Submitted by Aaron Anding:
The show last night was great — though it felt a bit short. The venue was The Knitting Factory — a club on Hollywood Boulevard in downtown Hollywood. The show was held on a small stage in a separate area of the club and the crowd was tiny — around 350 people at the maximum. Bruce, Julie, Ben, and Steve were in great form — with Julie seeming increasingly comfortable with Bruce and vice-versa.
Bruce was in a storytelling mood — while tuning between songs, he told an anecdote about having seen The Byrds on The Ed Sullivan Show (he noted that only a few in the crowd would remember that show) and they spent their entire time on the show tuning. He said that Ed Sullivan stared on in disbelief and The Byrds weren’t invited back. Bruce further noted that he had later read an interview with The Byrds who were quoted to say that they tune because they care. Bruce went on to say that he tunes because he couldn’t play the next song otherwise.
Prior to playing Burn, Bruce told another story about why he had dug up the song for this tour. Bruce knows a young man who has been crippled by “some debilitating disease” who is a fan in Vancouver, and for a couple of tours he has been requesting to hear Burn. Bruce stated that he has added it to the set list for this boy… and for George Bush.
The show went by quickly without any intermission. They played a long set, 2 encores, then Bruce came back on stage alone to announce that he’d like to play more songs for us, but the venue had booked another act after him. (His show began around 8:15 and ended around 10:15). I was confounded that a venue would do that to any artist, but thankful for Bruce’s explanation.
A very intimate show — maybe 250–300 people in the club. In Burn, “Baghdad and Kabul” was substituted for “Santiago and Greece”. The encore was abbreviated because a Steely Dan cover band called “Doctor Wu” was scheduled for 10:30pm. Bruce graciously hung around outside by the bus afterwards to shake hands and sign CDs.
Christy Vasquez contributed the signed setlist:
I never got to tell Bruce “Thank you for writing Stolen Land and the truth about Kit Carson into a song.” I was too tongue-tied. He said “I've got to get to Tucson, we don't go to Arizona nearly enough.” He also granted my wish of leaving a message for my old boss (who introduced me to Bruce) via my cellphone. Ben and his gorgeous girlfriend are quite open and lovely people, as well.