Watch Him Go-Tarrytown Review
3/30/2004 (updated 3/30/2004)

Courtesy Joanne Dexter

In recent shows RT has introduced his new song, "Watch Me Go," as being about a young musician getting started on his career, so it was fitting that he started the set for his retro [or "chrono"] show at Tarrytown with the bouncy, rocking, almost martial new number. Although I imagine the lyrics are meant to capture with some irony the singleminded, wreckless overconfidence of a young man who naively believes his music is bound to burst on the scene with the detonation of a thunder clap, I couldn't hear it ironically in the context of this dazzling retrospective show. Instead all I could think, as the song and the show's occasion made me reflect on the young man that had been RT all those years ago, was, "Human cannonball indeed!" Whatever disillusioning and disheartening experiences RT may have experienced on the way, his career has proved that any youthful dreams he cherished or demons of musical ambition he secretly nursed, no matter how seemingly overwheening at the time, have been more than fulfilled, artistically if not commercially, by the outcome. Having listened, entirely entranced, as he moved through the decades of his career, from pre-Fairport to the newest, unreleased material, I can't believe any musician's career has traced a richer, more inventive, more cannon-ball-like trajectory.

First, the setlist:
Watch Me Go
The Boys of Mutton Street
Jack of Diamonds
Meet on the Ledge
Walk Awhile
Nobody's Wedding
I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight
The Great Valerio
Hokey Pokey
I'll Regret It All in the Morning
For Shame of Doing Wrong
Banish Misfortune
Did She Jump or Was She Pushed?
Read About Love
How Will I Ever Be Simple Again?
Sibella, [after the song RT noted he'd jumped out of sequence here]
VBL 52
Crawl Back

encore #1, with impromptu guest Teddy Thompson, sans guitar:
She May Call You Up Tonight

encore #2, solo:
Freebird [riff], the folkie version [went something like, "As I was walking on the seaside, I saw a bird -- free bird, free bird...", rendered in an authentic folkie celtic quaver complete with trills and frills]

Outside of the Inside
Dear Janet Jackson
Word Unspoken, Sight Unseen