November 7, 2007 — Berlin, Germany, Schiller Theater

WestThe greatest female singer/songwriter in country-blues-rock in a theater? A concert in chairs? I was very sceptic…But then, I had 4th row tickets, expected a more quiet show with a focus on that great voice, and was going to see her live again!

So, how was the show? Simply amazing! With the first slow songs of her new album, you understood the intention of playing here: a very attentive audience, no yelling, shuffling around, no beer or bathroom breaks — just her voice filling the room.

And how could one describe that voice? Well, she did rightaway when interrupting her first song to start again: “There are good cracks and bad cracks in my voice, that was a bad one!” But from there on she unveiled more and more of the ‘good cracks’. A goose bumps voice, rough and soft, broken and clear, and so powerful!

It’s funny, you listen to the saddest songs ever (“You want dark, I give you dark!”) — with a big grin on your face, ’cause it’s so beatiful!

As she was getting more and more into the show, Lucinda loosened up and enjoyed herself (she seemed not to in Hamburg before), talked about her songs and experiences. The band was amazing too: great guitars (Doug Pettibone shouldn’t sing, though), groovy bass and wondeful percussion and drums. Towards the end they really made some joyful noise!

Two hours — yes a long show — happy faces all around, on stage and in front of it!

[more reviews]

Last night, I’ve finally went to my first Patti Smith concert, and definitely my best concert in 2007!

What a voice — so much power and anger: the strong and rough rock ‘n’ roll instrument, as well the dark, shaman like chanting Patti. Great cover versions from her new album, and her own thirty year old punk music. Not a bit embarrassing, ’cause you see that Patti Smith still feels what she sings. And how she does that: like a true teenage rock ‘n’ roll nigger! Fucking awesome… The band around Lenny “Ich bin ein Garage Rocker” Kaye was in great shape, Patti had a lot of fun, never lost contact to the audience (she’s just such a nice sixty year old girl), played a long set, blended her stories into songs like only The Boss can (had to mention him here), she probably even was responsible for the beautiful rainbow… Oh, it’s such a perfect day…

P.S. Had to be great evening, since already Anna Ternheim was a beautiful opener. I missed her twice in Berlin, so I was really happy to see her. And what a sight! And again, what a voice — totally different from Patti’s, if Patti Smith is a dark angel, Anna Ternheim is pure light. But then, her voice also sounds so sad, it really hurts…

Bob Dylan, Berlin, May 3, 2007. My sixth Dylan show in Berlin, and the first that
was disappointing… With each year he seemed to get better: great voice, focused vocals, tight band, new live arrangements. Well, his voice was there, and new arrangements en masse, but the much praised band was a bunch of individuals, lost in the deconstruction of songs. They never really found a way to play together that night (more against each other), noise and redundancy all night long. Bob’s county fair organ was as annoying as most of Denny’s guitar licks, Donny and Stu were merely staffage, Tony and George tried to keep the thing together in vain… A scatterbrain show.

I appreciate new ideas, as on “Desolation Row” (by the way, a good setlist at least) or “Watchtower”, but this time it just didn’t work out. And where there was no new arrangement tested (the whole concert seemed to be a test show and not one of the last in Europe), they failed to bring across the atmosphere from “Modern Times”.

Well, one bad out of six, that’s still pretty good for Dylan live shows…

Springsteen at WinterlandAn amazing service to fans of rock music was put online by wolfgangsvault.com — the concert vault! Hear great live shows from Bill Graham’s Winterland and Fillmore venues and more.
Since it’s Christmas soon, here’s a special treat: Bruce Springsteen live on his best tour ever! If you’re not a fan after hearing this show, please consult your nearest doctor. Neil Young’s latest album, Live at Fillmore East is also online…

It’s the boss’s birthday… so, we’re having a party!

Where? Berlin, Wuhlheide! When? Tonight! Who? Frank, Manja, and Pearl Jam!!!

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“We’re going to play… folk music!” (Bruce Springsteen)

Bruce Springsteen with The Seeger Sessions Band – Tour Dates

April 30 New Orleans, LA Jazz & Heritage Festival

European Tour

May 5 Dublin, Ireland The Point
May 7 Manchester, UK The Manchester Evening News Arena
May 8 London, UK Hammersmith Apollo Theatre
May 10 Paris, France Palais Bercy
May 12 Milan, Italy Forum Arena
May 14 Barcelona, Spain Badalona Arena
May 16 Amsterdam, Netherlands Heineken Music Hall
May 17 Frankfurt, Germany Festhalle
May 20 Oslo, Norway Spektrum Arena
May 21 Stockholm, Sweden Hovet Arena


John Henry

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