I was actually nearly trampled by a damn fool drunk in boston last night, thanks for your concern. Writing on the bus back to New York...
Overall the shows were good, RPA was solid at both but the band was much tighter in Boston. The New York show had a bunch of overly long and noisy jams that the band couldn't really pull off, though Richard had a bunch of good improv moments especially in A Song For The Lovers (which included a bit of Good Loving) and New York. Boston was pretty much the same setlist, alas, but the band and sound at the venue were much better.
RPA played (not sure about the exact order in the middle)
Out of My Body
This Is How It Feels
Space and Time
A Song For The Lovers
They Don't Own Me
Science of Silence
Break The Night With Colour
Music Is Power
You On My Mind in My Sleep (solo)
The Drugs Don't Work
In New York he played These People in the main set with the band instead of You on My Mind.
In New York a drunk next to me was convinced the bassist was Simon Jones and kept screaming SIMON! for the first half hour. In Boston a drunken buffoon was swaying and grabbing people and splashing beer everywhere, completely out of control.
Last night in Boston RPA and the band pulled off an excellent funk jam at the end of New York with some really good improvs from Richard. Overall they are not as strong players as the United Nations of Sound band, who sounded great at the show i saw in 2011, but had much better moments than RPA's old touring bands. Amusingly, he wore a United Nations of Sound tshirt last night though he didnt break out anything from that album.
In NY, which felt packed from where i was, RPA made a remark that all of his American fans must have been in that room and seemed to suggest that he might not play the US again. In Boston, which was less packed but had a decent crowd, after the first song he said f**k you to his record label for lack of promotion. He said he wanted people to hear the album not for the money but because he thinks it's a great record.
Overall, it's not 1997 or 2008 anymore, but I'm glad he's still recording and touring. Obviously it would be better with Verve but I had a good time, particularly in Boston, and raided the merch booth. I bought a RA beanie i'm unlikely to ever wear and some cool guitar picks and badges. Hopefully he'll come back!
Nice write up, Jadams. Glad you return unscathed.
From the images I've seen, the upper levels in NYC were scant. I'd say it was half capacity, at best.
I must ask ... did you Groupon Boston?