SETLIST (possibly incomplete)
Submitted by Allan Byer:
It was one of
the finest BC shows I have ever seen, and I have seen at least 15 over
most recently August 8th in Eugene when he was beginning
this current Life Short Call
Now tour. Bruce is amazing in that
he seems to get better, both vocally and with his guitars, every time I see
him. The guy is 61 years young. He is in incredible shape. He is a role
model for us older folks, especially aging musicians like myself. He seemed
have more energy than ever.
His current band, Gary Craig on drums and Jullie Wolf on keyboards and harmonies, I thought were perfectly meshed with Bruce. Gary seemed to be having way too much fun with all the various combinations of percussion instruments he was playing including the hammer on the gongs and chimes. I especially was impressed with what he could do with one hand, his left, and his feet while doing a shaker thing with the right hand. He was totally in tune with the many changes that Bruce took us through. Julie's voice is a perfect compliment to Bruce's and her keyboard playing, and that "melodica" thingie (the tube in the mouth) filled in and enhanced all the songs.
I was also impressed with the set list in that there were lots of his nearly timeless hits like Wondering Where The Lions Are and If A Tree Falls as well as more recent songs like Open and Pacing The Cage that showcased his incredible consistency as a writer. Of course the emphasis was on the new material, as it should be. The new songs came off so well, so topical and true, especially stuff like This Is Baghdad. Bruce has the amazing and unique ability to create songs that are topical yet personal accounts of current events. Like a news reporter bringing home the story, only he is not locked into being objective; he has the licence as a songsmith to interpret those events and bring them to us, the listener, in personal form. The visual images are like a movie; you can't help seeing stuff in your mind as you hear the song. He additionally amazes me with his guitar-playing stylings. That thumb, more and more I notice it supplying a back-drop drone at times, while the other fingers are plucking melodies. Unique, one of a kind, inspiring in so many ways.
I was also heartened personally that he did nearly all the BC songs that I do in my shows affirming to me that I have picked songs that still resonate with him and his current audiences that are repeatedly exposed to those tunes. When he does If I Had A Rocket Launcher, his only MTV hit from 1984, people feel the outrage toward utter cruelty in the world. When I do it, in my own simplistic manner, people recall him and the courage it took to make that statement back then. He also never ends a show with that song. When he came back with All The Diamonds I was reminded of his simple and beautiful faith — in the world, in all of us, and in the spiritual side of all the tapestries he weaves for us.
Some would have wanted more talking by him, which he is so good at sharing little tidbits of himself and the world with us, but I think he wanted to share as much music as possible with us. I think he will remember Bend this time and want to return very soon.