The Troxy, London | September 13th
Maybe we chuck the word ‘legend’ around a bit too freely here at Crack HQ. We’re nice like that. But believe us when we say, hand on heart, that a Patti Smith is show is another level entirely. She takes rock’n’roll cool to a different plain.
In her unmistakable New Jersey drawl, she greets her disciples, who howl at her every word, with “HELLO EVERYBODY, I’M GLAD TO BE BACK”. Opening with Dancing Barefoot, her voice is flawless and fierce yet saddened and wise, as she sings for her now deceased husband, who she oft’ talks about through the show. It’s very much a family affair, with son Jackson on rhythm guitar and long-time best mate Lenny Kaye on lead. Because the Night nearly reduces us to tears, Money has the place raving, Redondo Beach is played for Morrissey, Rock n Roll Nigga is as poignant as the day she wrote it.
Her anecdotes are brilliant, humour magnetic, but she also has a message to deliver: “Rise up. Don’t let the powers that be push you down. Unite. Youth is the truth. You will decide. Our earth. Our world. You are the future. And the future is now.” Performing People have the Power, there is no doubt she believes it. And as for Patti Smith, well, she’s a legend isn’t she?
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Words: Lucie Grace