Jefferson Starship Sage Gateshead 4th February 2015

Jefferson Starship Sage Gateshead 4th February 2015
JeffairpillowlpSupport from Auburn (Lesley Roley, as listed on the ticket, was not well and di not play)
So Captain Kantner steered the Starship to the cold wilds of the North of England, where it landed in Hall 2 of the beautiful peanut known as the Sage (at least Patti Smith said it looked like a peanut when she visited). A small, but enthusiastic crowd watched in awe as the Starship rolled back the years, became the Airplane and treated to an evening of psychedelia, nostalgia and good ole west coast rock. For two hours we transported back to the ’60s and the ’70s, and classic songs like “White Rabbit”, “Miracles” and “Jane”. Kanter spends much of the night seated on an amp, still managing to squeeze those broody, meandering rhythms from his Rickenbacker. Cathy Richardson has been in the band for 7 years now, and is clearly still relishing the opportunity to sing with her heroes, and recreate the sound of Grace Slick, which she does perfectly. Cathy told us how she was a big fan of the Airplane and Starship before she joined the band, and that when Paul Kantner approached her to become singer, she showed him her stack of old vinyl Airplane albums, asking him to sign “Blows to the Empire”. For me the star of the evening was David Freiberg who still has the voice of a rock’n’roll angel. Freiberg was “once described as “the nicest guy in the San Francisco music scene,” and holds the singular distinction of having been associated with more of the original San Francisco bands than any individual, boasting membership in Quicksilver Messenger Service (1966-1970), Jefferson Airplane (albeit only for a few months in 1972), and Jefferson Starship (1974-1984), and having equally strong connections to the Grateful Dead” (Wikipedia). jeffersontixFrieberg performed one song solo, which I didn’t recognise but I guess must be from the first Quicksilver album (he said it was the first song he wrote) and it was incredible. He also led the band in the ’60s classic “Get Together” which was first a hit for the Kingston Trio and was written by his Quicksilver Buddy Chet Powers (aka Dino Valenti). They finished with a storming “Somebody to Love” and returned for an encore of “Volunteers”. The revolution starts here. Laura came with me and also enjoyed it. A privilege to be able to see legends up and close and hear the classics which helped shape American rock.
The current line-up of Jefferson Starship is founder and leader Paul Kantner on guitar, vocals, long time member and founded of Quicksilver Messenger Service David Freiberg on vocals and (sometimes) guitar, Donny Baldwin on drums who first joined in 1982, Chris Smith on keyboards, synthesizers, Cathy Richardson on vocals (and sometimes guitar) and Jude Gold on lead guitar.
“Look what’s happening out in the streets
Got a revolution
Got to revolution
Hey I’m dancing down the streets
Got a revolution
Got to revolution
Ain’t it amazing all the people I meet
Got a revolution
Got to revolution” (Volunteers, Jefferson Airplane, 1969)

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