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