Submitted by Alexander Fong:
I noticed that Mr. Cockburn kept his comments about Bush to a minimum this evening, which is surprising considering the interviews he has given to the press shortly after his trip to Iraq. Then again, considering the relatively conservative politics of the audience (we're talking about the San Diego area which is perhaps one of the largest conservative populations in California), it was probably well considered.
There were a
number of guitars on stage. One of them looked like
the guitar made by Linda Manzer, but considering my distance from the
stage, that's hearsay. He also had a 12-string, and at one point played
a ukulele [ed. This was more likely to be a charango, which is a similar shape and size]. I think I saw his dobro, but he didn't play it. Also, he had a semi-hollow electric guitar that he used for Celestial Horses. I also
think he was in control of a sampler that was used to provide percussion for a couple of songs.
Julie Wolf's setup included three various keyboards, an accordion and that instrument she blows into and manipulates via dials.
This was a pretty
impressive show. Lovers
In A Dangerous Time sported some fairly complex harmonies
between Mr Cockburn and
Ms Wolf. At a couple of points during the show, Mr Cockburn actually
went into falsetto. Considering the length of the show (about two hours),
his voice didn't show any ill effects. As a singer, I'm astounded. Ms
backup vocals were very good and added a lot to the show. I only remember
her being slightly out of key once or twice, which, again is amazing to me. Her accompaniment on any of her instruments was very good — moving from spare to rocking to funky in seconds. There was only one big "solo" section for the pair, and that section occurred on Trickle Down. I think Mr Cockburn slightly lost his concentration because his note selection veered into some outside notes without setting them up properly. Otherwise it was a fine solo and indicative of his amazing sense of tempo (I don't think he lost the pulse
all show, and I still can't figure out how he plays the bass and the melody at the same time). Ms Wolf's solo on Trickle Down was very complex and very good. There were about five different melodic motifs, and she
navigated through them all with equal aplomb.
All in all, I consider this a fantastic show. I was thoroughly mesmerised for its duration. To be honest, I was slightly disappointed when I realised that it wasn't a full band show, but the whole evening was still very musical and energetic. I'm really glad I drove the hour to get to the venue.