Jesse Malin played the Tin Angel on Friday night April 3rd. It was his first live show in several months, but there didn't seem to be much rust. Sadly, the Tin Angel was only about 2/3 full, owing to the poor communication about the show. I'm on Malin's mailing list and apparently this show was booked since February, but I never received a notification until less than a week prior to the show.
The show started around 10:30pm as British singer/songwriter Jason Soudah opened and played a short set of pop/rock songs, mostly on piano. He played about 8 songs, including a pretty spot-on cover of Tracy Chapman's "Talkin' 'Bout a Revolution" on acoustic guitar.
In between sets I checked out the merch table. They had all of his CD singles with rare b-sides, so it was a tough choice as to what to buy. I was missing about 4 of them. So I got one of those plus his hard-to-find Heart Attack compilation. Heart Attack was the hardcore punk band he started when he was still in junior high in 1980. This compilation has 20+ tracks recorded from 1980-1984.
Malin hit the stage around 11:25pm playing just acoustic guitar with Bree Sharp on keyboards and adding backing vocals. I didn't record the setlist exactly, but I believe all of the songs below were played. The show wrapped up around 1:10am, after 24 songs by my count.
As usual he had lots of stories in between songs. He said he apologized to Lucinda Williams for all of the questions she had to answer for him using her name before he played "Lucinda." He told a sad story about his parents splitting up before "Almost Grown" and also another story about driving into Manhattan with his father and younger sister as a kid, before "Operator", saying the old Jim Croce song always made him think of those times, since he remembers it playing on the radio.
Before one of his new songs he talked how glad he was to be recording his current album on the East Coast and. And he told a story about how he moved out to L.A. to record his previous album and, being from NYC, he always just walked everywhere. So in L.A. he said he was in West Hollywood walking and cars kept honking their horns at him. So when he talked to his agent a few days later me mentioned this anecdote and his agent said, "Nobody walks in L.A. They think you're a male prostitute. That's why they are honking." I can attest to the no walking thing, from the week I spent there several years ago, so I was cracking up. People at stores and hotels looked at me like I had two heads when I said I'd walk somewhere that was only a few blocks away.
I figured there would be a lot of new songs in the set, since he's currently recording songs for a new album, but I believe he only played 3 new songs. He also played an obscure Wendy b-side "3 Martini Lunch" and the old D Generation show closer "Degenerated." He closed out the regular set with this song. He actually mentioned that this song had been around since his first band, Heart Attack.
Malin and D Generation reunited for a one-off show at what used to be CBGB's in spring 2008 and there is rumored to be a D Generation "best of" coming out in 2009 with some rarities and outtakes included. So maybe now he is embracing his back catalog a little more.
Setlist (in no particular order):
3 Martini Lunch (Wendy b-side)
Riding on the Subway
Cigarettes and Violets
In the Modern World
Black Haired Girl
Prisoners of Paradise
You Can Make Them Like You (Hold Steady cover)
Operator (Jim Croce cover)
Leaving Babylon (Bad Brains cover)
3 new songs