Procol Harum

the Pale

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Procol Harum at Alexandria, VA, 6 May 2003

Ross Taylor's report

Ross Taylor writes to BtP (7 May 2003)

Can't sleep.

I'm sending this without out looking at George's so resolving the differences between our accounts can provide employment for future scholars.

Had the silly urge in the parking lot, lobby etc. to ask people "So, y'all here to see Procol Harum?" The two couples I did talk to were fellow Virginians, never seen Procol Harum before, didn't know about the website. I think they thought I was a roving BtP promoter. Saw fliers for BtP in the merch area. Saw LOTS of people who looked like people I've seen in BtP photos, i.e. several potential Allens, a number of guys who looked like Jens. How bizarre a big room full of Procol fans! An experience I'd like to have again. A friendly fellow asked me "Are you Frank?" just as I was in a big hurry to get back to the ticket office.

We were in the Maf zone, straight back from Matthew, two or three tables forward from the back wall.

VIP Room
Gary "This is Virginia, land of smokes." Bill Wyman's joke.

Pandora's Box
Nice outro by Maf.

Robe of Silk

Grand Hotel
Gary pretends to go off the upper end of the keyboard on one run. Lots of tango.

Gary looks at his book, asks for requests. "We're not just here to make a fortune playing at the Birchmere, we're also on the run from the British tax office." Elton John makes lots of money, "But is he really happy?"

Wall St. Blues
Guitar solo replaces piano solo.

Maf puts his glasses on early in this (I was amazed to be watching Matthew Fisher!)

Gary about Beatles "Dr. Robert" "We never really went in there, of course" laughs

Robert's Box
Too loud. Nice G. Harrison-like slide from Geoff.

Fellow Travellers

Gary reads note: "Dear Gary, would you like to join the Strawbs? Hm, that must've been from these guys" [the band]

Repent Walpurgis
"We'll take a tea break"

Simple Sister
Geoff changed to tie die shirt. Straighter beat. Cool short organ chords in break.

Shadow Boxed
Still don't like it, but four women in neighbor table were seat dancing like mad.

Gary drinks his Guinness "If this was 1972 there would've been some acid in that."

The Question

Short piano solo; 2nd solo, Geoff as BB King (I realize there's a lot of him in his playing & facial expressions); 3rd, nice organ solo; 4th, guitar/organ trade-offs

Gary "Keith Reid couldn't be here, he's out in California accepting an award for Biggest Asshole in the World." Big laugh. "He usually lives in Tribeaca in New York City, and he was in a nasty mess a while back"

The Blink of an Eye

Gary stuff about touring Norway, then "there's a little website we've got nothing to do with, so we should be even more grateful, never even been to it but apparently it's very good we'll dedicate this to it" [Roland at this point my friends made well-meant but pointless comments like "Ross, that's what you were talkig about earlier" so I didn't get GB's exact quote]

Beyond the Pale

More jokes Gary "but seriously, folks"

Shine on Brightly

An Old English Dream

Introductions finally, Gary: "And looking very relaxed on the vibes, Adolf Hitler!" looking at Maf. After a bit, Matthew calls up a vibes sample & plays a few notes. Gary says lots of nice things about Matthew, incl. "He wrote this next thing to pay his mother back for milk money from 1963." Crowd is excited about Maf.

Weasle Kleaning

good organ, standing ovation

A Salty Dog
too much guitar

band leaves stage, big standing ovation

Piggy Pig Pig

A Whiter Shade of Pale

During next to last instrumental break, Gary points to Maf "on organ, Matthew Fisher": big cheer

Gary "we had a great time and we'd like to be back"

No problem dude. You don't even have to call before you show up.

Over all, I was a tiny bit disappointed that the guitar filled in so many places where I was hoping for more Gary or Maf, but I'm totally won over to Geoff. He looks really natural, no prancing rock star, and he can play the blues. Band was tight, sound was good, my friends & I remain blown away.

Stood in line for a bit, but had baby sitting issues & wait was long, so left, alas.

Have fun, all of you on down the line!

Thanks, Ross!

Procol Harum concerts in 2003: index page


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