Setlist submitted to the Project by G. Ashmun and Doug Stacey
Doug Stacey reported:
Second to the last show on the tour. I'd love to see inside Bruce's head after a show like this. A little about the venue first. Ravina is a beautiful facility in the affluent suburbs on the shore north of Chicago. It is an outdoor pavilion of about 5000 seats. The lawn behind the pavilion, unlike most venues, doesn't slant up so people can sit and see the artist, it is flat. People don't come there to see the show, just to hear it. Don't get me wrong, I like sitting on the grass listening to my favorite music as much as anybody but that's what CDs are for. When I go to a show, I want to see it! These people have turned sitting on a blanket drinking a bottle of wine into an art form. Each trying to out do the other now they bring elaborate picnic tables, chairs, huge baskets full of everything, candelabras, you name it. I've even seen 'attendants' serving them. Anyway, enough of the lawn crowd but I wanted to give you a feel for what this place is like (and my apologies to any Humans who are into that sort of thing, I just don't get it for a concert....).
Most nights of the season they have symphonies playing. They have a spattering of 'popular' music acts each year. Bruce has been there three times now since '95. When standing on the stage it is probably a beautiful place to play. All around are huge oak trees. Acoustics are perfect. On this night maybe a little more than 1/2 of the seats were full (remember there is probably another couple of thousand back on the lawn though...). Both sections in the back corners were completely empty. I was 18 rows from the stage right in the middle and there were empty seats all around. No one was sitting in front of me for about 3 or 4 rows. Very odd. I'm thinking that all the seats in the front sections are for 'subscribers' and they just don't show on a night like this. I bought tickets from a broker and that's probably how I ended up down there. Behind me the center section in the back was packed solid. All Bruce fans I'd guess. Unlike most nights of the tour there were two opening acts. Willy Porter who I'd suggest you check out if you've never heard of him) and Janis Ian. Bruce took the stage about 9 and played through one set with no break. A slightly abbreviated show at about 1:30 minutes. I'd wouldn't describe the playing as "inspired" as we've read recently at the Horseshoe show. Who can really blame him though. About 1/2 way through he'd play his heart on "Feast of Fools" and when the song ends no less than 25 or so people between me and the stage get up and march up the aisle to leave. They were trickling out the whole show, with brave Bruce fans from the back making the trek down to fill in some of their seats. Very strange night. I'd love to know what Bruce thinks on a night like that. This late in the tour he must be thinking he'd rather phone it in.... By the time the show ended the 15 seats in my row between me and the aisle were all empty. What a waste! I know there were some fans right down front. If they are on the list we may hear a totally different take on the show from them as they couldn't see the seating situation from down there. Check out the BC-Live list for a few still from the show and additional info about it if interested.