Well, you all know the story by now. Elliott gets signed to Dreamworks, records XO and Figure 8, takes a lot of drugs and drops off the face of the earth, writes the best songs of his life, and probably gets within a few months of making the best album of his career before ending everything.
Elliott always played a little of everything at his shows, so he was still doing stuff from the holy trinity (especially Either/Or) even when he had all this new material, which makes for some interesting comparisons and artistic development.
Anyway, here’s the best Elliott Smith show of all time.
6.02.98 Stockholm, Sweden: Download the whole thing courtesy of Trash Treasury
Elliott Smith – “Angeles” (6.02.98): mp3
Elliott Smith – “Independence Day” (6.02.98): mp3
The quality is immaculate, but more importantly, his performance is so fucking spot-on. His guitar playing is on fire – listen to the fretwork on “Angeles.” It’s sharper than the record, and he’s only playing one guitar. His singing is really intense and ragged and he seems to be really into this performance. This is just a magnificent show – if he played like this every night, I really think it would’ve done a lot towards putting his reputation up there with Neil and Bob.
Elliott Smith Lives: Pt. 1, Pt. 2, Pt. 3