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Tom Morello Celebrates Change, Rouses Rabble in Vancouver

November 6, 2008 12:19 PM ET

In light of Tuesday night's election results, Tom Morello will not be moving to Canada. This news prompted a sold-out audience at Vancouver's Commodore Ballroom to offer the only boos of the night. The rest of the time, Morello's alter ego the Nightwatchman faced a crowd so amped that he twice asked them to calm down. After all, he was wearing his 21st century troubadour hat, playing folk ballads from his two solo releases. But there was plenty of shred later on, brought in part by the Freedom Fighter Orchestra. As a reminder of where the seeds of Nightwatchman's garden were sown, he threw in some other folk signposts: Springsteen's "The Ghost of Tom Joad," Guthrie staple "This Land Is Your Land," (with original, rabble-rousing lyrics intact) and even a rewritten "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" with the Bush administration on the skewer. Morello wore his enthusiasm about progress on his sleeve. "When I was a kid," he said, "I once opened my garage to see that the KKK had hung a noose there." But Obama's not off the hook, the Nightwatchman reminded us: "The only difference between Republican and Democrat is the velocity at which they suck at the corporate teat." The times clearly are a-changin', and Morello is ready to be the barometer of just how much.

Set List:
"The Fabled City"
"The King of Hell"
"The Flesh Shapes the Word"
"Let Freedom Ring"
"Saint Isabelle"
"Guerrilla Radio"
"The Garden of Gethsemane"
"One Man Revolution"
"Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap"
"The Lights Are on in Spidertown"
"Whatever it Takes"
"The Ghost of Tom Joad"
"Shake My Shit"
"The Road I Must Travel"
"This Land is Your Land"

Related Stories:
Rage Against the Machine Ask Fans to Fight the Fascist Republican Agenda at Republican Convention
Tom Morello Steals E-Town Show in Denver
Album Review: The Nightwatchman, The Fabled City

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

More Song Stories entries »
 
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