Submitted by Ron Pratt:
This was a truely inspirational show. This is the third time I've seen Bruce in Olympia, but the first time at the Washington Center for Performing Arts. The acoustics were far better than the two previous shows at the Capital Theater (The Charity Of Night and You've Never Seen Everything tours) despite the occasional discordant echo of the percussion off the back wall on the orchestral level of the theater. Bruce appeared on stage and wasted no time getting into a groove, opening the show with Open, and the audience fell right in line with him. His guitar picking was superb and the vocals were soulful and crystal clear. This was made all the more enjoyable by the splendid percussion and keyboard acommpaniment via Gary Craig and Julie Wolf.
Bruce was very upbeat and shared poignant and often humourous dialogue with the audience throughout the show. He made some obtuse comment about mosquitos in the north that brought many laughs from the audience and shared insights regarding the inspiration for numerous songs. Despite being election night here in the US, Bruce refrained from launching into any direct political dialogue and, unfortunately for us, denied several requests from the audience for a renditioin of Call It Democracy. However, I think his viewpoint was aptly made through versions of Wondering Where The Lions Are, Tell The Universe, This Is Baghdad, Slow Down Fast and If I Had A Rocket Launcher.
For myself, the show highlights included a rendition of Beautiful Creatures that was so chock full of emotion and portrayed with such amazing vocal intonations, I couldn't suppress the tears from my eyes. Let there be no doubt about it, the years have not tarnished his vocal abilities in the least. Everyone I spoke with agreed that this was far superior live than on the new album. Bruce and company also performed two instrumental gems in the first set, Jerusalem Poker and The End Of All Rivers. These tunes really showcased Bruce's innovative guitar playing and provided some of the most spirited and inspiring interplay between the musicians. Second set highlights included Dust And Diesel with a great keyboard solo by Julie and a rocking rendition of Slow Down Fast with a very playful "jazzy" interlude. Bruce also belted out a fantastic version of Put It In Your Heart that really toched the heart. The show finished with two encores including If I Had A Rocket Launcher, which had everybody in the theater in motion and a wonderful version of Live On My Mind with Julie providing the vocals, much to the crowd's appreciation. Hats off to Julie for her vocal abilities. The show ended with Nude Descending A Staircase, a delightfully lighthearted instrumental piece that revealed to everyone just how much fun Bruce, Craig and Julie were having performing for us on stage.
Thanks for the marvelous evening Bruce.