(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Are You Going With Me?” (1981)

Over the long life of the Pat Metheny Group, this song has become the anthem at live shows. Much like “The First Circle,” “Are You Going With Me?” never fails to get the audience on their feet. The interesting thing about this song, especially when compared with “The First Circle,” is that its intensity is built in a completely different way.

While “Circle” is all shifting time signatures and rippling percussion, “Are You Going With Me?” employs an insistent groove throughout. The long opening passage, before Lyle’s solo, is full of lovely intertwining melodies from Mays and Pedro Aznar’s vocals. Pat’s guitar synth solo is what takes things over the top. He starts it off slowly with long, “held” tones. But that doesn’t last very long as the inertia from “The Red One” builds, culminating in Metheny’s enthusiasm boiling over as he leaps in the air.

The live video is taken from a Japanese jazz festival back in 1992. The charmingly mispronounced names are nearly as entertaining as the music.

Next up: Au Lait

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.