Submitted by Doug Vencill:
The concert began at 8:11 and ended around 10:35. It was Bruce, two 6-string guitars, a 12-string, and his trademark bright silver dobro. Most songs were performed on either of the two 6-strings, with the exceptions being Elegy and Wait No More (dobro), and Put It In Your Heart, This Is Baghdad, and Tell The Universe (12-string). As in previous shows, Bruce scat-sang Zaza's clarinet part on Rouler Sa Bosse. Very entertaining.
At some point in the show, Bruce mentioned the new Speechless CD and remarked about the irony of the title, since some had chided him about being talkative and verbose between numbers. An audience member upstairs yelled out, "That's OK, we don't care!" Bruce said thanks for the vindication.
When introducing This Is Baghdad and he began telling us of his experiences over there during the war, someone in the audience apparently had a Tourrette's moment and yelled out, "F--K IT!!!" Bruce took it in stride, of course. This song, along with the 2 other newcomers, Tell The Universe and Mystery were very well-received by all of us. When I spoke with him after the concert, he alluded that they would all be on his next CD.
So many high points to the show... for me, one of the most mesmerizing was his rendition of End Of All Rivers. The intensity of that song speaks volumes, but it practically screamed onstage... hearing the echoed guitar transmitted in left-to-right-to-left stereo, as well as hearing Bruce improvise on it a bit just made the experience of hearing it live all the more enthralling.
I'm sure most would agree that there is something beautifully unique about a Cockburn concert. At the tender age of 60, the man still obviously loves what he's doing, and it shows... particularly at the end of each song, when you can see how he's getting a rush from the experience as he lifts his eyebrows and gives that little "aw, shucks, ma'am" grin. His comfort performing before an audience shows, and the intimacy of that experience is one you don't see with too many other performers. And then, of course, there's the meeting him after the show. Here is where words fail me. This is the second time I've met him after a show, and it is... uplifting to see what a gentleman he is with his fans. His friendliness is genuine and not forced, and his utter humility — even after 35+ years in the business — is both astounding and charming. For the second time, I felt inclined to give the guy a hug, which he accepted gracefully. I and several of my "new concert friends" walked back to our cars on cloud nine as a result. Bruce deserves every bit of success that comes his way, in spades... I feel privileged to be living during his timeline. Kansas City loves you, Bruce. Come back soon.
Linda Renc contributed the first photo and adds:
The Kansas City
audience was very appreciative and responded to the excellent quality of
solo act. We felt royally entertained by this guitar wizard
and songwriting hero. A guy called out, "Aww, Bruce, you are so awesome!" with
unabashed sincerity. I attended the show having flown in from Florida just
for this event... because he never seems to get down South anymore! My two
siblings, who hadn't even heard of BC prior to the event, were telling their
friends what a great concert it was. Best moments: BC's elaborate improvised
guitar work on the ending of If A Tree
Falls just shimmered off
the walls, filling the whole room with magic and receiving a huge applause.
When prompted, he shared some of his Baghdad experiences, about observing
interaction between troops & Iraqis, the communication gap, and tenuous
hold by our military. The audience got really quiet for intense socio-political
songs like This Is Baghdad and
Tell The Universe, which
are quite sobering, and bounced back for more hopeful lyrics like Messenger
Wind and the new Mystery.
Bruce's selected songs ran the whole emotional gamut.
The Madrid is a newly-restored theater in an old business district in need of "cleaning up". They did a beautiful job on the interior, wrought iron balcony railings, club atmosphere, elegant and comfortable. Tons of security people. CDs and Speechless posters were sold in the lobby.
Doug Olias contributed the second photo.