Monday’s get out the vote show by Tom Morello as The Nightwatchman with his friends Mike McCready and his Hendrix cover band Shadow 86, Stone Gossard and the Hank Khoir and Boots Riley was, as to be expected, a great show. Here are some of the highlights:
There wasn’t really a choir with the Hank Khoir. Stone had one female singer on stage with him and a backing band. Her voice complimented Gossard’s singing well. Stone’s vocals were pretty soft and the set was fairly quiet and subdued.
The backing band for the Hank Khoir was the Roy Kay Trio. You probably them from playing along with this guy. They closed their set with two equally awesome covers: a low-key, soft rendition of Prince’s “1999” and a full blown rockabilly take on Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades.”
Getting to see Shadow 86 was a real treat as Mike McCready seemed to be 100 percent in his element playing Hendrix songs (gee, who would’ve guessed?). It seemed like Mike was rushing through singing the verses just to get to the guitar solos because he was so amped up to shred on the guitar, which was cool.
The group blazed through about six songs including “Fire,” “All Along the Watchtower,” “Voodoo Chile” and others. Two highlights of Shadow 86’s set were McCready effortlessly playing guitar behind his back for a good five minutes and “The Star Spangled Banner,” which appropriately enough, got a massive response from the crowd.
The special guests for the night were: U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott and Gov. Chris Gregoire. Gregoire introduced Stone Gossard and I think she said she has been a fan of his since Mother Love Bone. said her daughters have been fans since Mother Love Bone.
Tom Morello brought his A game with him during his set as the folksy Nightwatchman. He interlaced multiple of his Rage Against the Machine solos with the guitar bridges, intros and endings of Nightwatchman songs. At one point Morello played guitar with his teeth, which while a novelty, was pretty cool and every time he broke into a Rage guitar part the crowd went berserk.
The set included a funked up version of “Shake My Sh*t” and a toned down acoustic version of “Guerrilla Radio” (which was the only Rage song he performed). He also covered “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” “We’re An American Band” and “The Ghost of Tom Joad.” The latter two had modified lyrics bashing the current political climate.
Morello himself proved to be a fairly charismatic and capable frontman. He had the crowd moving and shaking and his folksy acoustic numbers were evenly dispersed throughout the set between more rocking songs which made the quieter songs more tolerable.
Also during his set Morello performed an unreleased track from his new side project called Streetsweeper. Streetweeper is Morello with rapper Boots Riley of the group The Coup on vocals. The song sounded like a more funked up, heavier (as in the tuning of Morello’s guitar) version of Rage. It’s promising stuff so look for it soon.
The night ended with “This Land Is Your Land,” a staple closer for Morello’s solo sets. It was about a 10-minute version of the song and McCready joined Morello on stage for a bit of a guitar duel, which while not even close to the best part of the night, was awesome simply because two guitar legends were on the same stage at the same time.
Tom Morello with Mike McCready: This Land Is Your Land