Somewhere around 10:00 p.m. Dan left his side of the stage and wandered to the middle (he did this a few times, including to duet with John and have a chat and laugh with him and Jake). From the stage edge he then announced that only that afternoon had they thought of playing the bonus tracks from their Chemistry album over here in the U.K. Apparently, these 2 tracks ("Girlfriend" and "Ordinary Life") have not been released in the U.S., and Dan said because of this their fans there are "sad," then quickly corrected himself to "upset" so we didn't misunderstand! Anyway, it had occurred to one of them that as we should know the bonus tracks they could play them for us. Dan went on to say they went to a lot of trouble to record both. At which point someone in the audience shouted out something which we didn't hear clearly (and I'd be surprised if Dan did), and he said "Oh, so it was worth it then!". Soon after this he picked up his guitar, and they launched into "Ordinary Life" so we had the World Premier he'd just promised.
On the music front, in "She's Got My Number," it was fascinating to see John abandon his guitar to place his hands around but not on, a special metal stick, for the effect towards the end of that track. It must be activated by body heat and if anyone knows the name of it, please let me know. While John may have abandoned his guitar, the guitar wasn't actually abandoned as Dan picked it up and began playing it like a lead guitar—which Paul noticed with great approval (yes, I am married to a Jimi Hendrix fan!). Dan showed his solo ability with an electric guitar more than once, standing at the front of the stage with his eyes closed, concentrating and looking almost like a Guitar Hero from the 70s (if you discount the hair length!).
Although I was disappointed to find Dan didn't play keyboards at all during the evening, Chris provided some wonderful accompaniment, which was equal to the original recordings—it's not surprising he's backed so many famous musicians over the years. He was near Dan so we could see him well throughout the evening, and if they take a keyboard player out on tour again, I hope it will be Chris.
What other anecdotes are there from the evening? Well, the Water Threat. Dan. Like the others, had a bottle of water to drink during the set. About halfway through he wandered over to it and took a long swig. He was sideways to the audience, still on our side of the stage, and we could see he hadn't swallowed it. He stood there for quite a few seconds with all this water in his mouth, looking across at us all and smiling. Thankfully, he decided to swallow it all—slowly—confirming my inner feelings that he couldn't carry out his silent/body language "threat."
It was a superb evening which they ended, initially, with "Closing Time." Then Dan ran off the stage, as if it was on fire, virtually colliding with John, who with Jake and Chris, ambled off a minute or two later. There was much applause, and an encore just had to be. We weren't disappointed as not too long after that, Jake led the four of them back on stage and they treated us to "Bed," for the first of their three-song encore. At the very end, Dan repeated his rapid exit from the stage, Jake came to the front and waved and gave us a lovely smile, John did the same and that was the last we saw of them. It was now back to reality, leaving the Concert Hall, walking up the road to the car and then driving home.
It was a marvellous concert—one of the best of my extensive experience so it's up against some pretty stiff competition there! I had been hoping they'd play "Made to Last" (and explain its meaning), "Completely Pleased," "El Matador," "Sunshine & Chocolate," and "The Gift," which always has me holding my breath, initially unknowingly. However, I've learned that in this life I can never have all I want—but it does leave me wanting more. If only time could have stood still—but all good things must come to an end, and I'm left looking forward to Semisonic's next concert (whenever that may be), anticipating their next album and continuing to play all their CDs.
This review Copyright © 2002, Lauretta Hobson. All rights
reserved. Reproduced with permission.
The right of Lauretta Hobson to be identified as author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
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