In 2000, to support his fifth album Figure 8, Elliott went on tour with a full band. Sam Coomes of Quasi (and a former Heatmiser bandmate) played bass on the tour, and you can hear his harmonies pretty clearly on this show. He also did some harmonies on “Pretty (Ugly Before)” on From A Basement On The Hill.
I’ve heard two 2000 bootlegs, though a few exist, but the quality and performances on this one are both excellent. Highlights: electric versions of “Needle In The Hay” and “Clementine” and an early version of “Twilight” back when it was still being called “Somebody’s Baby.” Also, of course, that killer “Don’t Fear The Reaper” cover.
10.02.00 The Southgate House, Newport, KY
Download the whole show
Elliott Smith – “Needle In The Hay” (10.02.00): mp3
Elliott Smith – “Don’t Fear The Reaper” (10.02.00): mp3
Finally, I saw Elliott play on his last tour in 2003, on February 1 at the Henry Fonda Theater. This and the preceding night’s show were the very performances that Pitchfork mentioned in discussing his death and his performance abilities – the Jan. 31 performance is Elliott at his most scared and drunk. Apparently a lot of industry types were there and he was freaking out. Feb. 1 was a fantastic show, opening with “King’s Crossing” and featuring an acoustic “Stickman” and in the encore, my second favorite Smith song “Antonio Carlos Jobim.” However, the best bootleg of the tour came a month later at his Austin, TX show. The soundboard quality is immaculate, and the acoustic “Coast To Coast” is as fierce and powerful as the studio cut. A great show to finish off our week.
Elliott Smith – 3.05.03 The Steamboat, Austin, TX
Download the whole thing from Trash Treasury/Archive.org
Elliott Smith – “Coast To Coast” (5.03.03): mp3
Elliott Smith – “A Passing Feeling” (5.03.03): mp3
Elliott Smith Lives: Pt. 1, Pt. 2, Pt. 3, Pt. 4