Review Summary: So glad to meet you, Angeles.
Sometimes it's not until something is taken away from us that when truly realize how special it was. With his death, Elliott Smith's near flawless catalog has become a tangible temple to the man. Even the dozens of fan bootlegs that have surfaced over the years bleed with the greater sense of something more.
Live At Largo
was issued with Autumn De Wilde's 2007 book Elliott Smith
and features cleaned up versions of select bootlegs from a 1998 performance that have been floating around the internet for quite some time. While it is only a fraction of the original concert, the three Smith originals and two covers contained on Live At Largo
are a treat. Live At Largo
begins with the fluttering finger-picking of “Angeles”. Live, Smith's voice has the same endearing and therapeutic properties as on his recorded work. It carries like a whisper, intimate and bare, warming the heart like hot cup of tea on a cold day. The production on Live At Largo
helps cast the songs at hand in a much more uplifting light than their studio counterparts. The Either/Or
tracks have been exorcised from the depressing haze of the album recordings and feed off of Smith's energy and presence making them seem almost happy.
Live At Largo
ends with its strongest moment. Elliott Smith's seemingly impromptu cover of Hank William Jr.'s “All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down)” is probably the most human recording of him on tape. He fu
cks up the words numerous times, and hits the occasional clumsy chord, yet all the while he's giggling and just having fun with it. It's hard not to picture a wide smile across his face while playing it. As Smith finishes the song, he laughs and says, “You weren't thrown off by my fu
ck ups? 'Cos there's more to come...” If only that were so.