Technically, this is the first, “official” live album from The Monkees – since Michael Nesmith and Micky Dolenz are still performing under The Monkees’ banner (Live ’67 was released in 1987, but was a historic document, not current). And it is an amazing collection and experience. To hear so many beloved Monkees tracks finally performed live is a treat and a joy.

The losses of Peter Tork and Davy Jones cannot be understated. But the decision of Nesmith and Dolenz to continue serve as a wonderful reminder of what the four of them created together. Tork’s “For Pete’s Sake” is still in the set, as is the perennial “Daydream Believer”. But hearing the newer songs – from 2016’s Good Times! album are the treat and eye-opener. While the beauty of “Me & Magdalena” had grabbed a lot of the attention, the show-stopper – both on Good Times! and here – is the Paul Weller/Noel Gallagher-penned stomper, “Birth Of An Accidental Hipster”, which is even more explosive in the live rendition. The vocal interplay between Mike and Micky is even more dynamic and absolutely glorious – an absolutely rockin’ moment.

This live show also hears Mike and Micky doing songs never before (or not until recently) performed, such as Nesmith’s “St. Matthew”, the glorious “Auntie’s Municipal Court” and one of my all-time favorite Monkees tracks, the gorgeous “The Door Into Summer”. Of course, all the standards are here – “Last Train To Clarksville”, “I’m A Believer”, “Pleasant Valley Sunday” – but whether they’re the old favorites or the “deeper” cuts, you cannot beat a great set from Michael Nesmith and Micky Dolenz – and the band of musicians working with them are stellar (under the direction of Christian Nesmith, an incredible talent). The spirit is there; the joy is unmistakable and this CD (or album) is a perfect document to capture it.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

The Monkees Live – The Mike & Micky Show is currently available

https://www.monkees.com/

By Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been involved in the music industry for over 30 years - as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, freelance journalist, producer and manager and working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star, traveling down South and his orange Gretsch. He's pretty groovy!

One thought on “ALBUM REVIEW: THE MONKEES, “Live – The Mike & Micky Show””
  1. Wonderful review, wonderful album!
    Just a shame this show never got near me, and likely never will. Would love to have seen it.

    Not to speak ill of the departed, but Davy always lent more of a “vegas-y” feel to The Monkees. Even with Peter, playing guitar, banjo and keys, the tours since Davy’s passing in 2012 still seemed too focused on video spectacle, etc. Not to mention, Peter wearing a “Backstreet Boys” style headset and trotting out “Auntie Grizelda” again and again, sans guitar, never worked.

    These “Mike and Micky Shows” though, it’s about the music and the songs and it proves The Monkees had a lot great songs. Many of them lesser known “Deep Cuts” that went well beyond the usual hits. Quite a few of them came from then pen of Papa Nez himself. What a joy to hear songs like “St. Matthew” and “Auntie’s Municipal Court” live. I don’t think this would’ve happened with Davy and Peter still in the group. Certainly not Davy, who, let’s face it, only hand a small handful of decent songs.

    My only gripe about the album is that some great songs got left off. “Good Clean Fun” was the opener at every show and should’ve been included. Likewise, “What Am I Doing Hangin’ ‘Round” needed to be included. “Porpoise Song” too. Davy’s not there anymore, so why include TWO songs he sang?

    I can understand “Daydream Believer.” It’s a classic, and do that one to pay tribute to Davy. But “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You”? Eh… It’s an OK song, but it has nothing to do with Micky or Mike. Mike famously disliked it, and it was the final straw that led Nez to rebel against Don Kirshner and get him fired from the Monkees project. As I understand it, Nez leaves the stage now when Micky sings it. Why include it at all?

    Still, it’s a fine live album. Glad we have it.

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