1001 Albums: Live at the Regal

#54

Album_54_Original

Artist: B.B. King

Album: Live at the Regal

Year: 1965

Length: 34: 46

Genre: Blues / Live

 

” So fellas…I SAID FELLAS! Fellas if you got a woman and the lady don’t do like
You think she should,
Don’t you be goin’ upside of her head now. You know what I’m talkin’ about, don’t you be
Beatin’ on her. The judgement’s much cheaper if you don’t beat her. And you see if you hurt
Her you only do one thing…I said if you hurt her you only do one thing! You make her a little
Smarter and she won’t let you catch her the next time. So the thing to do is THROW YOUR
ARMS around the pretty little thing! Now listen to me, listen to me…I don’t care if she
Weigh thirty-two and a half pounds wet or five hundred and fifty pounds on her feet. If she’s
Your lady and you dig her, than she’s your pretty little thing…AND THEN YOU TELL
HER! You say “Baby! Baby I don’t care what they say about you on the next block, your
My little lady and I dig you. Let em talk, let ’em say what they want to say””

 

Last night I saw Book of Mormon for the first time. It was one of the greatest shows I have ever seen in my life. Everything from the production to the musical numbers to the performances to the humour to the social commentary was banging on all cylinders. I was mesmerised the whole way through, on the edge of my seat, taking in every moment (which rarely happens to me, especially at shows). It really takes a lot for me to be invested in something this much, but Book of Mormon succeeded at a level I won’t even begin to try understanding.

What was truly amazing about the whole experience was the humour never distracted from the performances. It knew when to let the audience laugh and when to draw them in. Despite the content, the characters still had very real emotional moments. When Nicaragua/Neosporin/Nala, etc. has her Salt Lake City dream song moment, it is very much her strong emotional moment that she has to take the stage, and the performer did it outstandingly. Didn’t matter how dumb it was that her dream was to go to the paradise of Salt Lake City, she evoked every feeling of wanting and passion into that song that sold it the way it should have. Even Elder Price’s I Believe song, filled with tons of deliciously dumb lines that will make you laugh at this character’s blind faith, evokes that power of someone who truly believes what they’re saying, which is the perfect blend of comedy and emotional response.

Also, don’t get me going about the two best songs in the show “Hasa Diga Eebowai” and “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream”. Both songs are done to perfection and go over the top enough to make you laugh and snort but still manage to be amazing pieces of orchestrated music. These songs alone were enough to get me to buy the CD. You know…

What?

What do you mean?

Oh… I’m not here to talk about Book of Mormon? Then…

oh… right… I’m here to talk about Live at the Regal

Oh.

Oh…

I’d rather talk about Book of Mormon though…

Ok… Ok… I understand… Fine…

So… Live at the Regal. B.B. King’s live album where he performed at, you guessed it, the Regal. Another live album that I couldn’t quite comprehend why I was sitting through it. I’m sure B.B. King had an extensive enough catalogue that they could have chosen any one of his albums. Maybe his other works were more single based while this one was more cohesive as a whole. I could agree with that. The album had really good flow to it, going from one song to another almost seamlessly. And it’s not because it’s a live album and that’s how live shows sound in general but because he had a really good set.

I find that’s something that some people always manage to forget talking about when it comes to live shows. A good show relies on a good set and it’s easy to just pick a ton of songs that you know the audience will love, but even harder to find a good order to your set. It’s not as much the songs you’re playing but which songs are you playing when. A good order to your set is vital to the audience’s enjoyment. You can’t just throw any old song out there to perform, there has to be a balance of varying paces and styles, there has to be a flow that works when moving form one song to another, it has to tell a story with a beginning, middle and end (but never actually have to be a story in itself, just the illusion of one). When this is done to perfection you get one hell of a concert.

I think that’s where B.B. King really shines here. He perfected his set. Knew which songs to play when and how to create a start to finish that works with his music. For the most part he’s a damn good guitar player, he sings with the emotional requirements for good blues vocals, lyrically it fits well into the genre and his backing band (which he thanks on two separate occasion for doing some damn fine work) supports him well. It’s nothing truly spectacular (although this is considered one of the greatest blues recordings ever… which I find hard to believe. I mean, it’s good, I thoroughly enjoyed it… but best? I’m sure there’s way better out there. But you know, B.B. King was one of the last greats of the old school Blues genre to leave an impact, so I guess that was factored in as a possible Farewell to an era).

Also, I’m not sure, but it seemed like this was two different sets put together as one album. I only say that because halfway through the song fades out and then he gets introduced again, as if he’s just starting, and goes on to do another set. I mean, that’s totally cool, I’m just curious if this was all on the same night and there was an intermission between both sets or was this two shows recorded to make one album? Not unheard of at all, but it says this was recorded on November 21, 1964. Only one date is given for it’s recording… so is the intermission a possibility? I’m guessing it is.

Who knows.

Song of Choice: It’s My Own Fault

-Bosco

P.s. I realise I chose an incredibly long quote this time around… whatever, fuck it.

 

 

 

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