I saw Patti Smith at the Old Town School of Folk Music Saturday night. How awesome to have seen her in such an intimate setting. The piano player, her daughter Jesse Smith, and the guitarist, her son Jackson Smith, accompanied her along with Tony Shanahan on bass.
I have seen Patti Smith several times— once at the Aragon Ballroom in 1976. She was brash, assertive, wild, gender-bending, absolutely irreverent. Then maybe 5-6 years ago (2010) in Ann Arbor, she gave a concert in a huge old movie theater where she kept having to zip up her jeans.
But this last Saturday night was very special. Her humor and irreverence was softened but still intact. Her voice was not quite the same (lacking some of its edginess) but close enough. She was not as wiry or wild or punk, but her energy was still impressively strong. From old songs (“Because the night”) to newer ones (“Power to the People”), the trajectory of Saturday’s concert was uplifting (and a bit sentimental) and helped me revisit— with older wiser eyes— that brash, assertive, irreverent part of myself. Very satisfying.