Submitted by Jeremy Hunt and Phil Oldfield, who comments:
At the end of Life Short Call Now Bruce said one day he was "sitting in Montreal and saw my unkempt backyard, surrounded by the city - great and lively, but with its share of grey. We forget that under the pavement there is Earth. I was thinking of Earth and animals taking their leave - polar bears, tigers, etc. My friend Celia said it was the saddest song she'd ever heard until she heard Beautiful Creatures. Bruce went on to say that he'd spent much of his adult life travelling. First the length and breadth of Canada, but then on to Europe and Asia. In the early 80s he'd gone to the Third World for the first time, in '83 he went to South America - a different kind of experience. Like something he'd never seen before. Although there were some parallels with the North American Indians, they hadn't been part of his experiences in growing up. He said it was different when "you are among those people in their circumstances". The next song came out of those experiences: Dust And Diesel. He said it was "a heady feeling in 80s Nicaragua, I got a glimpse of what it must have been like in Venezuela before Christmas", when he was there for the Presidential Elections - people were "drunk with hope. So many people with so much to look forward to." It was "interesting but worrying" (he) "had seen that hope before, and know exactly what take the USA takes on these things. But they're busy elsewhere, so maybe Central (South) America will get away with it for a time."
came back [for encores] people called out for songs etc. One of the exchanges
Fan: "You set us up for Nicaragua and never played it."
Bruce: "Forgotten how to!".
Fan #2: "It must be difficult having such a large repertoire to pick from."
Bruce: "Big repertoire, small memory!"
He then said
that we could join in on the next one if we wanted to. It's the first Bruce
been at where he's encouraged the audience to sing & we didn't let
him down, (as he admitted after): Wondering
Where The Lions Are.
And that was our lot. Fewer songs than previous concerts but a result, I guess, of having Angela Desveaux as support. I enjoyed her set (bought her CD). Overall this was an up-tempo & "lighter" concert than some of Bruce's I've been to. His guitar playing on Wait No More and If A Tree Falls just blew me away.
Alastair McKay supplied the scan and adds:
Bruce was in
stunning form, and the gig was a wonderful blend of different moods and
tones, with an amazing range overall. He played the set list as
indicated [in the scan], apart from the second encore, when he played Indian Wars instead of If I Had A Rocket Launcher, after a barrage of different requests, of which Indian Wars was the last. It was obviously a last minute decision - and a great one, as Indian Wars is a wonderful song, and not one I'd ever heard live before, whereas (in my view) If I Had A Rocket Launcher is a bit of an over-played tub thumper.
However, what the set list doesn't capture is how he played some of the songs. For example, one of my favourites of the evening was If A Tree Falls - which was of course completely different from the album being a solo acoustic setting - and it was just delicious, with an extended guitar solo. And it never ceases to amaze me the range of sounds that Bruce gets out of the guitar - obviously with the help of some effects (he had three different little effects boxes) - but it often sounds like two or three musicians playing together.
Other highlights were Beautiful Creatures - truly haunting live - and Mystery - probably my favourite track on the new album, which had a beautiful crystal clarity about it. It seemed a relatively short set (there was a support act which I could have done without), but there wasn't a weak song at any point, and everything from the new album stood up well, and was better live!
Bruce played his black Manzer, the dobro, and a twelve string. He wasn't particularly chatty, but enjoyed a little repartee with one or two of the more vocal fans.
I went or met
up with some other longstanding Bruce fans - and we were all blown away
by the concert and agreed it was one of the best times we'd ever
heard him. I just wished I could have bottled it. A proper recording of a
live performance such as this, including with the few bits of chatter from
Bruce, would be wonderful to have in one's CD collection. How about it True North?