Here are a few things we have learned about the tour so far.
The concert is approximately 105 or so minutes in length. The three Monkees are mixing it up instrumentally. Mike plays his 12-string Gretsch for the entire show except when he moves to a six-string for “Pleasant Valley Sunday.” Micky is drumming during the Headquarters set and some of the Head set, but is also playing the bongos on “Can You Dig It,” the cowbell on “Tapioca Tundra” and what I believe is a cajon box on “Sweet Young Thing.” Micky is also playing rhythm guitar on several songs like past tours. Peter is playing 5-string bass on the Headquarters material and “Mary, Mary.” He’s on the keyboards for the usual tracks like “The Girl I Knew Somewhere,” “Daydream Believer” and Headquarters songs like “Randy Scouse Git.” (Nez moves to keyboards during “For Pete’s Sake," however.) Peter is on banjo for “Sweet Young Thing,” “What Am I Doing Hangin’ ‘Round?” and "You Told Me.” Peter is not playing keyboards on “I’m a Believer” like in past shows and is sticking to rhythm guitar on it.
Mike is handling lead vocal duties on his own song, “The Girl I Knew Somewhere,” which of course was originally sung by Micky on record and live in concert in the past (though there is a recording of it with Nez on lead vocals). Peter is the lead vocalist on one of Davy's Headquarters tracks, “Early Morning Blues and Greens.” (Peter is known to be fond of this song and it has been a part of his solo show for some time now.)
The Davy tributes on the video wall have been well received. During the Head set the band plays along to “Daddy’s Song” while Davy’s song and dance routine from the movie is played on the screen, accompanied by his voice from the original recording.
“Sweet Young Thing” has undergone a major reinterpretation. The song has been slowed down and has been given a great moody arrangement. Micky plays the cajon box for this one and Peter adds some great banjo. Based on the clips I’ve seen so far on YouTube, a definite highlight of the show!
Tonight the band plays the fourth date on the tour in Cupertino, California at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts. I'm adding pictures and YouTube video highlights here on the blog as well as on the 2012 Tour page after each show, so be sure to check in.
Alternate recording of "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" featuring Mike Nesmith
on lead vocals
Interview with Wayne Avers