Haverford College, Haverford, PA
November 12, 1993
By Alan Sheckter
This was to be an odd evening. The concert took place in the dining hall of the upper-class Main Line college. This was a far cry from England's giant Reading Festival in which they had participated in August.
My publisher and I trudged through beautiful campus lawns crunching autumn's huge leaves of maple and oak underfoot, heading in the vague direction in which we were pointed by one of the kind students as she waved her fingers. We saw a cafeteria-style facility, more representative of a large ski resort that a school. This must be the place. The room that the band was to play was a lovely carpeted, brick walled, pointed-ceiling place adjacent to the dining hall. All that was missing was a fireplace.
While looking for the rest rooms, I came upon a lounge with guitar cases, oodles of half-finished Chinese food containers and unmistakeable British accents. The door being open, we were invited inside. Martin, Rob, Adam and Pete the manager were extremely cordial. They too marvelled at the venue, pointing out that they couldn't remember the last time they did a gig where no alcohol was served.
The supposed 9:00 show began at 10:00 with a four-piece girl group from Sacramento so forgettable that I forget their name. While they had no stage presence (like zero), I'll give them credit for trading off guitar, drum and vocal duties with each other.
The Boo Radleys hit the stage around 11:00. They played an hour long set of infectious British experimental/ alternative/pop. Rob Cieka and Tim Brown kept the constant, fiery pace up with their bass and drums, respectively; the extra-dimensional keyboards and trumpet flourished; songwriter and lead guitarist Martin Carr added his inspired two cents; and the bald Sice's smooth, youthful lead vocals tied the songs neatly together. Though they couldn't achieve all the electronic effects of their album Giant Steps , (eight of the 14 songs played were from the current LP), there was no imperative need to try. It was an hour of funky guitar passages, percussive bursts and hard, but harmless fun. The encore was "Lazarus," a tune that was labeled "Single of the Week" by Britain's Melody Maker.
Though at times the crowd up front (the room held about 400) seemed on the verge of moshing, that never happened. After all, they might have gotten their Doc Martens scuffed.
The Boo Radleys have been an independent label success for a few years in Europe. Hopefully America and their association with Columbia will continue to prove successful.
BOO RADLEY'S SET: Does This Hurt/ Upon 9th And Fairchild/ Barney (...and me)/ Buffalo Bill/ Peachy Keen/ I Hang Suspended/ Sound Of Speed/ Butterfly McQueen/ Wish I Was Skinny/ Best Lose The Fear/ Finest Kiss/ Lazy Day/ I've Lost The Reason/ e: Lazarus (thanks to the Boo Radleys for the list)
Jackson Browne, Los Lobos, David Byrne, Laurie Anderson, Suddenly, Tammy!
Mann Music Center, Philadelphia, PA
September 23, 1993
By Alan Sheckter
Billed as "A Five Star Night," this one of a kind lineup was put together by Philadelphia's commercial free WXPN radio. This member supported station emanating from the University of Pennsylvania is a lush, green oasis of sound in the cutthroat world of modern radio. On WXPN, it's not unusual to hear an obscure Grateful Dead song, followed by Kate Bush, followed by XTC, followed by Roseanne Cash, etc. This is all presented by intelligent, charming DJs. Somehow, 'XPN was able to organize this concert bill.
"A Five Star Night" was a benefit for the World Cafe and ActionAids. The World Cafe is a two hour, six time a week widely syndicated (25 states) public radio show which is produced at WXPN. ActionAids is Pennsylvania's largest AIDS service organization.
It was a fine night. The Mann Music Center, an approximately 12,000 capacity, partially covered amphitheater was fairly full when WXPN/World Cafe's David Dye announced Lancaster, PA's Suddenly, Tammy!. It would probably been a more sparse crowd at the beginning, but the 7:00 PM show didn't start until approximately 8:00.
Beth Sorrentino led her jazzy trio in a 30 minute set, including a couple of songs like "Plant Me," that have received local FM airplay. The group, consisting of Beth on lovely vocals and piano, brother Jay and long time friend Ken on bass and drums, put out a very pleasant set for what they admitted was their largest audience yet.
The mature, hard to categorize, performance artist Laurie Anderson was next. As the stage curtain was closed, Laurie appeared at stage right and read poetry while she created moody sounds on her two-tiered keyboard.
The next time the curtains opened, it was David Byrne and his new four piece band. Sporting a casual attitude and very casual shoulder length hair, he began by telling us that he'd be performing and experimenting new material for "an intimate crowd of friends." None of his previous hits were performed. The genteel, thirtysomething and fortysomething crowd did delight to the World-music flavored rocking set. Byrne was animated and full of energy, though did not break into any herky-jerky choreography associated with his past.
After the curtain closed, the dim lamp above Laurie Anderson's keyboard was again illuminated, and she told an odd story about herself and friends who had pulled their car off of a dark road. Again, accompanied by eerie chords, she had the crowd hushed and attentive when suddenly, (and sounding a bit disappointed) she stopped and announced Los Lobos. She never was able to finish. Oh, well...
For me, Los Lobos provided the climax of the show. The L.A. group, who performed as an all Spanish group in the late 1970s, are talented, modest and always surprise the audience with the variety of the styles they cover. Led by David Hidalgo on guitar, accordion and vocals, and left-handed guitar and vocalist Cesar Rosas, Los Lobos also consists of Steve Berlin on saxophones and keyboards, Conrad Lozano on bass and Louie Perez on drums. Their hour-long set actually got the polite, subdued crowd up and dancing with a set ranging from Mexican rancheros to their classic "Will The Wolf Survive" to the more mature "Kiko And The Lavender Moon." They came back for an encore, and though the crowd cheered for "La Bamba," Hidalgo and company blew us away with a wonderful, soulful rendition of the Marvin Gaye classic "What's Going On."
After a half-hour break, a proclamation from the mayor was read along with announcements about ActionAids and their work. Then at 10:55, Jackson Browne came on stage and jogged over to his piano. He and his new band (his guitar player did plenty of David Lindley riffs) banged the opening number, the 1972 hit "Doctor My Eyes." Although 45, Jackson appeared youthful, trim and animated, with the trademark wavy hair and faded flannel shirt. He moved from piano to electric to acoustic guitars and played old classics along with new sensitive, heartfelt songs from his new album I'm Alive.
The very long, successful show was over at 12:30, and everyone in the house seemed to have had a swell time. It was a great crowd, great musicians, and we were all united in the causes, ActionAids and the World Cafe. I can't wait 'till next year. I wonder if this show can be topped!
JACKSON BROWNE'S SET: Doctor My Eyes/I'm Alive/World In Motion/(new song)/My Problem Is You/In The Shape Of A Heart/Miles Away/Too Many Angels/For Everyman/Sky Blue & Black/Running On Empty/The Pretender/ e: Before The Deluge (thanks to Donna Freeman, Mays Landing, NJ for the list)
Cypress Hill, House Of Pain, Funkdoobiest
The Armory, Philadelphia, PA
October 1, 1993
By Alan Sheckter
"We are all outlaws in the eyes of America," the Jefferson Airplane sang in the late 1960s. Well, some things, like what attracts folks to musical acts, never change. Some of today's "outlaws," pot smokers, grooved in celebration of the popular weed during Cypress Hill's 60-minute set at the Armory.
Their stands on the harmlessness and legalization of marijuana are well entrenched and well known. While other rap acts seem to concentrate on anger, frustration and inner city problems (important voices though they are), Cypress Hill concentrates on the magic herb. In fact, immediately prior to Cypress Hill's set, a representative of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) spoke out for a few minutes about the pros of pot, what you should do when the police pull your car over and upcoming NORML rallies.
That warmed up the crowd for the main course, and Cypress Hill's B-Real, Sen Dog and DJ Muggs trotted out to do their thing for Philadelphia. B-Real wore a heavy solid blue pullover and a baseball cap with a simple "B" on it. Sen Dog had his trademark cloth hat pulled down over his eyes, and sported a House Of Pain T-shirt under a comfortable flannel shirt. Muggs stayed mostly in the back on a bone and fake pot leaf adorned platform. He spun and scratched records to offset the booming bass and siren-type sound effects emanating from somewhere. B-Real and Sen Dog, bounced back and forth and all around the stage while singing out (B-Real's nasal voice in the lead) to the vast crowd. They performed songs from Columbia's current Black Sunday and their self-titled debut album including "Cock The Hammer," "I Ain't Goin' Out Like That," "When The Sh-- Goes Down," "I Wanna Get High" and their giant, blunt-induced dance-single "Insane In The Brain."
At one point, B-Real pulled out a good-sized joint, stood at the front edge of the stage beckoning the crowd with a "Does anyone have a light?" look. Dozens of folks up front flicked their Bics in order to help out. The joint was lit to thunderous approval.
The Whooliganz actually opened the show and played for a total of seven minutes. Funkdoobiest also threw in a 20 minute set of their stuff.House Of Pain's Danny Boy and Everlast (they came out toward the end of Cypress Hill's set) led their band and "Jumped Around" for a spirited hip-hop set of about 30 minutes, at times climbing piggy-back on each other as they sang out. They immediately preceded Cypress Hill.
The young, wide-eyed crowd had a great time in the almost packed Company A 103rd Engineers Armory. Located on the Drexel University campus in Philadelphia, this was Electric Factory Concerts' first major concert at the medium-sized (3300 capacity) general admission venue. With no bleachers or seats, and port-o-potties for rest rooms, it's not a classy place. But it's a great room for a young, energetic crowd to rub elbows and dance around. And when the show's over, the giant metal garage doors are raised and the place is cleared out in just a couple of minutes.
It's amazing that a show with four bands would clock in at under three hours, but the Soul Assassins Tour did. It seemed that everyone, however, from the energetic moshers in the front, to those who hung out in the back sipping Smoothies had a good time.
Jerry Garcia Band
Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA
November 16, 1993
By Alan Sheckter
It had been a few years since the Jerry Garcia Band played on the East Coast, and he geographically blanketed an area from Virginia to Maine nicely with 15 shows this past November. They weren't the instant sellouts that Grateful Dead shows would have been (except for the tour opener-- Halloween @ Meadowlands Arena), but with walk-up sales, the Spectrum show was later listed as a sell-out.
The band's personnel has been steady for several years now, consisting of Jerry Garcia on lead guitar, vocals and inspiration, 20-plus-year Garcia sidekick John Kahn on bass, Melvin Seals on organ, Dave Kemper on drums, as well as the "Jerryettes"-- Jackie LaBranch and Gloria Jones on backing vocals. Together, they played 33 shows in 1993.
As usual, Garcia didn't pigeon-hole himself into doing a bunch of Grateful Dead songs to satisfy the house. In fact, the two-set, 14-song show included zero Grateful Dead songs. But, there was a great mix of old Motown, rhythm & blues and other standards.
The 7:30 show opened almost on time with a nice, easy rocking rendition of the 1967 Smokey Robinson & The Miracles hit "I Second That Emotion," followed by the mellow, reggae flavor of "Stop That Train," a staple for Garcia Band since the 1970s. The crowd seemed to understand that this wasn't a crackling-with-energy Grateful Dead show, and seemed pleased enough to shuffle and groove to the mostly mellow sounds of the first set. Jerry did take the time during each song to lay out an extended noodling jam before calling on the band to tie up the loose strings, re-develop the original melody and end the song. The man still sparkles with plenty of talent. Next there were two actual Garcia/Hunter compositions. First, the melancholy "Mission In The Rain," a song played quite often many years back, but not heard by these ears in a long, long time, followed by the title track to Garcia's early-80s solo LP Run For The Roses. The last three songs of the first set were medium-tempo, soulful rockers. Norton Buffalo's "Ain't No Bread In The Breadbox" has been a crowd favorite for a couple of years now with Jerry sharing vocals with LaBranch and Jones. Then, with a touch of gospel, was "Brothers And Sisters," and finally a song Wilson Picket had a minor hit with in 1967, "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love." This ended the set, Garcia broadly grinning and the crowd up-front cheering as he kept doing chorus after chorus. A fine set!
A half-hour later, the band re-appeared and the crowd was ready for some rocked-out selections. They'd have to wait a bit. The opening number, (the Temptation's first hit in 1964) "The Way You Do The Things You Do" was a welcome tune, and the JGB's arrangement was new, which was fine, but it was slow and kind of plodding. Next, much of the audience was left scratching its collective head as Jerry did a real nice version of Daniel Lanois' "The Maker." The band next broke into a jam-filled version of the old classic "Money Honey" that really made the assemblage stand up and take notice. This was followed by a terrific Garcia Band-natural, Sam Cooke's 1960 "Wonderful World" (not to be confused with Louie Armstrong's 1967 hit "What A Wonderful World" that Garcia has done in the encore spot recently). Next was a big Garcia Band crowd pleaser. The old soul number "Don't Let Go" weeds out the casual fans from the knowledgeable Deadheads. When the tune starts, innocently enough, those in-the-know are aware of what happens next-- a deep, long Grateful Dead-type "space" jam. Spacey yes, but purposeful also. Garcia tested the cosmic waters with his guitar, but he and the backing band never lose touch with the original song, and bring it back to triumphantly end the ten minute monster. The show ended with the extremely mellow, gospel number "Lucky Old Sun" followed by the foot stomping, hand clapping Peter Rowan bluegrass tune gone electric, "Midnight Moonlight." There was no encore, but neither were there encores at the previous shows on the tour (except Halloween).
Next time Garcia Band comes around, take the whole family. The atmosphere is slightly carnival-like, but mature. The music is great, crosses lots of boundaries, and-- you just might learn something about America's musical past.
JERRY GARCIA BAND- SET I: I Second That Emotion, Stop That Train, Mission In The Rain, Run For The Roses, Ain't No Bread In The Breadbox, Brothers And Sisters, Everybody Needs Somebody To Love. SET II: The Way You Do The Things You Do, The Maker, Money Honey, Wonderful World, Don't Let Go, Lucky Old Sun, Midnight Moonlight.
The Armory, Philadelphia, PA
November 8, 1993
By Alan Sheckter
It was a sold-out Monday night at Philadelphia's grunge garage, the Armory. In anticipation of the appearance of Nirvana, a band who played at the tiny J.C. Dobbs Pub on South Street in Philly only two years ago, but now are, dare I say, a "supergroup," a very telling sign appeared outside. Electric Factory Concerts posted this:
"You are entering a general admission concert. If you decide to stand in the area close to the stage, you may be subjected to crowded, rowdy and generally uncomfortable conditions. DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK. ABSOLUTELY NO STAGE DIVING!"
Hmmmn, interesting wording. Opening the show with a 30 minute energetic set was Half Japanese. I would've rather seen the cutsie trio Shonen Knife, who really are Japanese, but they would come on the tour down the road in December.
From 8:40 to 9:30, Ohio's Breeders, led by the Deal sisters, did a commendable job during their set. The quartet's most recent album Last Splash, which contains the popular songs "Cannonball" and "Divine Hammer" has been very successful. In concert, they relied on Kelley Deal's passionate lead vocals, waterfall-like cascades of guitar and rumbling fuzzed-out bass. Oddly enough, they incorporated an acoustic guitar in the midst of their powerful sound for several songs. The Breeders played 11 songs (no encore), the tenth being the Beatles' "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" which is included on the Breeders' first album.
After the stagehands did their magic, it was time for the headliners. After all the press, all the gossip, it was time for rock 'n roll. Though I thought the Breeders were a bit over-amplified, Nirvana blew my hair back with sheer volume. Along with lead personality, guitar and vocalist Kurt Cobain, bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Dave Grohl, a second guitarist, Pat Smear performed as part of the tour. Celloist Laurie Goldston also appeared briefly.
Though the band wore everyday clothing, the stage setup was really nice. The peaceful, but somehow eerie background sported a white suburban-type fence with big old bare tree stumps standing behind it. On stage with the band were two, six or seven feet high models of the angel that appears on the cover of Nirvana's current In Utero. The lights were excellent as well, utilizing strobes and other psychedelic effects usually reserved for techno dance clubs.
For the 65 minute performance, the ecstatic crowd moved to and fro and up and down in an endless euphoria of brutally forceful sound. The left-handed Cobain (who was on the left side of the stage, not in the center) and company were quite cohesive and merely did what they were supposed to do. Perform a stinging set of music. There were the now famous rock anthems "Lithium" and "Come As You Are," the newer "Rape Me" and "Heart-Shaped Box" from the current LP as well as a couple of decidedly mellow tunes, like the acoustic guitar and cello filled "Dumb" and "All Apologies." After "Rape Me," Cobain actually recited the old 1960s Youngbloods line, "C'mon people now, smile on your brother..." Signature quiet-to-thrash "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was the final song of the frenzied set.
After re-appearing for the encores, Kurt told the crowd, "One of these days I'm gonna own my own restaurant, and serve macrobiotic food." Maybe the backstage food was awful? Anyway, armed with an acoustic guitar, "unplugged and seated," to coin a phrase, he and the celloist traded string instrumentation for "All Apologies" before rising up for a more powerful ending encore. A good show from the Seattle-meisters.
NIRVANA'S SET: Radio Friendly Unit Shifter/ Drain You/ Breed/ Serve The Servants/ ?/ Heart-Shaped Box/ ?/ Dumb/ In Bloom/ Come As You Are/ Lithium/ Pennyroyal Tea/ ?/ Polly/ Milk It/ Rape Me/ Territorial Pissings/ Smells Like Teen Spirit/ e: All Apologies/ ?/ Scentless Apprentice/ ? (thanks to Lee Pizzini, Avondale, PA for the list)
Todd Rundgren-Interactive (TR-I)
Trocadero, Philadelphia, PA
December 6, 1993
By Alan Sheckter
Accompanying Todd's 29th album, the CD-Interactive No World Order (see CD review section) was a national solo tour where he performed his wonderful one-man-band act on a compact, specially built stage. When the mostly 25-45 year-old crowd shuffled into the old, small theater, they were greeted by a contraption in the middle of the floor resembling a garden gazebo, covered by Jeep roll-bars around the top.
The circular stage was only approximately seven feet in diameter. Around the perimeter were a Peavy keyboard, a monitor, electric guitar, CD player, drumming pads, an inflatable dinosaur, a towel rack, a small table containing Naya water, Silly String, Oriental pull-toys, strobe switches, a MIDI-light show system, an acoustic guitar, a PC as well as a small laptop with a trak-ball. Around the bottom of the stage were 14 panels that covered electronic controls and hundreds of wires. Around the top of the gazebo were 14 bookshelf speakers, a video camera on a string that was lowered from time to time for fans to use. Monitors above the gazebo were stupendous, ¼ were the live feed from the hanging camera, ¼ were old Japanese TV, ¼ were old Todd videos and ¼ were new computer animated-morphing videos.
Todd came out alone sporting his normal long, straight hair, wore Nike Air's and wore a widely striped brown and white pull-over and jeans. He tested his strobe lights, fog machine, message board (it would frequently show lyrics) and computers as he told the gathering the he "just needs to check my subsystems." Surely with all that equipment, he had the power to beam us up I thought. All his "stuff" in order, Todd was still not ready. He had to explain the rules. There were red, yellow and green beacons. Depending which one was on, they told us "who owns the space." If it was red, everybody had to stay back, if it was yellow, the crazy dancers would occupy the spot immediately around the stage, and if it was green, the crowd was invited to dance and gather on the stage apron. He told the crowd not to jump up on his stage or touch the equipment or steal his sh--. One over-zealous girl took a drumstick. Todd told her to give it back and to get back into the crowd. This being TR-Interactive technology, he was able to set a repetitive techno beat playing while he verbally struggled with her, finally threatening to leave the same techno beat going all night unless she gave it back. She finally did and Todd smiled and said, "I hate crowd control." The audience cheered heartily.
Most of the music was from No World Order, with its techno-rap-Rundgren one of a kind style. While setiing the music in motion, Todd danced, used his fog machine, and pelted the crowd with Silly String and handfuls of condoms. This bizarre, wondrous live event had so much sound and things to look at, yet Todd's hands were free much of the time (he used a wireless headset mike), and he frequently signed autographs and gave high-fives to audience members.
There were a few other songs thrown in. He performed "International Feel" and "Chant," used the acoustic 12-string on "Cliché" and "Lysastrata" as well as "Black And White" on electric guitar. The encore was more TR-Interactive followed by "Bang On The Drum All Day," where over a dozen fans contributed drumming duties. A fantastic experimental evening of music, sights and new suprises from an old master.
Trocadero, Philadelphia, PA
November 26, 1993
By Alan Sheckter
The Trocadero, a burlesque house in its former life, has been the number one big-name alternative club in Philadelphia for the last couple of years. The place holds about 1250, and has certainly had its share of packed houses. But nary a Troc show had sold out as quickly as this day-after Thanksgiving appearance by the Smashing Pumpkins.
A crowd of hundreds lined up as the doors were late opening. Dozens mingled about repeating the "Any extra tickets?" question. The old theater has long since had its orchestra seats removed, and the rather small, sloped floor is good ambiance for dancing, pushing, crowd-riding, etc. The classy balcony is for the 21-plus crowd only, as that's where the bar is. You are also kept clear of moshers up there. The sides of the balcony are low and extend around almost all the way to the stage. In fact, a burly security guard was able to reach a cigarette to a begging blond in the balcony.
England's Swervedriver appeared first for about 30 minutes, and got polite but not an overwhelming response from the Pumpkin-heads. I tended to agree with them. Very non-charismatic and not unique in sound, the most interesting thing about them was the buzzing story that earlier in the day, the drummer had ground a cigarette out in an ashtray that contained a mild "black cat" firework that someone had left.
At about 9:15 Smashing Pumpkins came on, to the thrills of the young girls hanging onto the front railing, the mosh-pitters and those in the balcony. After all, the Chicago band went from moderate alternative success to having their album plastered on every major Christmas CD ad in a few short months. Actually, during their November tour, the Pumpkin's Siamese Dream (Virgin) achieved the RIAA's platinum certification for sales of a million units.
Leader, singer and rhythm guitarist Billy Corgan shuffled out, and after a song or two appealed to the crowd that they'd better sing along, because his voice was shot. Lead guitarist James Iha poked fun at Corgan, purposely repeating the plea with a scratchy voice. Corgan did pretty well, considering his voice is thin and rather high when it's perfect.
The band reeled off about a dozen songs, such as the popular, mellow "Disarm," "Mayonnaise" and the powerful, rocking "Cherub Rock." Bathed in criss-crossing spotlights and lots of strobes, the Pumpkins entertained the troops. D'Arcy was the model of class as she blasted out forceful bass undertones as James Iha sonically followed her tit-for-tat on the guitar. Jimmy Chamberlain stayed in the back, but his drums were "right there" all set long. Corgan, the charismatic main personality, brooded, whispered, shouted and set moods of melancholy and anger. He's certainly not a textbook rock figure. He has a slight, and a bit slumped-over build, short hair and comes off being very sensitive. In fact, the whole band has a certain "personable" quality.
Corgan did start to get moody and began verbally wrestling with the crowd. After a dude from the balcony kept repeating his request, Corgan finally pointed up and said, "We're not gonna play that one." A few minutes later, he pleaded for folks to stop yelling requests. He explained that the fans trusted them enough to put together a good record, and they should trust them to put together a good live set. "After all, I'm not your fu--ing puppet." That plea fell on deaf ears, of course.
After returning for an encore, Corgan took an inordinate amount of time getting back to the music. He set out to prove a point by dangling his microphone out over the crowd down front. "Here," he said, "What would you like to say?" After two more song requests and two screams of "I love you," one girl finally spoke out saying, "I'd like to ask the guys behind me to stop hitting me in the head-- with their feet," referring of course to the crowd-surfing rowdies behind her. Corgan took back the mike saying that that was the only intelligent thing anyone had said. Some of the audience agreed with Billy, some were just kind of stunned and some began to get angry and yelled from the back.
Just when the scene was getting uncomfortable, the Pumpkins broke into their masterpiece "Silverfu--." The epic song rocked out and then dropped into its middle dreamy segment. It got so quiet you could hear a pin drop, but from the balcony, one could see as the folks on the floor continued to mosh enthusiastically in the silence. It was very strange. "Silverf---" came back with its raging, vengeful ending, and segued nicely into the acoustic "Sweet Sweet" to end the show.
Although Corgan's voice wasn't up to par and he kvetched (Yiddish for whined) a lot (band-follower Terri from Washington said Corgan didn't display such antics at the band's previous gig at New York City's Roseland), the Smashing Pumpkins put on a fine, memorable show. They came, they saw, they conquered.
One couldn't reflect for a single moment, however, because
the Troc's people quickly ushered everyone out. They had to. They
have some kind of DJ-dance party thing there every Friday, and
people were waiting to get in. That's OK, it was good to get back
out into the fresh air. And being in Chinatown, there were scores
of restaurants to explore...