Friday, February 22, 2008

Laurie Anderson: Homeland Tour 2007, October 22nd, Sydney Opera House, NSW

Most musicians tour new material to sell a newly released album, but Laurie Anderson does the reverse. She tours the new material to prepare for the recording of the album. Instead of the concert reproducing the album, the album is a memento of music perfected through performance. (And, already, this is highly polished material.)

The fact that Laurie Anderson fans approach her concerts expecting new and previously unheard material is proof that her shows are closer to performance art -- to theatre even -- than rock concert.

In fact, the only CD being promoted on this tour was "Big Science", recently remastered and re-released after a quarter of a century.

Anderson's "Homeland" contains some of her lushest and most lyrical songs -- up there with her third studio set Strange Angels from 1989 -- but it also contains some of her most political material this side of 'O Superman', the very first hit. But it's not so much propaganda as sad satire.

Anderson has a soaring -- and somewhat bent -- imagination. Whether she's singing parables of life before the earth had formed (when billions of birds ruled the sky) or about the godlike creatures on our billboards or the ghostly presence of her father beside her, she captivates with her voice and her dreamy skill with words.

Musically, the new material is simple and spacious, mostly strings and synths performing uncluttered, falling figures. This culminates -- after a dozen songs over ninety-odd minutes -- with some majestic bass chords and a flock of violins circling over our heads in vast formations.

The encore on this night took the audience by surprise. What more could be added? Anderson played the second great hit from the first set, 'Let X=X'.

Recorded from the 6th row, close to the right speaker stack with Churchsound Cardioid Microphone System STC-9000
> Sony M1 DAT recorder > M Audio Delta Audiophile via S/PDIF > Cooledit Pro 2.0 > DVD (.flac)

Laurie Anderson words and music, vocals, one of a kind violin/viola, keyboards and samples
Eyvind Kang (viola)
Jamshied Sharifi (keyboards)
Skuli Sverrisson (bass, guitars)

Disk 1

01. The Lark
02. Why Do People Hate Us
03. Transitory Life
04. Only An Expert
05. Maybe If I Fall
06. Short Fall
07. Tuvan Loop
08. The Underwear Gods
09. Out Of The Heart
10. Calling Them Up
11. Perfect
12. Pictures And Things (Male Voice)
with short musicians intro

Disk 2

13. Bodies In Motion
14. Sky Flying Birds
15. Lost Art Of Conversation
16. No Man's Land
17 Let X=X It Tango




Artist infos at
Fan forum at

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