World Party Sunday August 27, 2006 Mr. Small's Funhouse Millvale, PA
w/ Gina Villalobos
Karl Wallinger autographed ticket stub
Put The Message In The Box/Is It Like Today?/What Does It Mean Now?/When the Rainbow Comes/Best Place I've Ever Been/I Thought You Were A Spy/'Ragtime' Intro>She's The One/Love Street/Who Are You?/Vanity Fair*/Sweet Soul Dream/Thank You World/Is It Too Late?/Way Down Now
Encore: Sunshine/Ship Of Fools/The Ballad Of The Little Man**
*-with Gina Villalobos, **-Karl solo
Editor's Note: Of the literally hundreds and hundreds of shows I have seen throughout the twenty seven years I have been attending concerts, I was looking forward to this one more than any other (even more so than Roger Waters in 1999, hard to believe, I know).
Now, I am usually somewhat on top of the music scene. Last spring I am trolling through reviews of SXSW and literally stumble across a mention of World Party. Huh? Nah...not THE World Party that I have been devoted to since the mid-eighties. Clicking on some pics I am stunned to see a slightly graying Karl Wallinger obviously having a blast playing with a truncated acoustic three piece. Wow! World Party is back? Is this a one off? Further investigation reveals that there is a tour planned, a re-release of the back catalogue and an American release of 2000's Dumbing Up (which I ordered the import for $30 through amazon.uk when it came out). WOW! WORLD PARTY IS BACK! Fuck, yeah!
So the question is, where is the nearest city on the upcoming electric tour that I am going to drag my ass to see? Off the mark yet again, I get an e-mail from my boy Ben with the subject line-'You must be slipping'. The closest announced date is Millvale, PA. Being approximately 7 miles from my house, all is good, baby. Woo-the fuck-Hoo!
The only other time World Party came to Pittsburgh was in 1993 opening for 10,000 Maniacs. It was my 26th birthday and my friends were having a 'surprise' party for me. My buddy Kevin and I were not going to miss WP. We head out to Star Lake and sit outside the entrance and enjoy listening to the set from the parking lot, expecting to bail for the Maniacs for my party. After a few songs some dude who's been sitting there with us asks if we want a couple free tickets. BING! We were able to enjoy 'Give It All Away' and 'Take It Up' on the lawn before it's all over too soon.
Karl Wallinger autographed 6-18-93 ticket stub
Yeah, I'm psyched. Before the show there is about eight people for doors and finding out there is no re-entry tonight, I decide to walk around the back to the bus to see if there might be a Karl sighting. After hanging for a few minutes, I get antzy and go inside. The crowd is sparse. The crowd is old. Hey, it's over 21 but over 51? Seriously, what did I expect but these people are sitting down? Sipping a beer, I notice a couple young dudes ordering a coffee. One is wearing a tourshirt and I amble over to introduce myself. Turns out to be John Duffy and Nathan Fisher. Two incredibly personable guys. We bullshit for about half an hour about music, the state of the world, and our respective hometowns, among other things. I ask John about 'Karl's guest list' and he said he would take care of me after the show. Mr. Small's security are prickly bunch.
Gina Villalobos opened the show to an absolutely silent hall, except for the guy yaking the whole time (who almost drove Nathan to deck him, hah). She was good and joined the band later for 'Vanity Fair'.
Soon the band came out and I WAS NOT sitting. I went to the lip of the stage where I would stay all by my lonesome for most of the night.
This band was ON. Ridiculously killer versions of some of my favorite songs of all-time. 'Put The Message The Box', 'When The Rainbow Comes', 'She's The One', 'Love Street', 'Sweet Soul Dream', 'Ship Of Fools'...I mean, c'mon...
One of the highlights of the night was watching Karl ra-ra-RIPPING leads on that electric geetar. He was just smokin'.
For the final encore Karl came out alone and played 'The Ballad Of The Little Man'. Might be in the top five musical performances I have ever seen.
She's The One Intro
She's The One Outro
Way Down Now Solo
Ship Of Fools Solo
After the show, the Mr. Small's Gestapo begin to do their thing. Always the resister, I spot John on stage and ask him to help a brother out. He directs me and my buddy Mike backstage and tells us Karl is on the bus. After waiting a few minutes talking to most the rest of the band (Mr. Whitten was M.I.A) and Gina, Karl steps off the bus and is very nice. I show him some of my stuff for his siggy love and he actually invites Mike and I on the bus. I will wait for hours outside a bus or stage door for an autograph but I never expect to impose on an artist's personal space, meaning the tourbus. He was so cool and down to earth about it, what a treat. The security and road managers were all hovering around being impatient but Karl couldn't have been more chill. Very cool.
Karl Wallinger autographed Private Revolution and Goodbye Jumbo CD covers
Karl Wallinger autographed Thank You World Ep inside CD cover
Karl Wallinger autographed Bang CD and Is It Like Today? CD-single covers
Karl Wallinger autographed Egyptology back and Dumbing Up CD covers
I produced this drawing for the prints and Karl really liked it so it was my pleasure to give it to him.
Karl Wallinger autographed print
World Party (sans Karl Wallinger and Chris Whitten) and Gina Villalobos autographed flyer [why I didn't get Karl to sign this, I'll never know]
Concert of the year? Could be concert of my life. Thank you Karl!