Paul Simonon is still the handsomest man in music - and my favorite bass player
Welcome to the Daily Iowan Arts & Culture blog renaissance. The Clash is one of my all time favorite bands, so you could expect how excited I was to get my grubby paws on The Clash - Live at Shea Stadium today. The 1982 Shea stadium gig is infamous in Clash lore, opening for The Who on what would be The Clash's last american tour.
Shea stadium has hosted some very memorable musical events over the years as well as shitty baseball performances, and it's ironic that it is currently being demolished as these recordings are released. The recordings of the performance had been long sought after by die-hard fans, and fortunately were unearthed by the the late Joe Strummer while he was packing while moving. The band at times could be slightly sloppy live, which they always made up with energy. Not to mention, it didn't really matter. It was the fucking clash. However, this recording catches them at their live peak.
One might argue that punk should never sound so polished live, but at this point in their career they had transcended any trappings of genre confinement. It's reggae, (an awesome rendition of "Armagideon Time") it's rock N roll, ("Should I Stay of Should I Go" - a song where the music video was actually filmed during the Shea Performance) it's punk (Blistering thrugh "Career Opportunities"). The space created between Simonon's bouncy dub bass lines and Mick Jones's experimental-for-its-time atmospherics are really the stuff dreams are made of.
It makes me wish there was a band this important to see live nowadays, but it's nice to know i can throw on my headphones and be right there. If you see some kid in a bandanna walking down Market Street playing air bass to "The Guns of Brixton," throw an egg at him.
I give this 4 out of 5 Stars! The whole set is list wonderful, so all of 'em are my picks. See, i can be positive too in reviewing stuff.
Stay warm - Love Jarrett