 95th Birthday celebration at the club, soon to come Leslie West, Steve Morse...) Guests usually join the trio for a track or 2, and then get into their own sets. So did Bernie.
Rainy night in the city, the show barely advertised (never appeared on this website), heard about it a few days earlier it from Village Voice...and what a lovely surprise. As Bernie said, this was the first time he visited the city in 20 years.
So, a little about it...
The show opened Tom Doyle, Les Paul's tech for over 26 years. He played 3 instrumentals on his custom made Doyle guitar, experimented with tuning a bit, all in all fun playing that suits my sensibility. Then, the Les Paul Trio, led by Lou Pallo on guitar played a half an hour set. It consisted mainly of songs they used to do with Les (Blue Skies, That's Why The Lady's a Tramp...). Trio also included an interesting version of Dylan's I'll Be Your Baby Tonight sung by Nicki Parrott, who is a fine double bass player as well. A fun performance, and it was cool looking at Lou's Les Paul Custom guitar, "a black axe with some unusual little switches on".
And then, the main act, Bernie Marsden Trio: Bernie on Les Paul guitar, again, after many years of using mostly PRS, this time as tribute to late master, Neal Jason on bass, who was such a discovery for me, and Anton Fay??? on drums. Short intro and they got into the Reconsider Baby Jam with Les' band. Very enjoyable, lots of feel, Bernie extremely emotional, great clean sound blues solo by Lou as well. To me they all looked like they had lots of fun. I'd call it " A Cool warm up". Second track was instrumental from Stacks album called Latino Bambino Pressure (also called Black Pit on older versions of the album). The opening riff reminded me of You're the One from ...About Time Too album, then developed into one of my new favorite Bernie's tracks. Great live version, actually tops studio recording, as a few other Bernie's tracks. This also goes for Place in My Heart the band played next. Such a wonderful guitar intro, moving sound. The studio version couldn't do it justice as much as this performance...Or maybe I'm little bias since I heard it live first and loved it straight away, then listened to 4 other different studio mixes in the next few days.
And then, a tribute to Rory, heavy version of Taste's What's Going On. It sounded heavy, gutsy, and rhythm section rocked. Man, right there I remembered the original Taste version and regretted it never got a proper mix. Hope somebody with hard rock mind set one day gets a chance to remix these tracks.
In any case, thanks to Bernie for doing a tribute to such an unique musician.
The show continues with King of the Blues, cool uptempo tribute to BB King, and then band leaves the stage leaving Bernie with acoustic Martin to perform stripped down version of Here I Go Again. I don't remember the last time I enjoyed this song so much. BTW, wish The Snakes played it this way the last decade instead of doing radio friendly version. Bernie, very emotional leaves the stage and we stay hungry for more music, but still happy this unexpected gig happened. Thank you Bernie!!!!
I stayed for the second set as well, so no more complaints about the length of the set from me