Little Feat, Little Passion

I went to see Little Feat, or what little is left of Little
Feat, play for free yesterday in Battery Park. The show was free
and I still want my money back.

From having seen Paul Barrere and Billy Payne crap all over the
stage and ruin Phil Lesh’s shows a couple of years ago, I had a
feeling that these guys were little more than hacks who were
still trying to cash in on things they did over thirty years
ago. I suspected they weren’t worth one nickel, and I was right.
The show was incredibly mediocre.

Of course, the crowd loved it. If you play the lemmings a song
they recognize, they’ll jump and clap like a bunch of retarded
seals, and yesterday was like Flowers For Algernon in Sea World.
Of course, Little Feat have become masters of pandering to the
audience, tossing out teases and snippets of songs in a effort
to mask their soulless, empty, and ultimately boring
performance. It was really sad when they broke up a monotonous
“Dixie Chicken” to play a half-assed “Dark Star” tease which was
later followed by a very lame “Tennessee Jed.” Note to Paul
Barrere and Fred Tackett: one of you needs to grow a set of
balls and play lead guitar. I’m not talking about taking an
8-bar solo; I want you to play an actual lead line instead of
staring at each other while the band vamps endlessly as I wait
for Jack Kevorkian to prep the sodium pentathol.

It was driving me nuts how they’d repeatedly stop to say, “Kenny
Gradney on the bass, ladies and gentlemen! Give it up for Kenny
Gradney on the bass!…(Uninspiring chick) on the (horribly
pedestrian) vocals. Let’s hear it for (uninspiring chick) on the
(horribly pedestrian) vocals!” They continued to stop in the
middle of each song to deliver these messages, but the worst
part was during their incessant breaks before each “singalong.”
Did we really need a three minute advertisment for their
Jamaican shows in the middle of “Don’t Bogart That Joint”?
Speaking of, if there was anything “subversive” happening in
Battery Park, bogarting was the theme of the day. I think every
damn park service cop in Lower Manhattan was at the concert,
sweeping the grounds repeatedly, snatching beers and
(presumably) writing lots of tickets.

I had hung out there for almost an hour and 45 minutes, and I
was only staying to hear “Fat Man in The Bathtub.” They finally
went into it but almost immediately began a “jam” that lacked
passion, direction, or theme, and I had had enough. I made my
way to the exit, and as soon as I heard them pull out a very sad
“Get Up Stand Up,” I started running to escape. I’m just glad I
got out before they played something truly awful, like “Sample
In a Jar.”

These guys should let Lowell George rest in peace and give up
touring. If they want to earn money, I think their hackneyed
sets might play well at the El Cortez casino on Fremont St. in
Vegas, but they don’t belong in any place where music fans have

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