Marianne Faithful appeared at the Birchmere Music Hall in Alexandria, Virginia, on Monday, September 16, 2002. The 60's Stones moll was backed by a powerful band comprising Johnny Boyle on drums, Gary John Kane on bass, musical director Andy May on keyboards, and Brian McFie on guitar.
Faithful started off her set with "I'm Into Something Good"; of all things, a Herman's Hermits hit from her new album Kissin Time. The sound was crisp, and the band was polished. She greeted the audience with, "Thank you, good evening. Hope you like the school mistress look", a humorous reference to her stage attire.
"Kissin Time", the title track off her new studio release, rocked. Faithful's strong vocal was supported by Kane's deep bass and a stinging guitar solo by McFie during the bridge. The funky beat culminated with a crunching guitar coda.
Faithful shared the background inspiration on how she was motivated to compose a song about the late 60's icon, Nico. Her "Song For Nico" featured a lyric that mentioned Brian Jones, the late Stones guitarist. McFie played an acoustic guitar on this outstanding original composition.
"Broken English" in performance broke from the 1979 album recording. The peculiar arrangement was quicker in tempo with heavy drums and a galloping bass line. McFie ripped off a 1980s style guitar-wail solo. Faithful received major applause from the crowd for this number.
Her rendition of John Lennon's "Working Class Hero" was presented in an original arrangement. May's production powered an interesting version, which created a surging sound reminiscent of Pink Floyd. This performance highpoint showcased guitar-scratch phrasing complemented by a bass-echo effect and crashing drums.
Faithful treated the Alexandria audience to a reggae-swing arrangement of "Why D'ya Do It?". McFie contributed a searing guitar solo. She returned for a lone encore and announced, "It was a good show and I'm pleased. You were very good". "Strange Weather", the Tom Waits title track from her 1987 album, began softly, building into a standing ovation for Faithful and her band.
Brian Latker, 43 from Falls Church, has seen Faithful twice before and felt, "She's become more of a performer". He thought she was soaking up the crowd and was proud of her new album by, "Bragging who wrote for her". After her performance, Faithful held her cab to sign items for a number of fans waiting patiently outside to meet her.
Faithful's recording career was launched with "As Tears Go By", an early Jagger-Richards composition. She acquired an outlaw reputation from her relationship with Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger. Metallica invited her to sing lead harmony vocals on their 1997 single, "The Memory Remains". She joined Metallica to perform the song on stage for an episode of Saturday Night Live.
Alexandria setlist: I'm Into Something Good * Falling From Grace * Kissin Time * Wilder Shores Of Love * Wherever I Go * Like Being Born * Times Square * Song For Nico * Rich Kid Blues * Ballad Of Lucy Jordan * A King At Night * Broken English * Working Class Hero * Why D'ya Do It? * Sliding Through Life On Charm * Encore: Strange Weather
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Marianne Faithful delivers powerful performance
by Timothy Tilghman