Friday night we went to go see Laurie Anderson. Clearly this is not a timely post, but as you may have seen, I got sidetracked the last few days.
I’ve lost count at exactly how many times I’ve seen one of her performances. I know it is probably at 7 or 8, but not sure which. If it is the latter, I do believe that pushes her to the front of the artist I have ever seen the most live.
On her Homeland tour (this one), it was the first time I have seen her with additional musicians. I did not see her Home of the Brave tour, where she had a full band, and all other times it has been her and her alone.
It was also my least favourite time seeing her. She wasn’t bad by any means, but the venue was ok and the mix was muddy. I almost have to assume that they did no soundcheck. There were a few times where she was clear, but more often than not much was garbled. Frustrating.
And it is frustrating because she is SO good. Not just at performance, but at what she has to say. Sometimes dead serious. Sometimes with a slightly humourous bent. If you don’t know her, Anderson does not sing as much as talk. She has perfect diction – which is just great (and when the sound guy doesn’t fuck it up). She has one album which I would consider singing (Strange Angels), and with this performance she sang mostly everything.
The odd thing with Anderson is, even when she’s out promoting something (which she isn’t), I’ve never seen her do material that I have heard before. And conversely, I’ve never seen material she’s performed show up on a future disk. Personally, I love that.
This material was darker than her previous shows. Topical for sure. If you have eight minutes to spare, this is one of the best things she did the other night. It is possibly the best protest song ever….and it’s got her kind of whimsy.
After the performance, she came out to the lobby to mingle with the paying customers. I would have loved to talk with her, but I wasn’t fighting that crowd…..and what a crowd. More Cosby-sweater wearing men than you can shake a stick at. No one I expected to see.
Laurie emerged in a red sweatshirt. Not black? I have never seen her out of black or white. I snapped some pics, but they were all horrid, so why embarrass myself or her by posting them?
Song by: Laurie Anderson