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article imageReview: An evening with Patti Smith at The Space at Westbury Special

By Markos Papadatos     Dec 28, 2013 in Entertainment
Westbury - On December 27, rock music sensation Patti Smith and her band performed at The Space at Westbury in Long Island, New York.
Her band is comprised of Lenny Kaye on guitar, Tony Shanahan on bass and backing vocals, Jack Petruzzelli on guitar and drummer Jay Dee Daugherty. They played for a great turnout.
Particularly impressive about Smith is that she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in 2007, and is affectionately known as the "Godmother of Punk." In addition to her musical endeavors, Smith is a poet and best-selling author, whose memoir Just Kids was awarded the 2010 "National Book Award."
"Hello everybody," Smith said. "Welcome to Lenny's birthday bash," she added, implying that it was her band member, Lenny Kaye's birthday.
She commenced her set with "Dancing Barefoot," as the stage was graced in red lights.
"Thank you," Smith said. "Where did you people come from?" she asked, and subsequently joked that she had to put her best foot forward tonight.
It was followed by "April Fool," where the stage was graced in purple lights.
"Everybody good?" she asked the crowd. "I'm fine," she added, and noted that the year
2013 needs to come to a close, and wished her fans a stronger and healthier 2014.
She continued with a smooth yet energetic performance of "Cash," as well as "Mosaic," which was lyrically and sonically powerful, as blue and green lights alternated on the stage, thus depicting the mood of the song.
Smith noted that she needed the house lights to be turned on a little brighter. That way the rock songstress would be able to see the audience better and she joked that the crowd may have otherwise been "replicas" of people.
She went on to sing a "little song" entitled "Capital Letter" that she wrote for "The Hunger Games" soundtrack and the song made its world debut at The Space at Westbury. Smith was backed by acoustic guitar and overall, it was a haunting, rich and raspy vocal performance.
"Thank you," she told the crowd. "It'll get better," she added, and joked that it took her 37 years to sing "Pissing in a River" properly.
She had the audience clapping along with her on "Fuji-San" and equally impressive was
"Distant Fingers," whose lyrics were pure poetry.
Smith paid homage to the late British songstress Amy Winehouse by singing "This Is The Girl," in her memory.
Following the "little girl" song that she sang, she dedicated a "little boy" song to her grandson. Smith delivered a delicate rendition of "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)," and Tony Shanahan joined her on harmonies. They soared on this soothing collaboration, which was reminiscent of a lullaby, and it was filled with raw emotions.
"This is for Lou," Smith said, thus paying tribute to her late friend rock singer-songwriter Lou Reed. She sang a noteworthy rendition of "Beneath the Southern Cross," where she accompanied herself on acoustic guitar, in a performance that was well-received.
"Thank you," she said, and went on to introduce all of her gifted band members.
Smith exited the stage as the men in her band played a cover of Billy Idol's "White Wedding," which featured Lenny Kaye on lead vocals.
She returned following this performance with a birthday cake with lit candles, as she and the crowd sang "Happy Birthday" to Lenny, in one of the most bittersweet moments of the evening.
"I would like to take one moment to remember Allen Lanier. He was a beautiful man, a keyboard player for Blue Oyster Cult, a good friend and a good teacher," Smith said, and she sang a bold version of "Pissing in a River" as a "farewell" song to him.
"Thank you so much," she said.
The highlight vocal of the show was her stellar performance of her signature song "Because The Night," as the stage was graced in orange lights. She really poured her heart into it and her delivery was flawless.
It was followed by "Banga," the title track of her latest studio album, and she closed with "People Have The Power," which she incorporated as a crowd sing-along.
Smith interacted well with the audience throughout the show, waving to them, exchanging jokes and sharing her stories with them. The Long Island crowd loved her in return, since they knew they were in the presence of a living rock legend.
The Verdict
Overall, Patti Smith was sensational at The Space at Westbury. She sang with maximum heart and soul. The passion for her music, songwriting and craft were evident and it certainly struck a chord in the hearts of her audience members. Smith's band members showcased a great deal of talent as well. They are worth seeing live whenever they are in the area.
To learn more about veteran rock singer and songwriter Patti Smith, visit her official website.
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