Mike McCready – One More Time, for the Kids

So, one night before my marathon Human Rights Day/Week marathon, when I should be resting, what did I do? Yes, I went to see Mike McCready’s Hendrix tribute band Shadow ‘86 again, this time at the Tractor Tavern as a fundraiser for Treehouse for Kids (a charity for foster children). 

I actually did try to catch up on all some of my Amnesty International work and was a little late getting there.  They took my toy and gave me a drink voucher for it at the door and checked my name off the list.  I walk into the smallest venue yet to see a major rock star in, and there’s Mike McCready singing the Rolling StonesDead Flowers for a warm up set.

Star Anna was on next, the only one of his opening acts I hadn’t seen before. She was good, and her music tended toward country. Here’s a clip from a past show at the Tractor:

Continuing the country trend, Kristen Ward was next. She’s definitely been working on her stage presence, adding to her songwriting and sultry voice.  Mike McCready came out to play on With You Again (as he does on her album).  I liked how she just casually mentions hanging out at Nancy Wilson’s (of Heart) to write her new song.

Sometime in the middle of Kristen’s set I first heard the ongoing weirdness of the evening, a guy drunkenly shouting out “green sweatpants!”  She couldn’t quite figure out what that was all about, either. 

Kim Virant came out next, continuing the sultry, and heading the music to rock (see clip below from finale). Mike came out on here set as well. I moved in closer, and was actually close to the “green sweatpants” guy during the stage change.

Mike McCready and Shadow ‘86 tore into the Hendrix songs once again, and it was really intense in such a small club.  Mike playing Voodoo Child behind his back again. An intense Machine Gun, All Along the Watchtower. . . Kim Virant came out for Little Wing and Mike ended the main set with the Star Spangled Banner.  Encore included Run Run Rudolph (below) and then the guy who was mc’ing, Larry Steiner, according to the Pearl Jam message board, did a wild lead vocal and stage show for The Stooges I Wanna Be Your Dog, tearing off his shirt to show his tattoos on his back and leaping all over the place. Mike closed it out with a Yellow Ledbetter sing-a-long (the song that everybody loves, but no one, except Ed, maybe, knows the lyrics and Mike wrote the music to).

I had hoped the “green sweatpants” guy would be drowned out once Mike started playing, but alas, we could hear him during Mike’s solos.  Reminds me of the old guy on the bus from Greenwood who wouldn’t stop smoking or drinking and was finally put off the bus who periodically shouted “Norway!”  Years from now I’ll be riding Metro and hearing “green sweatpants!”

Run Run Rudolph:

I know I’m lucky to be living in a city where I can hear Mike McCready play his Hendrix tribute four times in the past year (mostly at incredibly low prices for charity).  Yet. . . in recent years, Pearl Jam never plays Seattle.  I’m only half joking that I should move to Boston or Chicago to see them.  The Gorge is not Seattle, especially not if you don’t have a car.

I notice Eddie didn’t play Seattle for his solo tour, either.  Oh, well, maybe when his solo ukulele album comes out.  Just kidding (though not about the album, which Ernest Jasmin mentioned in a Tacoma News Tribune article). . .

Mike did mention “his other band” is working on a new album near the end of the show.  : )


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