I brought my Flip video camera on tour with us this summer, and whenever I managed to remember I handed it to a roadie/friend/promoter and asked them to take some footage at our shows. We usually ended up with about five songs recorded from each show, so apparently five songs is the common attention span or generosity limit for a casual acquaintance doing such a favor. Hey, we’ll take what we can get, and there was some good stuff on those recordings!
But I soon started to notice a pattern other than five songs per show: almost every time I’d get the camera back from our volunteer and start watching the footage to see what we had, I’d find “Fare Thee Well.” None of our other songs even came close. Since the first time Tony brought that song to one of our rehearsals, it’s been one of my favorite Nickel Slots songs, and I’ve often heard others say it’s their favorite too. The stories my Flip told on this tour prove that the pull of this song is even international. By our last show of the tour, a Sunday night at Ace Café, some people who were seeing us for the second or third time were even singing along!
Here’s a complete live performance of “Fare Thee Well” pieced together from footage shot at five shows in Belgium this July (none from either Netherlands show, though we did play it there). If you’ve seen us play in California and get the vague feeling that something is missing from these performances of the song, you’re right: it’s the sound of the bass pedals I normally play. We kept the Europe logistics simpler by leaving those at home. But we make up for it here with a double-length mandolin solo!
Stick around after the end of the song for a bonus: Tony getting sprayed in the mouth with Axe body spray. He’d been talking between songs about how sweaty he was getting at that show, and the owner brought up a can of Axe as a joke to fight the effects of that sweat. His aim wasn’t so good, but Tony survived and was able to sing the song after an extended intro. Enjoy the video!