The Speechless Tour Show Reports

News Index

22 October 2005 - The Speechless tour has began with dates on the east coast. The CockburnProject has received reviews, photos, and setlists for several of these shows. This article combines some of that information.

Bruce Cockburn Photos by Frizzbean -

17 October 2005 - Ram's Head - Annapolis, MD, USA.
An anonymous reader has sent us the setlist for this show, that another reader, Ruth Alice White also attended. There are 2 brand new songs listed, Beautiful Creation[this song is now called Beautiful Creatures] and Life's Short, Call Me,[this song is now called Life Short Call Now, as is the new CD.] hopefully some one will send us more information about them. Also noted was a gorgeous new Manzer 12 string.

Ruth Alice White was also present the next night, 18 October 2005, for the Birchmere show in Arlington Va.
This is the setlist with comments :(* indicates an instrumental song)

*Rouler Sa Bosse ("To Knock About The World"), Bruce asks the audience, "Did I get the clarinet part or did I".
Going to the Country, Me: I am melting from the sunshine in his voice. He sounds so much better live.

Bruce says: "You can't get much earlier than this!"

Introducing the next set of songs, Bruce states: they are the first of what I discovered were many road songs. I did a concert for the Canadian auto workers. Anticipating a drinking and partying group not concerned with the subtleties of what I did, I tried to think of songs involving automobiles.

Reading "On the Road" in high school I was captivated by the notion of perpetual motion. It is an apt metaphor for the spiritual road we are all on… (and a reference to the downsides of the heady approach of the beat generation) – After a while the road changed (my personal road changed) ….that didn't change my perception of it. I'll do a couple of songs that are road related…This is from a few years later.

Silver Wheels, Mighty Trucks of Midnight

Bruce Cockburn Photos by Frizzbean -

Guy in the audience yells out: Bruce did you enjoy our beautiful ay in DC today? Did you get out on a bike ride? Bruce replies that he did get out on a bike ride, but says he is tired of so many beautiful days. "I like it (when it is) dark angry pissing rain when I get to wear my other clothes."

Bruce tells us he has another album out called "Speechless". A good title for instrumental pieces. Fans have been asking for it over the years. There are 3 new pieces. "I'm not big on nostalgia. It (nostalgia) goes with those sunny days and shit."

*King Kong Goes to Tallahassee, Wondering Where The Lions Are, Bruce encourages us to ramp up audience echo of the refrain "wondering where the lions are" saying "don't lose it now" and at the end saying "nicely done".

Let the Bad Air Out, "I had a fantasy. Sometime I'll try it..When I am singing those silly high notes all the women could go: Open Up the Windows and all the men could go: Let the Bad Air Out." Immediately the audience urges him to try it out now but Bruce presses on.

If A Tree Falls, Me - When Bruce said Flood Plains for an instant my bones froze. I agree with the reviewer of last night's Ramshead concert – so passionate and timely.

My neighbor whispers to me, this is like being at a Springsteen concert with the audience yelling BRUUUUCE. Yeah I had noticed this at least 2 songs earlier but it has been getting louder after each song. This crowd is really rocking.

Bruce - Picking up a shiny black guitar Bruce says "we are suckers for those shiny things…I confess I was". An audience member yells out (about the guitar) "it is like All the Diamonds in the World". *Elegy, Wait No More. Bruce Cockburn Photos by Frizzbean -


Bruce - "Thanks for not leaving" *Water into Wine, All the Ways I Want You, Put It in Your Heart
, a song about Osama bin Laden, not about a relationship.

"Last year I had the occasion to go to Bagdad for a while to see if anything we heard here was even remotely true. I've been in a war zone before but never been in a city that is occupied…basically people live the best they can as anyone lives the best they can…I got a ride in on a UN plane to Bagdad airport. (The original airport must have been destroyed). There is a sign that says Bagdad International Airport) but only 6 airplanes and they are all military planes except ours. Coming in on the plane is nose-down to avoid gunfire – but you got a great view of the city that way.

A Kurd was sitting beside me. He was telling me about the Kurdish political party (he is in). He was going back after finishing breaking up with his wife in Belgium. He asked me: Have you ever been divorced? and When does the pain stop? I said it takes time.

He is going into the fray much more than I and he's thinking about his divorce. Life is the same. But there is more to worry about if you have to worry about kids getting blown up or kidnapped. This is a song that came out of that trip, This is Baghdad.

Bruce Cockburn Photos by Frizzbean -
This is a collective effort that came out of a band sound check (on the last tour). Fellow band members are co-writers - Julie Wolf, Ben Riley and Steve Lucas, Tell The Universe.

Afterwards someone yells: Are these songs going to be on a best ever of our current administration's album? Bruce says "You've got to ask them…we haven't been approached about it yet."

Last Night of the World, Last night someone in Annapolis was asking for this song. I didn't do it (then), so if you are here tonight (here it is), and if not maybe next time.

*End of All Rivers, This is another song from the new album. It was an encore on the Band tour. Some of you may have heard it. It sounds a little different now that it is just me.

Me: I feel like I am sitting in church and wonder how the song evokes this feeling.

Messenger Wind
Bruce Cockburn Photos by Frizzbean -

If I Had A Rocket Launcher, Me - I am watching a young man sitting nearby. (I ask his age afterwards and find he is a high school junior). I've been wondering if he will connect with Bruce's music. Now I see to my dismay that his eyes are wide and fixed, his head motionless intensely listening. Suddenly I am so sad he is hearing this song…I don't know this boy. Well he is a young man, not a boy… But I think he is too young to hear this…to young to be at risk of being involved in an ugly war… He is not my child, and not a child at all, yet something in me cries out children should not hear this song… I am so so sad this song is so timely today. I wish Bruce had played Call it Democracy instead.

All the Diamonds, I heard this title called out a few times, and I haven't played this in a while.. bear with me.
Anything Anytime Anywhere
Bruce: "God bless you all…Thanks again".

Ruth has also written about the show on her blog: Bruce at Birchmere and More on the Birchmere.

Somerville Photos Online thanks to Frizbean.

20 October 2005 - Somerville -Boston, MA
You can access the setlist here, thanks to Frizzbean, who also reported that Bruce was definately not feeling well, and he told us he had a cold he talked about a review from early in his career where the reporter said he sounded like a goose passing wind! He had 3 layers of clothing on! Must've been sweating out that cold.

Audience didn't push for a second encore as his voice was getting rough.

Bruce Cockburn Photos by Frizzbean - Another reader sent us this equipment tally: He had his typical collection of guitars: 2 Manzers, the resonator and the Guild 12 string. All the guitars ran 2 chords - the soundman said that one output goes straight to the PA with a little compression. From what I could see it was a dbx 1680. The other chord goes into his effects chain. I couldn't get close enough to ID everything but I saw a Boss DD-6 delay, Boss tuner, Line 6 DL4 delay modeler and Line 6 MM4 modulation modeler. There were 2 other pedals, but unfortunately I couldn't make them out. He also had an effects rack behind him that a Nanoverb and some other full-size multi-effect processor. He used this processor for the delay effects on End of all Rivers.

Somerville Photos Online thanks to Frizzbean.

21 October 2005 - Memorial Hall Theatre - Shelbourne Falls, MA.
Frizzbean attended this concert as well, and here are a few of the comments made about some of the songs:

Put It in Your Heart, he said the woman he was going with at the time, upon hearing just the words to this song when he was writing it, said "you're finally getting it". He said - it's not about you & me - it's about Osama!

Bruce Cockburn Photos by Frizzbean -
He talked about working with Linda Panetta, whose photos were once again on display in the lobby - quite a large number of them this time. How much he admires her and what she does and how committed she is and how enjoyable it was to work with her. Went on to say that sometimes you meet people who are very committed but are such assholes that you don't even want to associate with them! Linda's website -

Bruce was still under the weather - I thought more so than the night before in Somerville. After one of the songs (Tell the Universe or Rocket Launcher?) someone yelled "tell us how you really feel" and he said he actually didn't feel well at all. Someone thanked him for being such a trooper.

The hall was small - I think it holds 400-something. Audience was certainly appreciative of him but there didn't seem to be as many comments from the audience as the night before. I thought the sound was amazing, better than Somerville, but my husband thought Somerville was better. All in all, another great show. And a big Thank You to Bruce for going on with the show while obviously not feeling well. Get well soon.

Frizzbean's Photos from the Shelbourne Falls show. (You may need a Yahoo id to access this page.)

setlist for Shelbourne Falls

~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.