a Report of Lisa Resnick
Marking the 35th anniversary of Woodstock, The New York State Museum, in the capitol, Albany, NY, opened an exhibit this week: “Spirit of the Woodstock Generation. It features 60 photos by Elliot Landy and includes memorabilia from the museum and personal collections.
Melanie was at the exhibit opening on Tuesday, June 22nd and did a brief
performance. Beau did an instrumental piece.
Afterwards, she told us, she was invited to the governor’s mansion.
On Friday Melanie kicked off the first of a series of concerts presented by the museum, featuring artists from the original Woodstock concert in Bethel, NY.
Here’s the song list/comment excerpts from Melanie’s solo concert
at The New York State Museum’s Clark theater on Friday night, June 25th, 2004,
Rock n Roll Heart
Natural Man-had audience sing wamp,bom,bootya...part
To Be The One
And We Fall - “I wrote this for Leilah..girls are hard on their moms”
You Call Yourself A Writer
Brand New Key
Peace Will Come Melanie introduced five singers that she had met the
night before who did back-up.
(I’m sorry I couldn’t catch their names.)
Melanie announced that it was a special concert because her father was
and introduced the songs Beau would do. Everyone had dad stand up and clapped.
Beau’s two solos:
For Grandpa -not yet named. Asked Grandpa to help name it later.
Fantasia on malaguena
Close To It All- written, in awe of nature, on her first camping trip with Peter 30 years ago
Jammin’ Alone (Was on set list before Peace Will Come but forgot to do
We know because Peter had yelled out that she forgot a song then and
I looked at the set list that someone took from the stage)
She joked about the promoter that she fired, who sounded like Joan
wanting everything to be geared about youth, power, money, and being sexy.
Melanie said “I can’t be 16, and went into:
I Tried To Die Young
Make It Work For Me
Melanie reported that her sister was also there. Her sister has an antique shop in nearby Fort Anne. Melanie talked about the fun she had going antiquing and to auctions with her sister, with a flashlight, saying that she was a dealer. She did Estate Sale, a Cheryl Wheeler tune, for her. By the way, Cheryl Wheeler was the background music during intermission.
Look What They’ve Done To My Song
Lay Down kidding, introduced the" Melanie Museum Singers”, who sang on Lay Down, doing back up
Make It Work For Me
The ushers wore tie-dye shirts.
Melanie opened relating that she played 60's night in the
80's and felt like a dinosaur then- so it was appropriate that she played at a museum. On the pluses of age, Melanie stated that it was much easier to put pink dye in gray hair than brown. Different than seeing Melanie in clubs, she stuck to her song list. She asked for requests after Natural Man, but called them "obscure".
However, she said that she had nowhere else to go and would play everything. She did, from 8:00 to 11:15, with a 45 min. intermission.
Melanie had the audience laughing throughout the concert.
She maintained her poise and humor through a lot of persistent problems with the sound system. This was the first, of what the museum promised to be, many more concerts to come. And so,the technicians seemed
very inexperienced. Beau's songs were beautiful and the sound of his vocals and guitar were not corrected until at least half way through his first song. After that, his voice and instrumentals enhanced the rest of the show.
Melanie had a running joke about `being the warm-up act and that the real Melanie wouldn't stand for this.' "The real Melanie likes things perfect. She's so difficult to live with," she joked. She took out a lucky rock (from the beautifully decorated pouch that she wore)
to offset the sound problems. She joked that she borrowed it from the museum(they have a natural history displays). The audience was cracking up. At this point, I must add that, in addition to her pouch,Melanie also wore the most beautifully embroidered serape over her dress.As for the music, what I thought was a little slower presentation in
the first few songs(- e.g. a slower, steady, Rock-n-Roll heart- without her head/body bopping),later seemed to be a poise that she maintained through the show. She seemed to really annunciate lines, with feeling. Melanie put her heart into every song and it came across,
as I said earlier, with an even strength, as if from the depths of her soul, and I was in awe. As she exited, her last “thank you” was “for keeping Woodstock alive.”