Reports on the 7 March Detroit, 8 March Chicago, 9 March Madison, 19 San Fransisco, & 21 March Portland shows

News Index

8 April 2002 -- As Bruce makes his way across the US, many fan reports have come into the project. While often the setlists and shows are very similar, a few of Bruce's fans have noted certain unique happenings or information at different venues. Part V of 'On My Beat' will feature reports with these differences in mind, starting with the 7 March, Detroit, Michigan show and ending up in Portland, Oregon on 21 March,2002.

The Detroit report comes to us from David A. Komjathy, and gives us an insight into Bruce's equipment and musical stylings.

Setlist scan and ticket stub, from David A Komjathy of 7 March Detroit show. Thursday 7 March 2002
Detroit, Michigan, Second City Show

Equipment: 2 identical Jerry Jones acoustic 6 strings (1 in std tuning, 1 in drop F#), and an acoustic 12 string in std tuning. The two six strings are the ones he’s been touring with the last few years. A couple of effects (chorus, delay) and two monitors. That’s it.

[For a setlist of this show with links to all the songs go here.]

First Set
A Dream Like Mine: Unbelieveably lush and beautiful, with a long, delay-ridden intro that left you wondering what it was until the first verse. This rich, room filling style set the tone for the rest of the night.

Lovers In A Dangerous Time: Using a chorus pedal that made it sound almost identical to the Columbia Radio Hour version minus Rob Wasserman. Also really pretty.

Anything, Anytime, Anywhere: Introduced as one of the two new tracks from his new compilation; a very luminous rendition with the vocal hanging high above the guitar.

The Trouble With Normal: A sterling example of a song that in its native studio state I find unlistenable but when stripped down to an acoustic guitar and voice is set free to make the statement Bruce meant it to. A gorgeous, Oriental guitar part glided along with him.

When You Give It Away: BC was having fun with this reggae-inflected acoustic version. A lot of audience singalong.

All The Ways I Want You: I had actually never heard this piece before, but had heard of it numerous times. Very pretty, Bruce awash in indigo blue light as he sang it. The Tom Waits song that Tom Waits never wrote.

Tibetan Side Of Town: A guitar part that only Bruce Cockburn could write and execute. How does he sing and do that at the same time. Very well received.

Tokyo: A solid acoustic version.

Pacing The Cage: Bruce talked a bit about people covering his material, how he wished it would happen more, and how, although an unusual choice for Jimmy Buffet, he pulled it off. The audience responded a lot to this last song in the first set.

Bruce at the Keene show. Photo courtesy of Sandy in N.H.
    Photo courtesy of Sandy.
Set 2
Rumours Of Glory: Words fail me. Another song that I’m not at all crazy about on the Live CD but was somehow allowed to break free and become an amazing song that came in waves of delayed chords and lush vocals. One of the highlights of the show for me. It would be a crime against humanity if Bruce doesn’t record this version live.

My Beat: A very intense, 12 string enhanced acoustic version. A very pretty guitar part.

Put It In Your Heart: Bruce’s response to his original response to 9.11.01… the "new song" of the tour. On first listen an intense, somewhat angry sounding song. I hope it shows up on the new studio album.

Let The Bad Air Out: Really intense, and a good chance to let an amazing guitar part show itself. With audience backing vocals.

They Call It Democracy: Another intense, brooding acoustic version. Everytime I hear this live I always wonder if anyone besides me hears through the lyric to the gorgeous music beneath.

Justice: Angry. Similar to the benefit concert version he did at Air Canada Center. [Issues/Benefit Concerts]

Wondering Where The Lions Are: Not angry. Audience loved it, knew almost all the words. He added some really cool little filigrees to the guitar part in the last chorus.

Last Night Of The World: Another audience favorite; lots of singing along.

World Of Wonders (or W.O.W. as it appears on the setlist): The other personal highlight of the show. Similar to the capoe’d acoustic version he’s been doing, but hearing it live was something else. This lent credence to my theory that BC just exists on an entirely separate musical plane than the rest of us. End of 2nd set.

Waiting For A Miracle: 1st encore song. He seemed in really good spirits and so did the song.

Peggy’s Kitchen Wall: 2nd encore. One of my least favorite BC songs, but that’s OK, the audience just went nuts and sang right along.

Down To The Delta: 3rd encore. This must have been BC’s ploy to blind us into dazed submission before turning to face the cold dark Detroit night. He left on a high note.

Thanks, Dave

The Chicago and Madison show reports come to us by way of Doug Stacey. Setlists with links to all the songs, are here: Chicago and Madison.

8 March 2002
Chicago, Illinois, Vic Theater
A couple of the speaking highlights (he seemed pretty chatty, often saying things back to the crowd and mumbling things off mic).
After he played the second song, "Lovers In A Dangerous Time", he stepped up to the mic and said "you know what I was thinking about while I played that song?". My first thought, after "no" was "how good is this"??
Bruce at the St. Paul show. Photo courtesy of Murray Harrsion.
Photos courtesy of Murray Harrison.
Taken at the 10 March, St Paul, MN. show.
More photos can be viewed on
Marie Westhaver's site.
He went on to tell a rather lengthy story about a benefit he was invited to play in Kosovo by Vanessa Redgrave. He said he was scheduled to play a set but as the night wore on it kept getting cut down and cut down as time ran short until finally, Lovers was the only song he played. The reason the show was running late was because of Vanessa Redgrave. She apparently spoke at length between each artist. He said you couldn't blame her at first because she did organize the show for the refugees who were coming back to their homeland but that it just became comical after awhile. She stayed on the stage the whole night. She'd introduce someone then retire to her throne up on the stage and just sit there. He said a friend of his, Leslie, was in the audience and said that a Kosovoan (that can't be right!) next to them said (and here Bruce used an eastern European accent you'd have to hear for yourself) "I'm beginning to think this show is not for Albanians, this show is for Vanessa Redgrave!" Then he said, "anyway, that's what I was thinking about as I played that song". Not often you get that kind of insight into what's going on in his head on stage. He's obviously able to pound out that beautiful music without having to concentrate at all!

9 March 2002
Madison, Wisconsin, Barrymore Theater
Bruce sold out the lovely old Barrymore Theater in Madison Saturday night, a venue that holds just under 1000 people. Another great show in my not-so-unbiased opinion. The crowd in Madison was much better behaved when compared to Chicago the night before. I can't remember which song (Tokyo I think) but on one Bruce slowly faded out by playing softer and softer and the crowed didn't make a peep until he finished it with a whisper and in Chicago he would have been drowned out as soon as he started the fade.
Bruce at the St. Paul show. Photo courtesy of Murray Harrsion.
Photos courtesy of Murray Harrison.
Taken at the 10 March, St Paul show.
More photos can be viewed on
Marie Westhaver's site.
One interesting commentary. Someone yelled "nice strap" and Bruce responded almost immediately with "you're into straps are ya?". Which received a big laugh. He went on to comment something like this: "that reminds me a long time ago when I was in a band, in 1968, we played all sorts of music. Psychedelic music, band music, whatever. I liked the psychedelic music because I could play the guitar. I used to drop down on my knees and play and even play with my teeth until one time a piece of my tooth flew out into the audience. That was the last time playing with my teeth! But I used to fantasize about getting a girl to join the band and when I was down on my knees playing she would whip me. We never found a girl though, at least not one we wanted in the band."

Doug Stacey

The next several shows are documented on our Set Lists page. The next report comes to us from Gary Roshke.

19 March 2002
San Francisco, CA, The Fillmore
The complete setlist is here.

The Fillmore was an absolutely perfect venue for Bruce. Tables were brought in to fill up the floor and the chandeliers which hung overhead and velvety curtains all around, lent a perfect, intimate night club feel to the venue.

Everything sounded magical, delivered with intensity and complete passion. Bruce appeared to be totally relaxed (owing perhaps to a good workout on his bike that afternoon around the formidable hills of San Francisco), in playful spirits and entirely warmed up from the moment he hit the stage.

I have seen Bruce many times in the last 14 years, by himself and with the various bands he has toured with. The show a couple of evenings ago at the Fillmore ranks among the very best.

Bruce at the St. Paul show. Photo courtesy of Murray Harrsion.
Photos courtesy of Murray Harrison.
Taken at the 10 March, St Paul show.
More photos can be viewed on
Marie Westhaver's site.
Who's to say just what it was, but Bruce seemed in absolutely top form. I can't help but believe that his "new" Manzer Guitar, or in actuality, his two new "Manzer" Guitars, are perhaps the finest instruments he has ever played; I'd certainly be curious to have Bruce himself weigh in on that one. Not only are they both incredibly gorgeous guitars that sound rich and beautiful, but Bruce's extra ordinary playing and technique seem to just fuse and marry perfectly with these instruments such that the sum of all the parts adds up to an artist who is playing, singing and sounding perhaps better than he ever has before, truly at the top of his game.

The extended intros, beautiful, masterful, complex and exquisite, that began the show opening "Dream Like Mine," later in the first set "The Trouble With Normal," the jam in the middle of "Tibetan Side Of Town," and then opened the second set, and which slid into "Rumors Of Glory" and then later in the second set, sliding into "World Of Wonders" were all astoundingly incredible; mind-bendingly rich and complex. One cannot be completely awed by majesty of Bruce's playing. Words somehow seem woefully inadequate in their ability to capture the sheer beauty of this man's playing.

The other point that absolutely needs to be made, very loudly so that Bruce and whoever else that needs to hear it does indeed hear it, is that one of these performances needs to be released at the end of this tour. There is no way that this tour and the exquisite music created can go unreleased for infinite future enjoyment. When was the last time Bruce released an solo acoustic live performance? Circles in the Stream, 1977. I think 25 years is long enough to wait for the next live acoustic performance !!!!

Gary Roshke

We have 2 reports from the Portland shows. One from Travis Adams, a guitarist, who gives us a unique "guitar" review and the second from Lisa Morrison.

21 March 2002
Portland, OR, The Aladdin Theatre
The complete setlist is here.
As a guitarist, I am going to try to give a "guitar" review and try and help any of you trying to play some of Bruce's songs. I have played many of his songs from the Ottawa books, but I still think the live notes may be helpful to some of you. I didn't pick out tunings, but I did right down capo positions and kept the songs in order, so if you know the tuning for Lovers then you know the tuning for A Dream Like Mine etc. So here is the set list with my guitar notes:

First set - All 9 songs were performed on 1 guitar.
A Dream Like Mine - No capo
Lovers In A Dangerous Time - Same tuning, no capo
Anything, Anytime, Anywhere - Same tuning, no capo
Trouble With Normal - Same tuning, no capo
When You Give It Away - Same tuning, no capo
Tibetan Side Of Town - Same tuning, no capo
Then Bruce tuned the low E string back up from D to E.
Tokyo - No capo
Waiting For A Miracle - Same tuning, no capo
Open - A brand new song. I didn't get the words, but Bruce said "This is so new that you are on the second Humans to hear it."
Rumours Of Glory - Same guitar as the first set, likely retuned, capo 2
My Beat - played on a 12 string with a capo on the first fret. I don't know if Bruce has this guitar tuned down half a step to relieve neck tension and is therefore using the capo to bring the guitar back up to tune or not.
Put It In Your Heart - Same 12 string, same tuning and capo
Let The Bad Air Out - Same 12 string, same tuning
Call It Democracy - Drop D Tuning, no capo
Justice - Drop D Tuning, no capo
Wondering Where The Lions Are - Drop D, capo 2. Bruce uses his thumb to finger the base notes with his left hand unlike the transcription from the Ottawa books.
Last Night Of The World - Capo 3
World Of Wonders - Capo on either 6 or 5, Tuning didn't change from Last Night Of The World.

Encore 1 Pacing The Cage - Capo 4
Peggy's Kitchen Wall - No capo and people in Portland should never ever ever clap. I felt so bad for Bruce. I swear they were still listening to Lions and clapping. It was truly sad.
All The Ways I Want You - Capo 2, standard tuning I think.

Encore 2 Down to the Delta - No capo, not sure on the tuning.

So that is my guitar report.
I also wrote down some other interesting tidbits that happened. Someone requested Feast of Fools and someone else shouted out "No!". Bruce liked that, and commented that that may have been the first time that had ever happened. It reminded him of a story about riding his bike through Toronto. Bruce pointed out that he has lived in Toronto for more than 20 years, so he is a pretty recognizable figure. He recalled riding through the "art" district of Toronto where all the clubs are one sunny afternoon and he suddenly heard this man scream out from the side of the road "I hate your music!". Bruce thought that was great, because he didn't have to turn all shy like when someone comes up to him and tells him how much they love his music.

Bruce commented that he spent a good part of the day biking around Portland, and that he was happy to be on the other side of the river. He was happy to learn there is a whole other part of Portland. I guess we all take this for granted, but Bruce had apparently never been on the east side of the Willamette river.

Travis Adams

Portland - part 2, by Lisa Morrison

The Aladdin Theater in southeast Portland is a great place to see Bruce solo/acoustic. It's a small theater, perfect for a musician and his instrument (and adoring fans).

Wind gusts of up to (I am guessing) 45 mph (seemed like 60) buffeted the area throughout the day and into the evening. But those harsh winds did not stop Bruce fans from forming a ring around the theater as they waited patiently to get good seats to the sold-out, general admission show.

The show began promptly after an announcement that Bruce would be back in Portland on July 5 for a zoo concert with Shawn Colvin. Tickets go on sale May 10. This is an awesome venue -- he played there a couple of years ago. And the show is after July 4 -- the official last day of the rainy season here in the Rose City -- so it should be perfect weather for picnicking and playing.

Bruce told a number of stories to accompany his songs, and just sort of talked back and forth with the audience a lot. He chatted about taking his bike earlier in the day around the eastside of the city (in that wind!), and how he enjoyed the chance to see this part of town. He usually plays venues across the Willamette River (downtown).

Here's the best part: Bruce played a song he described as only having been played "once before in front of humans." It was a very nice, rolling sort of tune that reminded me of riding a bike or a horse on a rolling plain. I think the name of the tune was "Open" and I caught of few of the lyrics:

Bruce at the St. Paul show. Photo courtesy of Murray Harrsion.
Photos courtesy of Murray Harrison.
Taken at the 10 March, St Paul show.
More photos can be viewed on
Marie Westhaver's site.
I never live in (with?) balance
I always wake up nervous
Like I'm (??) sideways
I hold my breath forever

I never live with balance
I've always liked the notion
I feel that endless hunger
For energy and motion

I gotta give a lot of props to someone for ending a show with an instrumental. But Bruce has got the cojones and the talent to pull it off. I sat in amazement listening as he finger-picked through Down To The Delta. It still baffles me how one man can make one instrument sound like that.

All in all, I would say this Bruce was spot-on last night. He is a man who continues to stretch and grow his creativity and his talent, and it shined in this solo performance.

Lisa Morrison

~Bobbi Wisby

News Index

This page is part of The Cockburn Project, a unique website that exists to document the work of Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Bruce Cockburn. The Project archives self-commentary by Cockburn on his songs and music, and supplements this core part of the website with news, tour dates, and other current information.