Bruce Cockburn plays McCarter Theater in Princeton, NJ
Concert Review by Bob Ryan

News Index

Bruce Cockburn has started touring again, this review if from the first gig of this tour supporting the album Small Source of Comfort. Here's a list of upcoming Tour Dates.

22 February 2013 -

Next month will be 25 years since I saw my first Bruce concert. I was 25 years old and Bruce was 42. Now Bruce is 67 and still worth seeing in concert. Amazingly enough his voice still sounds great and his guitar playing is impeccable. No one does more with just a guitar and voice than Bruce.

This short review is a little biased since I was blessed with a first row ticket, about 10 feet from Bruce. I cannot imagine not enjoying a Cockburn concert from this seat.

Bruce came out dressed quite formally - a white shirt and dark gray suit with both buttons buttoned, with a pale green tie. He seemed rested and happy to be there, talking to the audience a few times during the show. The most informative thing he said was that his most recent album [ Small Source of Comfort ] was a couple years old and that it will be a while before there is another one. His efforts have been going towards writing his book, which is sometimes difficult. He said he is 2 years late in turning in the first draft.

I didn't write down the setlist but I remember most of them.

  1. Lovers
  2. Child of the Wind
  3. Mighty Trucks
  4. Bohemian 3 Step (+ 2 or 3 other instrumentals throughout the show)
  5. Iris Of The World
  6. Strange Waters
  7. Boundless

  8. Pacing the Cage
  9. Give It Away
  10. Look How Far
  11. Lions
  12. Put It In Your Heart
  13. Arrows Of Light

  14. Call It Democracy
  15. Soul of a Man

Every song was solid. Bruce flubbed a lyric on Iris and Strange Waters but it didn't ruin the song in any way. After seeing the recent documentary where Bruce is very critical of himself after shows I felt bad for him.

It is hard to pick highlights because I completely enjoyed everything. But Mighty Trucks, Boundless, Arrows, and Soul of a Man were wonderful.

The recent incarnation of God Bless The Children is amazing. It has a dark, brooding quality that is different from the album [ Night Vision ] and Circles version. I was captivated.

Bruce is refusing to age. His work continues to be a gift to us.


Here's a YouTube of Comets of Kandahar from this show uploaded by MrLeondo:

direct link:

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.