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The Cockburn Project has received many great reports from fans on the shows from the YOU'VE NEVER SEEN EVERYTHING tour. These two come direct to us from David Dreves and Nancy Bouwma. The photos used in this report are from the 19 July 2003 Madison, WI. show at the Barrymore Theatre, donated to the Project by Doug Stacey.

14 December 2003 - Bruce at Park West, Chicago, Illinois 19 November 2003. Bruce Cockburn - Barrymore Theatre - photo: Doug Stacey
"...never underestimate a man with a guitar and something to say. Ladies and gentleman, Bruce Cockburn".

With those words of introduction hanging in the air, out came Bruce, with a smile. Julie, Ben, and Steve in place, Bruce managing a quick check of his effects pedals and closing his eyes, we were off. With the restrained yet passioned quizzing of '
if a tree falls'....I knew and grinned at my own surrender to this flight over Bruce’s' observations, private musings, and not so private indignations.

A woman shouted Franklin after the first song, which gave Bruce a chuckle and he said back, "You're giving away your demographic". Then explaining to the rest of us, that he wrote a song for a children's show and it was coming back to haunt him.

Tried and Tested began and everything started to flow, the band was warmed up and the "front of house" sound dialed in. Lovers in a Dangerous Time was a great surprise, the audience relished its return and the band started sliding into "romp" mode. Mighty Trucks and the upgraded version of Burn put more distance under all our wings. Our point of departure was now a memory.

Bruce Cockburn - Barrymore Theatre - photo: Doug Stacey
Now, would you believe we have Jerry Fall-well to partially thank for Put it in Your Heart, or better put, Rev. Jerry's post 9/11 declaration of why he thought tragedy had happened. Bruce spoke of the post 9/11 glut of news montage, "in your face" style of repeat images roaring at him on the television and stopping at a channel where that wasn't happening only to hear Falwell's now infamous quote. Bruce went on about the rage that that quote had birthed in him, realizing that wasn't the answer either. His rage at one idiocy wasn't any better than what had stirred it up in the first place.
(Ladies and gentlemen, if you'll look out the of the airplane to the left, you'll remember why we're here, why we sing, why we remember.)

My Beat anchored things down and gave us a brief respite. Images of community, and resettling went by our windows, (lighter fare). Below Bruce's old Gibson guitar amp, firmly adhered to the face plate on a crate read the words, "Somewhere in Texas a village is missing its idiot". That theme carried over while relating that someone recently sent him a Nostrodamus Quatrain that said that at the beginning of the new millennium a village idiot would take the throne, and if that's what his normally obscure writings had really meant, then he was one really hip guy. Bruce also said that he found it curious Nostrodamus's name is the masculine form of "Our Lady". Thus began, All Our Dark Tomorrows.

Julie Wolf - Barrymore Theatre - photo: Doug Stacey
Trickle Down featured one of several "middle bits" where Julie got to show her stuff. It was good, it fit, it belonged, it was the new co-pilot doing barrel rolls. (Julie, if you’re listening, you ROCK on Hammond....)

Bruce continued on with material from YNSE, a brief intermission inserted somewhere here, (see set list).

Now even though Bruce sticks close to his set lists, there are some that always have a few titles to offer him, and at one point when two or three suggestions went out in his direction, he grinned and exclaimed "OR!", and the band flew us over Cajun country for Night Train.

Now, having understood that the song, You've Never Seen Everything was the communally tagged 'heavy', I stayed alert for, and during its delivery. What struck me odd at its conclusion was the generic applause, as though it was just another song in Bruce's collection. Maybe that's what it's becoming for some. During the song it sounded as though Julie and Ben were struggling with its atmosphere, as though it was to heavy, or bulky to carry gracefully. Bruce's narration and observation of "...bad pressure comin' down....", was flawless and scary, yet something behind it didn't click, and that may have robbed the spectators from its true impact, its true weight.

Bruce Cockburn - Barrymore Theatre - photo: Doug Stacey
Bruce relieved any remaining darkness with a slightly revamped version of Morning Star, and the celebratory Last Night.

And then they were gone our view.......for a moment.

Returning, Julie sang All the Ways I Want You, with Bruce's blessing and backing. Very moving, very powerful.

A rousing and rowdy Stolen Land, with the last of a number of the evening's view of Bruce's electric lead guitar ramblings.

Celestial Horses brought us in view of the ground again, and we were landing as our hearts looked up at the stars with the poet’s guidance. And then it was over and we were earthbound, or were we....

"Lord of the Starfields, Ancient of Days......." ~David Dreves 23 November 2003

14 December 2003 - Bruce at the Empire Theatre, Belleville, Ontario 5 December 2003. The Empire Theatre in Belleville, Ontario is a beautifully restored venue. It was like walking into the lobby of a theatre from the 1950's. Highly polished, with a grand entrance way and even a concession stand complete with popcorn and peanuts (perhaps even Good 'n Plenty's) The theatre itself seats 800 in comfortable, brushed velvet seats. We took our front row seats, stretched out our legs and waited for the show to begin.

Bruce Cockburn - Barrymore Theatre - photo: Doug Stacey
The crowd was buzzing with recounts of the last Bruce show they'd seen. We were looking forward to seeing how things had changed over the course of the tour, since we had caught the first show in Perth in May, another in Kingston in July and then this one.

As soon as Bruce took the stage the crowd showed their appreciation for his mere presence. He thanked everyone for taking the time to come out and set out to make it well worth everyone's effort.

Yes, I think we were quite spoiled to say the least! There were alot of singers in the audience (us included) that knew all the words and joined in beautifully on Burn, Night of the World and of course Lions.

The new song, Tell the Universe, drew sustained applause from a very appreciative audience. Bruce introduced it by saying, "This is aimed at all the Bushes, Rumsfelds and Suddams ...all those people that think there's not enough pain around." Tell the Universe, is played on the charango.

The sound in this place was amazing, we were completely surrounded with rich, full sound. Personally, I think that Julie Wolf and Bruce are blending much more completely than at the beginning of the tour. Her additions on songs like Night Train and Morningstar certainly make it fresh for us fans that have heard these songs a hundred times live.

Bruce seemed happy with the audience response and looks no worse for wear over the course of this tour. The energy and love of the music are as strong as ever. ~Nancy Bouwma

Here's the setlist.

~Bobbi Wisby

Previous FROM THE ROAD articles, Reports from the You've Never Seen Everything tour


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    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.