Submitted by Andy Carlisle and an anonymous contributor who reports:
We were at the Basement, in inner city Sydney, which is a bar and restaurant around a small dark stage. I have seen him here at least once before, on The Charity Of Night tour. He has also played in much bigger Sydney venues (solo at the Capitol Theatre, with the blue guitar for The Trouble With Normal), and with a band at the Enmore Theatre (Big Circumstance, I think).
On stage there were 12 and 6-string acoustic guitars, and he walked onstage with another 6-string. The audience was pretty full of Cockburn diehards, but out for a good party night. So there were pretty raucous interjections of welcome, and other comments ("G'dye Bruce", "Get a haircut", that sort of thing).
How I Spent My Fall Vacation was happy but driving. Tried And Tested was powerful, clear and more forceful than the record. We were in his hands, essentially. His vocals were very clear, and his guitar tones, including the digital delay for If A Tree Falls were like crystal. I wish his CDs could have that tone. We were awed at how he can make six-strings pull off some pretty sophisticated band arrangements, particularly the big job his thumb does being bass and drums. I noticed how he anchors his right hand pinky on the pickguard. You need a bit of security when there is so much going on.
He didn't say that much, apart from tell us about the press misreporting You've Never Seen Everything as You Haven't Seen Anything, and what that may have meant about what they noticed. He also told us a bit about his reaction to September 11 and Jerry Falwell. His anger was still up on that. It gave me a bit of an insight into his thinking about the potential for rage and violence in us all (deja vu If I Had A Rocket Launcher). I think this had something to do with Everywhere Dance, and someone's idea that God is change, but we all got a bit lost about there and so he backed off.
Because I was fairly close to the front for a change, I noticed how he closes his eyes when performing. I tried it too, and found myself visualising the music even more clearly. We yelled for a while to drag him back. I think I got a laugh out of him then when I yelled "We haven't heard everything."
One of the best things about a Cockburn concert is meeting other fans. It was sad to say farewell to a couple of very knowledgeable women as we got off the bus. They knew the words to most of the songs, and were clearly grabbed and moved the same as we were. I look forward to finding them and many others next time.