Dave Pirner - guitar, vocals; Dan Murphy - guitar; Karl Mueller - bass; Joey Huffman - keyboards; Grant Young - drums; Guest: Gary Louris - guitar (12-15)
Following a decade of performing on the alternative rock club and college circuit and half a dozen albums issued on three different labels, Soul Asylum would finally strike gold with their breakthrough Columbia Records album release Grave Dancers Union. Boasting three charting singles, "Somebody To Shove", "Black Gold" and "Runaway Train," the third of which would earn the band a Grammy Award for Best Rock Song in 1994, this album would transform Soul Asylum from underground rockers like fellow Minnesota bands Hüsker Dü and The Replacements, into global superstars.
Captured live at Tramps in New York City right at that peak moment in time, this remarkable live recording not only serves as a time capsule of a pivotal era in Soul Asylum's career, but is a fascinating glimpse into a band at the peak of popularity clearly forging ahead. This performance is notable not only for what the band delivers onstage, but also for what they don't bother with - namely the Grave Dancers Union songs. Instead Soul Asylum place a heavy emphasis on new works in progress, unissued rarities and covers, with no less than 10 songs destined for their 1995 follow-up Let Your Dim Light Shine, several of them in lyrically embryonic form.
Studio obscurities that were only available as Japanese issue bonus tracks are also heard here in live form, including "Gone Forgotten" and an encore cover of The Descendants "Hope." "I Should've Stayed In Bed," which wouldn't see official release until a 1998 live album (and their 2012 album Delayed Reaction a full 18 years later!) is also featured here in earlier form.
Gary Louris, guitarist from The Jayhawks, also joins the band during the middle of this performance, lending his guitar chops to an early version of "To My Own Devices" and a cover of Stevie Nicks' Fleetwood Mac mega-hit "Dreams." One of the funniest and most perverse moments of the set immediately follows as Soul Asylum pair up two additional covers, Morris Albert's sickly-sweet "Feelings" with The Dead Boys "Sonic Reducer!"