The legendary Little Feat are celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2019. Almost that many years ago, on May 10, 1976 (43 years ago today to be exact), Little Feat took the stage at the Warner Theatre in Washington D.C.
That night, the genre-blurring rock ‘n’ roll group delivered many of the songs that would later make the cut on their 1978 landmark live album Waiting For Columbus — which they would return to D.C. to record in 1977 — including classics like “Dixie Chicken,” “Sailin’ Shoes,” “Tripe Face Boogie” and more. A rare soundboard recording of the Warner performance showcases Little Feat in all their glory: raw, tight and funky as hell.
Feat opens up the show with the infectiously funky “Skin It Back” from their 1974 album Feats Don’t Fail Me Now. Frontman Lowell George and the band then take a little time to greet the crowd, noting that the show is being broadcast on the radio so they can’t “say any dirty words.” They add, “but this is a tune about hookers,” before launching into the blue collar “Walkin’ All Night” from 1973’s Dixie Chicken.
Speaking of walking, the band then shuffles into the walk down the street groove of “One Love Stand” — from their current album at the time, the aptly named The Last Record Album — into a crowd-pleasing “Rock And Roll Doctor.”
Feat then pay tribute to their southern influences with “Oh Atlanta,” followed by the brooding honky tonk of Allen Toussaint’s “On Your Way Down.” After “Romance Dance,” the band delivers a two-song block featuring the lazy chug-a-lug of “Lafayette Railroad” before an exploratory and sometimes explosive “Day Or Night.”
Little Feat gets the crowd going with a rave-up into “All That You Dream,” ahead of a 10-minute “Dixie Chicken,” which always gives keyboardist Bill Payne time to shine. A rollicking “Tripe Face Boogie” closes out the set, featuring another spotlight on Payne as well as guitarist Paul Barrere.
The band would return for a three-song encore, kicking off with “Sailin’ Shoes,” a song penned by George and recorded by Robert Palmer in 1974. For the penultimate number of the night, the band cracks into the title track to Feats Don’t Fail Me Now before closing the show out with a manic “Teenage Nervous Breakdown.” Check out the full show below: