January 5, 2009 – 4:18 am

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Bowery Ballroom 2008 [no label, 2CD]

Live at the Bowery Ballroom, New York City, NY, December 31, 2008. Very good audience recording.

Now if we all had a choice, wouldn’t we all have wanted to have spent New Year’s Eve 2008 with Patti Smith?

Smith was in fine form and good spirits, joking and cajoling the audience, even telling them her old birthday (she was born on Dec 30th) stories. Her jokes crackle with electricity as much as the music, as the band rip through Kimberly (a loving tribute to her sister, who was in the audience), Dancing Barefoot, Pissing in a River and the chestnuts, Because the Night and People Have the Power.

Since 1998, Smith has been keeping a three-night year-end tradition at New York’s Bowery Ballroom and tonight, Smith puts everyone in the right frame of mind about 2009, the Chinese astrological Year of the Ox, by reminding the audience that it’s going to be a year of putting their noses to the grind and working hard.

But essentially, the gig is a celebratory emotion of hope and affirmation. After the countdown and the obligatory Auld Lang Syne, Smith rocks into People Have the Power but it’s the track after that which surprises, a cover of The Four Tops’ Reach Out I’ll Be There. The lyrics become more poignant in Smith’s impassioned delivery: “If you feel like you can’t go on / ’cause all your hope is gone / And your life is filled with much confusion / And happiness is just an illusion / And your world around is crumbling down / C’mon reach out…”

Perhaps the song was in memory of Levi Stubbs, the lead vocalist of The Four Tops, who died on October 17, 2008 but against the backdrop of the current Israeli attacks on the people of Gaza, the song becomes a cry for people power to end the fighting and the suffering there.

It’s a true reminder that rock ‘n’ roll can save lives and it can also send a chill down your spine.

Thanks to ccrider895 for sharing these tracks on the Dime site and to gthecock for the artwork.

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality stereo MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, this recording has never been officially released.

These tracks are no longer available for sharing.

Disc 1
01. A Pythagorian Traveler(poem)
02. Year of the Ox intro / In My Blakean Year
03. Kimberly
04. Revenge
05. Dead to the World (with snippet of Space Monkey acapella)
06. The Setting and the Stone (poem) / ‘Edit your pictures’ rap
07. Lo and Beholden (with Salome improv.)
08. Boy Cried Wolf
09. Dancing Barefoot

Disc 2
01. Ain’t it Strange
02. Wilderness (poem)
03. Pissing In a River
04. Are You Experienced?
05. Because the Night
06. Beneath the Southern Cross / New Year’s Countdown/Auld Lang Syne
07. People Have the Power*
08. Reach Out I’ll Be There (Four Tops)
09. Rock n’ Roll Nigger

Patti Smith - guitars, clarinet, vocals
Lenny Kaye - guitars, vocals
Jay Dee Daugherty - drums
Tony Shanahan - bass, keyboards, vocals
Jackson Smith - guitars
Jessie Smith - keyboards
* With Kimberly Smith on acoustic guitar

Click here to order Patti Smith’s latest release, The Coral Sea.

  1. 7 Responses to “PATTI SMITH - NEW YEAR’S EVE 2008”

  2. Oh, this is so great, getting this up so quickly. Thanks for this. I was at her NYC New Year’s show 3 or 4 years ago. It was great. Looking forward to hearing this one.

    By John on Jan 5, 2009

  3. Thanx for this GREAT performance of Patti Smith (my personal favourite) and putting it on your site!!

    By Jan Stevens on Jan 5, 2009

  4. Thanks, Tom, for the corect link.

    And thanks to BigO for the downloads, very much appreciated, as usual.

    Another Tom

    By Tom on Jan 6, 2009

  5. Wow!
    What a great start to 2009 with oe of the best gigs of 2008. I just wish I could have been there for this amazing concert but this is the next best thing.
    Thanks so much Big O.

    By Ernie Pap on Jan 9, 2009

  6. Patti Smith is the greatest artist still on the road. Hopefully she will visit Norway again this year. Great show and many thanx for letting me download this.

    By NXP on Jan 9, 2009

    Thanks BigO great as always!

    By Daz on Jan 1, 2010

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