Contributed by: Mark
Friday, 22nd April, 1977
Arlington Theater, Santa Barbara, California
Intro; One Of The Survivors; Tired Of Waiting For You; Sunny Afternoon; Rush Hour Blues; You Make It All Worthwhile; Ordinary People (alternate version); Slum Kids; Life On The Road/One Guantamera; Stormy Sky; Life Goes On; Celluloid Heroes; School Days; Hard Way; Education; Full Moon; Sleepwalker; Lola; Alcohol; You Really Got Me; Juke Box Music (1st encore); Victoria (2nd encore).
A superb show in a wonderful, funky old Spanish colonial style movie theater in the heart of Santa Barbara. Even though they played the Santa Monica Civic just two months earlier, we took the 2-hour drive up north to see the boys again and they must have gotten a good night's sleep the day before since they were in high spirits and put on an energetic and passionate show. Just getting to the show proved to be an adventure in itself. About a month earlier I drove up to Isla Vista to score tickets at a record store that was selling them. Unfortunately I received erroneous information and went up there a day too early. A woman who worked at the store said if I gave her the money plus a stamped self-addressed envelope, she'd buy the tickets and mail them to me. I put the socal hippie karma beach vibe to the test and lo and behold I received in the mail 4 primo seats a few rows back in the center section. Bless you wherever you are. Rolled out of Venice around 5pm for the drive up the coast during a mellow golden twilight. Finally hit State Street in Santa Barbara at dusk and by this time I was seeing traffic lights in triplicate, so it was time to park the car and fast. We glided past the Arlington and casually found a spot a few blocks away on a side street. Walking towards the theater I had a rather large radio cassette player/recorder thrown into a book bag over my shoulder. Armed with a pair of blank tapes, I was determined to record the show that night. After making our way past the fountains in the courtyard towards the entrance doors, it only occurred to me then what method I should use to sneak this contraption in. Too blitzed to think of anything, I just kept walking towards the ticket taker. Just in front of me a commotion started...was somebody trying to sneak in some beer?...and this diverted all security people and me and my bag of contraband slid in unmolested. Once inside some local yahoos were brazenly sitting in other people's seats, namely ours. It took several songs into the show before that mess got straightened out and the perpetrators banished to the balcony. Meanwhile Ray and the boys hit the stage with a ton of energy and blasted through "One of the Survivors," following that with a double shot of "Tired of Waiting for You" and "Sunny Afternoon." Ray seemed to be improvising more than usual with his little side remarks and jokes, as well as stopping songs dead in the middle to vamp it up. Highlights included an extended calypso ending to "Life On The Road," a reggae tinged chorus on "You Make It All Worthwhile" which segued into the alternate bluesy arrangement of "Ordinary People," featuring impassioned lead vocals by Dave. After two hours the band wrapped it up with a rousing rendition of "Victoria" and for many in the audience this was one of the last times they would see Ray and Dave in an intimate setting, as the tours in the L.A. area for the next two years stepped up to the Universal Amphitheatre and then finally the Forum. There was a one-off show at the Hollywood Palladium in 1981 during the hockey arena era, and then finally a return to the Palladium in 1987 for the Think Visual tour. But to this day the Arlington Theater show sticks in the mind, and I always make it a point to drop by the theater whenever I'm in the Santa Barbara area to relive the magic of that night.
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