babel-list review of 7/24/96 concert, oostende, belgium

[contributed by Yves Deplasse]

Three weeks after the two Paris shows, Patti was in my area again, playing in a medium-sized venue of about 2000. Before the concert, Patti looked rather tired; but once she had climbed on stage, it had all disappeared. The performance itself was more electric than in Paris ; even the more acoustic songs sounded violent -- I don't mean aggressive, but full of energy. (Maybe powerful would be a better word.) I think Tom Verlaine has found a better place; not only is his sound (a bit) louder, but he played on most of the songs, to the detriment of Oliver Ray. Jackson was there, too, for "Smoke on the Water" and "Rock N Roll Nigger." Patti introduced him as "mijn zoon" (dutch for "my son").

Even though I don't like the Prince song, it took a different dimension last night when she incorporated snippets from "Ain't It Strange" (with Lenny on backing vocals) in the middle of "When Doves Cry," before what I think was a free improvisation, then back to "Doves." It gave me a strange feeling when I heard her sing "don't you see when you're looking at me/that i'll never end transcend." I couldn't catch the lyrics for "When Doves Cry," so I can't decide whether it's linked with this song, or if it came just like this, or if it was a address to the audience.

Later on, she sang (not read) "December" (aka "Perfect Moon"), backed only by Tom Verlaine. Then Lenny sang "Hand of Fate," followed by "The Crystal Ship" (Tony, Lenny and Patti).

"Wild Leaves" started with Patti throwing petals (from a bunch of roses someone had given to her at the beginning of the concert) in front of her and towards the first rows.

She dedicated "Rock N Roll Nigger" to James Ensor, a local painter and friend of the French surrealists. This song turned into "Gloria" and the audience went crazy. Still singing "G.L.O.R.I.A.," she asked for something backstage, came back holding a broom, and started cleaning (sweeping ?) the stage!

The set list:

Piss Factory
Redondo Beach
Wicked Messenger
Smoke on the Water
Ghost Dance
Ravens (w/ Jay Dee on accordion)
Beneath the Southern Cross (during which she broke a string and started again, but her guitar sounded funny. "Oh, was it an important string ?" she asked Lenny)
Dancing Barefoot
Summer Cannibals
Hand of Fate
The Crystal Ship
When Doves Cry
Free Money
About a Boy
Wild Leaves
People Have the Power / Gone Again

First Encore:

Because the Night
Rock N Roll Nigger / Gloria

Second Encore:

Farewell Reel

Copyright © Yves Deplasse 1996

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