Rhino Records (label)
03 April 2021 (released)
As The Monkees long on-and-off career seemed to really be over in 2019 (as both Davy Jones and Peter Tork had passed on), it was unexpected that surviving members Micky Dolenz and Mike Nesmith would continue the band and tour successfully under The Monkees name, also adding The Mike & Micky Show to the banner.
This generous twenty-five song set was culled from their 2019 concerts and focuses on mixing the hits with the deeper album cuts.
Nesmith, who had really been enjoying performing live again this past decade (so much so that he even resurrected his solo group, The National Band, with a revamped lineup for gigs in 2018), lays down extremely sharp lead vocals on "You Just May Be The One," "You Told Me," "Listen to the Band," and a manic, "Circle Sky." He also pulled out some rarities such as "St. Matthew," (an ode to a female grifter), and "Tapioca Tundra." Oddly, Nesmith's "Good Clean Fun," which was the opening song on the entire tour, is not included.
Still one of the best frontmen ever, Dolenz's enduring charm lights up the set on the frantic lyrical road race, "Goin' Down," (a tale of an attempted drowning by suicide, which is immediately regretted), the pop perfection of "The Girl I Knew Somewhere," a stripped down "Randy Scouse Git," (during the duos unplugged set each night), and the sharp social commentary-filled "Pleasant Valley Sunday." Dolenz also manned the lead voice on Jones' most iconic moment, "Daydream Believer."
While most of the classic Monkees super-hits are covered ("Last Train To Clarksville," "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone," and the Neil Diamond-penned, "I'm A Believer"), they also include a couple of newer band cuts as, "Birth Of An Accidental Hipster" and "Me & Magdalena," both from 2016's "Good Times" album.
If this live document is truly the last Monkees project ever, it will surely add to and cement their legacy as one of the greatest pop bands ever.