Wednesday, May 30, 2007


CD in Play: Morphine, Good

On the 23rd of this month I saw Björk for the first time. It was a good show and I am glad I was able to attend. The venue was perfect for a performer like Björk, it was outdoors at Deer Lake Park in Burnaby. (Vancouver's neighbouring municipality) I haven't really listened to her music in the last couple of years, but still like it. I'll probably pick up Volta this weekend.
Björk had a brass section, all female, who also sang back up on some songs. Arrangement-wise, the songs didn't vary too much from the albums they were from, however they weren't carbon copies either. I would never expect Björk to go up on stage with her music completely canned, though her material could easily be performed that way. The opening act wasn't enjoyable and best forgotten. There is a gigOgrapghy online for this tour and past tours, the link to Deer Lake's show is here. I believe the photo is by someone named Vasho Pakar.

Set List
01. Earth Intruders
02. Hunter
03. Pagan Poetry
04. I See Who You Are
05. Unison
06. Dull Flame Of Desire
07. All Is Full Of Love
08. Pleasure Is All mine
09. I Miss You (ft. Einar Örn on trumpet)
10. Army Of Me
11. Innocence
12. Wanderlust
13. Mother Heroic
14. Bachelorette
15. Hyperballad
16. Pluto
17. Oceania
18. Declare Independence

The Police were on the 28th and it has been a long time coming. Last time they played in Vancouver I tried to go but wasn't going to be able to make it as I lived too far away and was too young to drive myself. I figured the Amnesty International show in 1985 was as close I was going to get to seeing them live. The Police were a big band for me when I discovered them in 1981. I took a lot of flack at first for liking a "girl band", but then everyone began to acknowledge that they were also good musicians. (even the metal-heads had to grudgingly respect drummer Stewart Copeland)
My old friend Alex was sceptical about The Police being good and others had termed it the "Grandpa Show", which is unfair. The members of the band have looked after themsleves and are still all there, both as people and as musicians. And what musicians they are. I wasn't wild about some of the arrangements they came up with for the songs. Aside from Sting's voice not quite having the same range he used to have, (thus they had to transpose some keys down) the band was adamant about keeping it down to the three of them and avoiding sampling. Some songs really suffer from the lack of keyboards and other sounds, like "Spirits in the Material World" and "Invisible Sun". The keys are absolutely integral to "Spirits..." just as keys and piano really fills out "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic": the songs sound a bit empty without them.
Other arrangements were a bit clunky and didn't work too entirely well. The material from their first two albums are easy to pull off live, but the later doesn't fare so well with the barebones approach. My favourite songs of the evening were "Murder by Numbers" and "Walking in Your Footsteps". The re-arrangement of "Murder..." worked the best out of any song that night, while "...Footsteps" was perhaps the only song allowed to have extra-samples to fill things out.
Anyhow, good shows all the way around.

Set List
01. Message in a Bottle
02. Synchronicity 2
03. Spirits in the Material World
04. Voices Inside My Head
05. When the World is Running Down...
06. Don't Stand So Close To Me
07. Driven to Tears
08. Walking on the Moon
09. Born in the `50's (I think, I don't have Outlandos d'Amour )
10. Every Little Thing She Does is Magic
11. Wrapped Around Your Finger
12. The Bed's Too Big Without You
13. Murder By Numbers
14. De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da
15. Invisible Sun16. Walking in Your Footsteps
17. Can't Stand Losing You
18. Regatta de Blanc
19. Roxanne

1st encore
20. King of Pain
21. So Lonley
22. Every Breath Your You Take

2nd Encore
23. Next To You


Blogger Thoth Harris said...

You saw Bjork? I am jealous. Maybe I'll have to meet Philip K. Dick. That'll make you mad. 'course he's dead, but when did that ever stop anyone? Ever heard heard of table-tapping?

31 May, 2007 08:01  
Blogger Magnus said...

It ake me mad, just kind of creeped out.
I had actually intended to write more about both artists, but everytime I sat down to type the post up it would be one interuption after another. If I gave up and did nothing, nothing would happen. As soon as I touched the keyboard (or even a pen for that matter) I was flooded with inane and periodically ridiculous inquiries.

31 May, 2007 09:08  
Anonymous geosomin said...

You got to see Bjork....I am very jealous.

01 June, 2007 19:12  
Blogger Magnus said...

Ha! hahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

02 June, 2007 03:59  
Blogger Geosomin said...

Ours was quite similar except no murder by numbers or born in the 50's...that they played into and out of Regatta de Blanc in the middle od Message In a Bottle was one of the highlights of life as of late. It's my favorite song by them far and I yelled and hopped along like a grinning fool...I never thought they'd play it live. I have fond memories of driving about in my first car with that album on the stereo and yelling along to it on hot summer nights driving around. Even J who isn't a big Police fan really enjoyed the show.

Seems you got a couple more songs than us...I agree about the lack of synths being a bit obvious in some of the tracks. They did do a lot of alternations from the album tracks and jammed out a few the joy of my ears. Maybe that's why we got a few less, as some of the songs (like Roxanne) weaved in and out for 10 minutes or more. I was worried they wouldbn't be able to keep up such a high intensity, but for the mostpart, it was great. I'll post about it some day soon.
Just wanted to say hi...

04 June, 2007 13:51  
Blogger Magnus said...

We only got a snippet of Regatta de Blanc during Can't Stand Losing You. It was like a teaser so I didn't include it. They jammed on Murder by Numbers, which led to it being my favourite of the evening.

04 June, 2007 16:22  

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