Little Feat: Playing so tight is no mean feat


Last night at the Pier Six Concert Pavilion, Little Feat guitarist Paul Barrere mentioned that he and the band had just come from playing the nation's capital. "We told them D.C. was our home away from home," he said, adding: "But in reality, Baltimore is home away from home."

If so, we should all get the kind of "welcome home" this band received, for if anyone in that capacity crowd was less than fanatical about the Feat, they must have kept well-hidden. From the cheers of anticipation that greeted the set-opening "A Day at the Dog Races" to the whoops of enthusiasm that met classics like "Oh Atlanta" and "Dixie Chicken," the fans last night were never less than adoring.

And why shouldn't they have been? To say that Little Feat played well would be an almost criminal understatement. Even the departure of percussionist Sam Clayton (who left mid-set due to illness) couldn't put a dent in the band's momentum.

Typically, the style of music involved barely mattered; the band was as at home with the two-step rhythms of "Cajun Girl" as the jazzy harmonies of "Time Loves a Hero." Moreover, the song selection spanned the breadth of the Feat catalog, from oldies like "Willin' " and "Sailin' Shoes" to selections from the soon-to-be-released "Shake Me Up."

But as any Feat fan knows, the songs aren't what make the performance -- the playing is. Last night, the standout solos were by Payne, who boogied into "Atlanta," and Fred Tackett, who smoked through "Texas Twister."

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