Hey Hey It's A Monkee…Michael Nesmith At City Winery

Music, wine and food has always been a great combination.  Add a Monkee and it’s a perfect combination.  

Michael Nesmith, the tall wool-cap member of The Monkees is currently on tour.  This is not a Monkees tour, yet it is a big treat for us Monkee fans.  It’s a very rare opportunity to experience an intimate performance from the most intellectual and opinionated member of the band at one of the finest venues in Chicago, City Winery.  Thankfully, if you couldn’t get a ticket to last Friday’s sold out show he is returning this Saturday (11/23/13) for an encore performance.  

photo of Michael Nesmith courtesy of John Nunu Zomot

Photo courtesy of John Nunu Zomot

To be clear, this is not a Monkees concert in any shape or form.  It’s far more intricate.  Michael Nesmith has written many fine songs over the past (gulp) 5 decades and this is a unique opportunity for him to showcase his musical creativity.  I was at last Friday’s performance and I would describe it as a “fictional behind the music”.  Sometimes artists like to tell a story behind the making of their songs…what Nesmith does on this “Movies Of The Mind” tour is more intriguing.  He shares a story prior to each song that is not actually the basis of the song, but very well could be if you use your imagination.  With his words he paints a very clear picture and you literally will be seeing movies in your mind as he and his fine band perform each song.  Nesmith elaborates: “This tour amplifies and expands the notion started a few tours ago of Movies Of the Mind.  As an introduction the songs are placed in a setting for the audience – just a simple straight-ahead notion of where the song might live – a setting like the setting for a gemstone in a ring or a bracelet or on a necklace. The songs and performances and arrangements remain the centerpiece so it is an evening of music well played.  But the Movies of the Mind idea has been so well received that I have refined it and brought a few more songs into the concept.”

There will be just one Monkees song performed and I don’t want to spoil the surprise by revealing it here.  This show focuses primarily on Nesmith‘s post-Monkees work, both solo and with the First National Band.  This body of work has been described by Rolling Stone as the “greatest music never heard”.  So make sure you come hear it while you can!  Some of the songs in the set list include “Calico Girlfriend”, “Nine Times Blue, “Little Red Rider”, “Tomorrow And Me”, “Joanne”…okay, I’m stopping with the set list because the spontaneity of the show is part of the fun.   

“It’s a lot of music created over a lifetime and I believe people will enjoy finding it once they do”, says Nesmith.  “I am having a lot of fun and loving the performances.”  He concludes ” I think it makes for a great evening out.  At least for me it does.”

Tickets start at $55 but plan on spending more since it’s nearly impossible not to imbibe in the fine wine and delicious food that your server can bring as you enjoy the show at City Winery this Saturday evening.






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