Tour dates & setlists

-- 17 July 2016 --

2016 Index

General information


17 July 2016


Vancouver Folk Festival


Vancouver, BC. Canada

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Solo - Bruce also did a workshop in the afternoon.

Bruce Cockburn - Vancouver Folk Fest

Bruce Cockburn Vancouver Folk Fest soundcheck - photo Dave McKensie


Bruce had his 6-string, 12-string and the charango.




Comments/further information

Setlist and review submitted by Audrey Pearson. Bruce sounded strong and clear as he usually does. He threw in lots of great jams. He said after Lovers that he's been doing this for 50 years now. He played the first or second Vancouver Folk Festival.

He introduced Lions as he used to stay at the Sylvia Hotel (in the West End) and the freighters nodding in the bay were indeed the freighters visible off Jericho - just from the other side. We also have mountains on the North Shore (again visible from the the Folk Festival site) called The Lions. After the song, he said something to the effect of "not those Lions." I guess when he sang "Wondering Where the Lions Are" the crowd was pointing to the mountains as saying "There they are Bruce!"

He introduced Jesus Train as a new song that caught him by surprise. He didn't think he'd write "this kind of song anymore." Bruce complained it was sticky. It was - very humid. He said parts (like fingers) work better when they don't stick together.

Before God Bless the Children, he told the story of his 4-year old daughter Iona wanting to listen to his music in the car, but being a ruthless critic "Skip it." She sings along to Call It Democracy but doesn't quite know what it all means eg "unsupportable debt." [Editor Note: The tunes Iona was listening to when she said 'Skip It" were new songs not yet recorded.]

After Put it in Your Heart, the crowd stood, Bruce graciously acknowledged the applause and exited the stage. After 50 years, he's still going strong.

Soundcheck photo set by Dave McKensie, including the second photo on this page.

Twitter photo by Jenn McInnis

Instagram photo by vanfolkfestival - go check it out!

Vancouver Folk Fest Workshop - A Better World's in Birth

Bruce did a Sunday morning workshop at the Vancouver Festival "A Better World's in Birth" with Oysterband, Martin and Eliza Carthy and Betsayda Machado y La Parranda El Clavo from Venezuela. It was their first visit to Canada.

Bruce played Slow Down Fast, introducing it as not necessarily a song about hope, but what we're up against.? He had to stop because a fingernail was catching on a string. He managed to rip the offending bit off and finish the song. Then he made a pistol with his hand and memed shooting his fingernail. I burst out laughing and Bruce smiled.

The group from Venezuela performed. They played their hearts out with their Afro-Latin American grooves and dancing and got the whole crowd bopping along. Bruce was still in the corner practicing, but he was smiling and bopping along too.

In the next go-round, Bruce played Stolen Land and he totally nailed it. The Venezuelans played their their marimbas and rhythm instruments as back up. They just fit into the song like they'd always played it, even though they've probably never heard it before. The Venezuelans went last and this time they went around and got everyone on stage dancing. Bruce was still in the corner, sitting on chair practicing, and this lovely woman shaking her hips and her skirt pointed straight at him saying "you." She grabbed him off his chair and got him dancing with much laughing all round.

In the final go-round, Bruce played a tender, beautiful Celestial Horses. He introduced it as a BC (as in the province) song. It's also close to the full moon. Perhaps the true hope for a better world is simply in love.

The final song of the session belonged to the Venezuelans, which turned into a jam session with all the musicians. Bruce's guitar had already been whisked off the stage, so he played his metal water bottle with his knife to add to the rhythm section. Workshop notes submitted by Audrey Pearson.

Archive recording

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