Pretty exciting with the 2012 Monkees tour starting tonight in Escondido, California. So far, I have not seen a set list from last night's rehearsal show. We'll know shortly what the set looks like, and I'm sure there will be footage on YouTube before too long.
For me and for a lot of other fans, we've anticipated a Monkees concert show with Michael Nesmith for a long time. The last time Mike appeared onstage with The Monkees in the United States was for a special promotional show in 1996 in Los Angeles to promote their new album that year, Justus. During the band's revival in the 1980s, Nesmith joined Micky, Davy and Peter in concert only twice, both times in Los Angeles, in 1986 and 1989. Before that, you'd have to go back to the 1969 tour to have seen Nez live in concert with The Monkees. It's been a while!
My expectations? I think the show will certainly be different, in many ways, from previous tours. Davy's passing leaves a large gap as he was such the showman, but his absence will allow Mike, Micky and Peter to play to other strengths within the group, of which there is no shortage. The production is unlikely to disappoint. The multimedia presentation of the 2011 tour returns this year, with the large HD screen behind the band featuring a plethora of photos, memorabilia and more throughout the concert. It was a high point of the 2011 shows and will most likely play a role in any homage for Davy. We know the show will include a Headquarters set, and I imagine we will be treated to some fresh songs, some of which have either never been performed live or haven't been in a Monkees set since the 1960s. High on my list are a lot of Nesmith tunes like "Sweet Young Thing," "The Door Into Summer," "Love Is Only Sleeping," "You Told Me" and "Salesman," to name a few. We've already been tipped off that "Daily Nightly" and "Tapioca Tundra" are in the set, both of which are exciting choices. How great would it be to have an acoustic performance of "Nine Times Blue," Johnny Cash Show style? Granted, with Nez back in the fold, his tunes top my request list, but I'm hoping for some surprises from Micky and Peter, too. How about Micky and sister Coco dueting on Micky's own "Midnight Train," or Peter taking a turn on "Take a Giant Step"?
Micky, Mike and Davy on The Johnny Cash Show in 1969
Micky's song, "Midnight Train" (from the 1970 Changes album)
Above all, I hope the trio enjoy themselves and the shows all the same.
Check back later for the set list from opening night, hopefully with some links to YouTube videos of concert footage.
Interview with Wayne Avers