June 2, 2010 – 3:53 am

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

Boston 2010 [no label, 2CD]

Live at the Orpheum Theatre, Boston, MA, May 20, 2010. Very good audience recording.

Anyone who has followed Pat Metheny knows that the jazz guitarist (for want of a better term) is no stranger to computers and electronic gizmos. He said in an interview, “I live this music/technology life, with wires and knobs as central as strings and picks. Technology is no big deal to me. It’s transparent, just the way a mouthpiece is to a trumpet player. But it would take many hours for me to explain how everything here is done.”

The opening four tracks of this Boston show act as a warm-up, even if Metheny plays his 42- stringed Pikasso guitar.

But when he showcases his Orchestrion, starting with Expansion, it still takes the breath away (even if the Orchestrion CD was released in January this year). As Jonathan Takiff noted in the Philadelphia Daily News, “when master jazz guitarist/composer Pat Metheny takes to the crowded-with-equipment stage… he’ll be steering his big-sounding show all alone, with the wave of hands over guitar strings and knobs, and the triggering of foot pedals. All to kick-start his MIDI-computers and bring to life an ‘Orchestrion’ of 40 mechanically controlled instruments - hammered-on keyboards, vibraphones, bass- and guitarbots, tons of percussion and even a cabinet full of glass bottles blown with compressed air ‘for added warmth’.”

Unlike, say, Kraftwerk, whose “robotic” music can be cold, Metheny’s music is just the opposite. It’s almost as if every note he plays lives and breathes. And there is a light summery feel to his music that one might even be tempted to consider Metheny a New Age musician!

As Ribbie commented on his Ribbie’s Weblog, “What amazed me about the performance was that each tune sounded exactly like the studio version. There were a few improvised departures in the guitar work, but not much. He actually pulled it off.” When it comes to jazz improv, jazz purists may balk at what Metheny does. But is it jazz in the first place? After all, he is alone with only his machines to accompany him. Then there are those who feel that he should get a bunch of musicians if he wants a natural sound.

But Metheny does have the last word. “It’s like somebody watching Bambi, then saying, ‘That was a good movie, but why didn’t they get a real deer?’ They’re missing the point. It’s not a substitute. It’s a medium of its own. Of my own.”

Thanks to dramas for this fine recording and for sharing the lossless tracks on the Dime site. Thanks also to ethiessen1 for the artwork.

These tracks are no longer available for download. (see note below)

Disc 1
Track 101. Unrequited
Track 102. Make Peace
Track 103. The Sound Of Water
Track 104. Unity Village
Track 105. Expansion
Track 106. Spirit Of The Air
Track 107. Entry Point
Track 108. Orchestrion

Disc 2
Track 201. Soul Search
Track 202. Solenoid Guitar Improv
Track 203. Orchestrion Improv (Ornette Coleman medley - “Round Trip” and “Broadway Blues”)
Track 204. Antonia
Track 205. Orchestrion Sequencer Improv
Track 206. Stranger In Town
Track 207. Sueno Con Mexico

Click on the link to order Pat Metheny albums.

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UPDATE: June 3, 2010

We are the attorneys for Pat Metheny. It has come to our attention that an audio recording entitled “Pat Metheny Orchestrion - Boston 2010″ is being offered for free download, without our client’s authorization, via your website,

Demand is hereby made that the above title be removed from your website no later than 5.00 PM EST, Thursday, June 3, 2010, that you make no further distribution of such title, and that no further Pat Metheny performances be posted on your website without explicit permission from Mr. Metheny.

Jason A. Finestone, Esq.
Shukat Arrow Hafer Weber & Herbsman, LLP

  1. 25 Responses to “PAT METHENY ORCHESTRION - BOSTON 2010”

  2. I saw this show a few weeks ago on its Chicago tour stop, and I have to admit that seeing the Orchestrion in action was wondrous and magical. A white light signaled which instruments were being activated, and it was kind of ghastly to see shakers moving on their own, sticks tapping on a hi-hat (but no “hands” holding those sticks) and a vibraphone covered with mallets slightly overhead (and magically striking). Though the wildest thing had to be the two wooden cabinets holding the apothecary bottles filled with liquid that sounded whenever air blew over the opening… (Really gave the whole stage set a “mad scientist” vibe…)

    Thank you for sharing this music. I have purchased (and repurchased) Metheny’s catalog (and remasters), and would gladly buy a recording of this concert (or any of the tour) if they were commercially available. Without sites like this one, I’d never get to hear these songs in this particular way. Thanks again!

    By James on Jun 2, 2010

  3. Second time this week….hate when that happens.

    By trivialtony on Jun 3, 2010

  4. In today’s shrinking music economy, ROIR’s are one of only a couple effective ways left to keep artists in the immediate attention of fans.

    As mentioned in my earlier post, I’ve bought the albums legitimately… which support the artist’s investors (ECM, Geffen, Warner, and even the Italian label that issued the Passagio soundtrack), and the stores that choose to stock his music. I also bought tickets and attended the shows that support the artist and his advisors; as well as the promoters who risk loss and calamity when a show is poorly attended…

    A performer like Metheny delivers in a live setting, and this ROIR demonstrates it. This show’s availability may actually do more to sell the Orchestrion CD and convince people to come out to his shows than any step that Warner/Nonesuch had performed in the concept/album/tour cycle.

    The Orchestrion cd itself has been a bear to find and purchase in a physical marketplace. Could not find it in most of the remaining stores still dealing in CD’s in the Chicago area (Best Buy, Target, WalMart, Barnes & Noble…) Borders had it on back order, and the only place I found it was Rolling Stones records in Norridge. Sure, I could have gone to or found an eBay seller, but it isn’t as immediate or as fun as going to a destination to pick it up.

    While Mr. Metheny is well within his legal rights to get this recording withdrawn; his lawyers may want to do a double-check on his record deal to see what the record company has done to service his core followers and expand his fanbase… How many people seeking out Orchestrion are “new” fans? I’ll bet 75% of his fanbase became fans long before the internet changed the way people consume music. I’d also tender a bet that most of his “new” fans are either musicians or students at a musical institute (like Berklee or G.I.T. for instance)…

    A real disappointment, and I’ve got a feeling we’re only seeing the beginning of the legal bullying…

    By James on Jun 3, 2010

  5. I second James’ statement. Further, legal bullying by Mr Finestone may actually backfire and create a financial backlash toward his client.

    By Todd on Jun 3, 2010

  6. i missed this one in time. if anyone who got it could contact me and well arrange appreciate it. thanks
    darthcdrx at aol dot com ([email protected])

    By darthcdrx ataoldotcom on Jun 3, 2010

  7. I completely agree to Todd’s and James’ statements.

    I own more than 2000 lawfully bought CDs. There is also a Pat Metheny CD from the 80s which was really unimpressive to me. However this roio may have been more convincing to me and may lead to the purchase of one or more CDs of Mr. Metheny. But now there is nothing left than the tarnished reputation of Mr. Metheny.

    But congratulation to Mr. Finestone (Esq.) for making another great deal for his commercial law company.

    By Jo on Jun 3, 2010

  8. This is sad…….although not a Metheny fan, I find it infintely pathetic when lawyers besmrich their clienmts characater by bullying the very people that made their client who he is today, besides, how many copies would sell if it were commercially available……as already stated, they should be happy Pat Metheny’s name appears anywhere these days!!!!!

    By ToddM on Jun 3, 2010

  9. I never liked Pat Metheny’s music, nor the man himself (though I’m sure he’s a very nice guy); something about him has always seemed “lightweight” and contrived to me. Maybe it’s that damn smirk he always seems to have on his face–and does it still wear that hideous stripped sweater/shirt thing? Maybe it’s the ridiculous shaggy haircut that seems more appropriate for a young boy. Or now, maybe it’s because of his blindly aggressive legal management. Either way, i will now actively–even more so than before–avoid any/all of his music. His stuff is mostly bland crap anyway.

    By dandor on Jun 3, 2010

  10. Though I’ve heard of Mr.Metheny, I’ve never actually heard any of his music, nor is there any radio stations in my area that plays this type of music. The presence of his music on the internet might have enabled listeners to discover Metheny’s music for the first time, but his thug lawyer is ignorant and oblivious to that, because, for these download- hunting law firms, their only source of profit is to start trouble.

    By Philip Cohen on Jun 3, 2010

  11. Pat lives here near Woodstock, NY and at almost all of his shows, he’s got a strict policy for no taping. Some artist’s do… In the present day of downloads, Youtube, Dime and every technical form of distribution, how can you possibly stop it ? It’s not like BigO is a illegal Russian download site offering Pat’s new CD for $1.00 with a profit in mind. This is a true labor of love to sneak in a recorder, locate a prime spot for sound and sit motionless and quiet for two hours capturing the music you admire and love. Artist’s do live off their work = understood. This is just a “fan” recording spread to other “fans”. If Pat or his label eventually releases an official recording, all the better. Tony Levin allows taping at all his shows and encourages it, he’s released professional recordings of most of his live projects… Jazz guys may be a bit uptight, since alot of older artists were exploited in the old days by quasi-bootleg jazz labels…. C’est La Vie

    By Woodstock on Jun 4, 2010

  12. Have thousands of records and CDs. I’ve bought 5 in the past few months (and several concert tix) from the musicians I’ve heard on this site. They should pay you for your fine marketing efforts.

    By elmore on Jun 4, 2010

  13. I have to second the comments by those who have never heard Pat Metheny’s music. In fact, I’d never heard OF Metheny until now, and I suspect that by the end of this year I’ll have forgotten he exists.
    Because I’m damned if I’ll buy his music without first having the opportunity to sample it. So, yes, another triumph for the arsewipe legal fraternity, whose vigilance is more likely to discourage than promote sales of their obscure client’s recordings.
    I’ll spend this month’s CD allowance on some more James Taylor, instead. The tracks you made available have whet my appetite for more.

    By tk on Jun 4, 2010

  14. I live in the Boston area and have seen Pat Metheny’s shows several times and own a few cd’s. Metheny is a great performer, but hardly a household name. I have a question for Mr. Firestone - If a tree falls in the forest, does anybody hear it?
    Sadly, I could not attend this show, but I would have enjoyed having it. Mr. Firestone’s antics have persuaded me to BOYCOTT future Metheny albums and shows…

    By TDC on Jun 5, 2010

  15. I have about two dozens original CDs by Pat Metheny, but I’ll join the boycott and I swear I won’t buy any more in the future.

    By gareth on Jun 5, 2010

  16. tix prices for that show ranged between $101 and $270 .

    By boredom on Jun 5, 2010

  17. I think everyone here is taking this too personally… there’s no need for boycotts or flames to Pat. He hires attorney’s to protect his artist rights and the control of his works… I understand it seems to undermine the “fan” experience of sharing live recordings, but his attorney’s need to go much deeper into the world of retail piracy and free file sharing of his commercial music that has could jeopardize his financial rewards. In this case, there’s no reason why this should have been taken down since it’s a fan recording and no dollars pass hands. Big O was an “easy” target for them to send a cease and desist letter. This would never be pursued, as it is outside of the US legal territory. His legal team would spend tens of thousands of dollars to travel to see it in any kind of court… it’s scare tactics at best. I know, I have lawyer friends in the music industry (many of whom collect rare music like we do…) - Get over it and support Pat if you truly care for him and his music. This recording will surface again somewhere and anyone who wants it that bad will get it… Peace.

    By Woodstock on Jun 6, 2010

  18. On the other hand……it’s worthwhile to let this performer know that the bully tactics of this lawyer reflect poorly on the reputation of the client who hired him.

    By Philip Cohen on Jun 6, 2010

  19. I had never heard of Pat Metheny until today. It’s too bad I seem to have missed the opportunity to have heard his music. I guess I will listen to someone else instead.

    By ZeusKitty on Jun 7, 2010

  20. Bland 80’s crap…this finklestien or whatever his name is did us all a favour!

    By Happyjap on Jun 7, 2010

  21. Thank God!!!.
    this a great site that has NO need for the likes of the mindless noddling of Methaney

    By Tim on Jun 10, 2010

  22. Tim, agreed-no boring glorified drony ambientsy drivel allowed!

    By absoluteley on Jun 10, 2010

  23. I want to make a few things clear, as a fan since I first heard Metheny with Gary Burton on Ring in 1974. While I would love to have a recording of Orchestrion Live (though I’ll now finally get to see it in Montreal this fall, woop!), I cannot fault the lawyers for doing their job…or Metheny for being adamant that no live recordings be made of his music or distributed.

    I repeat - I’d love to hear it. But if we are, indeed, fans of the guy, shouldn’t we respect his wishes? Metheny has long talked about his reason for not wanting to be recorded - when he is aware of it, it alters how he plays - but even if he simply didn’t want it, it’s his music…and his right. And we should respect this.

    Other artists are good with taping, and that’s a great thing (I have plenty); but in a time where I think we feel too strong a sense of entitlement, let’s remember: a concert ticket entitles you to attend the experience, not document it for personal (or public use). Metheny is plenty prolific enough (at least one album per year) to be keeping his fans happy with new music, and Nonesuch is hardly a “mean, major label.” Nonesuch has, indeed, grown since inception, and has distribution with a major. But it’s one with a small label mentality and allows the kind of artistic freedom few of its size afford.

    But at the end of the day, don’t shoot the messenger (the lawyer). If you disagree, disagree with Metheny, whose opinion about taping has been public for some time. The lawyer is only doing his job, which is what Metheny is paying for. And if Metheny doesn’t want to be taped, and doesn’t want those made surreptitiously? That’s his right, and like it or not, agree with it or not, it’s HIS music, and he has the right to do with it what he wants, not us.

    If you feel really strongly about this, then vote with your wallet: stop buying his commercial releases, stop buying tickets to his shows. You have a choice; the problem is, it’s not the one most folks want. Sometimes there are only two choices, and not that third one that suits us.

    By David Binder on Jun 10, 2010

  24. Well said David. Couldn’t had put it better myself.

    By Baz on Jun 10, 2010

  25. The artist is within his rights to try to stop the distribution of an unauthorized recording; and he did. Despite the ethical “gray matter” surrounding ROIO’s, if there is a demand someone is going to try to fill it.

    These days, most people have the capacity to make a decent recording with their cell phones. At the Chicago stop, I saw a lot of people taking video during the show on small cell phone-sized devices. Chicago wasn’t alone, as there are several videos on YouTube (at the time of this writing) taken from audience members at other stops of this tour.

    It isn’t lost on me that there are several reasons to prevent a ROIO from being circulated.

    1) It competes with a commercial product.
    2) The recording does not meet technical standards.
    3) The ROIO damages/injures the image/reputation of the performer.
    4) Someone other than the performer or their investors is profiting from the sale/distribution.

    Compare this with the positives of having an ROIO circulated…

    1) Getting bootlegged demonstrates you are “relevant” enough as a performer for someone to go through this effort. (Perhaps it should be seen as a sign of flattery rather than disrespect.)
    2) Many people interested in ROIO’s are people who have already bought the music and are looking for something “extra” to tide them over to the next release. (Casual fans may burn out from overexposure, and putting out “everything” isn’t profitable. This is a way to keep hardcore fans ’sated’ while doing minimal damage to an artist’s commercial prospects…)
    3) ROIO’s allow people to “discover” new artists. You’re never getting rid of the “free rider” problem… some people will take without giving anything back. Though most people who took the show entertained the notion of becoming a fan that might buy albums, tix, and merch in the future…

    This last point is important especially in light of today’s systems of media and music acquisition. The action is no longer on the discussion board of an artist’s official website. These days, artists get the most attention from turning on a group of fans with their music, turning them loose, and letting them chat it up on the social networks. The circle widens as more people get into the discussion; and the artist is “vouched for” by fans rather than moneyed media. [Look at a band like “OKGo” for instance who blew up as a result of their “treadmill” video that was likely passed email to email and blog to blog rather than broadcast on America’s Funniest Home Videos…]

    Since my second post, I’ve been looking for the promotion regarding ORCHESTRION, and aside from a website revamp and a cover story in JazzTimes (which for the most part was a rewording of the talking points given on the website), there really hasn’t been much. I respect Nonesuch because of their affiliation with “artists” vs. “hitmakers”; but they’ve done little to get Metheny past his core audience and even less to make sure his album is in the shops (at least in the Chicagoland area). Even worse, the only method they’ve used to sell the project is a bio… They could’ve done so much more, like videos of the machines in action… or an interactive “orchestrion” device on the website that would allow visitors a chance to see just how tricky Pat’s work is onstage (in terms of keeping rhythms and using the correct instruments)… They succeeded in expanding Wilco by pitting them as “real artists against the sales machinery of a major label”… I’m not saying Metheny’s music is for everyone, but in this case, Nonesuch really missed out on an opportunity to sell this album to a base beyond his long-term fans.

    Overall, it is just a shame that most visitors to this site will know more about Pat Metheny from his lawyer’s statement, than through his music and talents; and miss out on a document that shows off his abilities as a technician and a musician.

    By James on Jun 10, 2010

  26. Who’s smegging who in the music industry? Although I agree with the artistic rights, what is the problem here? A show is taped and shared. The fans love it, Mr. Metheny gets FREE promotion. Many BUY cd’s based on this kind of free downloadable things (an aspect few seem to realize here). Sound quality is never guaranteed, true, so what?

    What I am saying is this: I like this site and what they offer (not all, and least Pat Metheny). Still it does give Metheny EXTRA sales instead of less. So stop smegging around in the name of Metheny. If someone should complain here it’s Metheny himself and… while I am writing this, HE does NOT (nor his legal representatives, just a bunch of suckers who disagree with bootlegging).

    As James clearly says… there’s a demand, and whoever WILL fill the holes. This show is anyway available on the net and honestly, I don’t see the problem. It’s like porn on TV. You don’t like it, turn it off. Be a peace my friends, Pat Metheny (if I like his music or not), he deserves attention to his music:

    Quote (again from James):
    Overall, it is just a shame that most visitors to this site will know more about Pat Metheny from his lawyer’s statement, than through his music and talents; and miss out on a document that shows off his abilities as a technician and a musician.

    By Peter on Jun 12, 2010

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