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.
01. Earth Intruders
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.
01. Message in a Bottle
05. When the World is Running Down...
07. Driven to Tears
08. Walking on the Moon
10. Every Little Thing She Does is Magic
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
21. So Lonley
22. Every Breath Your You Take
23. Next To You