Welcome to Breakdown, an unofficial resource and discussion list about the innovative guitarist/producer Michael Brook. This site is infrequently updated, but contains a great deal of background info which will remain online. For up-to-date news and information, visit Michael Brook's official site and MySpace page.

Live tour dates and concert reviews

House of Blues / Knitting Factory
Boston / New York City
8-9 August 1999
by Hoby

Part One of Six

Hey Now,

I've got a story to tell you.

I have now had a couple of days to digest, process, and reflect on one of the peak musical experiences of my life. And now I'm going to attempt to describe it to you.

What follows is a highly personal and quite detailed accounting of Michael Brook's concert appearances in Boston, MA and New York, NY. I am doing this for two reasons. One is to try and give those who could not attend a real feeling for what I experienced at those shows. The other is to help me continue to glean all I can from my three day journey.

I will attempt to organize this telling so that those who wish to read only about the concerts themselves can do so with a minumum of trouble.

This first part will provide some background info about your reviewer and tell briefly of the two days leading up to the House of Blues show. The second chapter will tell of the sound check for that show. The third chapter will describe MB's rig in excruciating detail. The fourth part will tell of the HOB show itself. The fifth part will tell of the Knitting Factory show.

Please be warned. This is a telling of my opinions and perceptions. I do not claim that mine is an objective view. This will not be the cool, clear, detached review one might read in a newspaper or magazine. This will be the recounting of the experience of someone who has waited since 1985 for this event.


A little info to help you place my comments in perspective:

I discovered MB when I bought Hybrid in '85. I did so on a whim, based on seeing Brian Eno's name on the jacket along with MB's credit as playing infinite guitar. I had to know what that was about. Outside of Eno, Michael Brook is the single most influential musician in my life, both as a listener and as someone who tries to create his own music. And yet, until I saw the picture on Aquarium (that would have been in '92 or '93), I didn't even know what he looked like. And based on everything I had read / heard, it seemed that the rarity of his public appearances guaranteed that I would never get to see him play live. So you could say that my vital signs spiked a little when I read that MB would be performing two shows within reasonable driving distance while I was on vacation.

Adding to the excitement was the fact that the House of Blues show would give me the opportunity to visit fellow Breakdowner Pete K. We had been collaborating musically by mailing tapes back and forth and would now have the chance to make music together in real time face 2 face fashion. The stage was set for a huge amount of fun.

Warm Up Band

My drive from NY's Capital District to Boston was fast, easy, and graced by a gorgeous blue sky filled with big fluffy white clouds. Good omens indeed! It was the stroke of noon when I finally met PK and Kim. After a fine lunch, PK and I entered his freshly set-up studio and began to work. (We had loads of fun but there's much more to do. A return engagement is being negotiated.) Stopping only briefly to eat and sleep, we made music until 4:30 PM on Sunday when it was time to leave for the show.

But that's a story for the next chapter...