Vienna – Arena Wien review
This is an even funkier venue than Munich – really you could easily visualise a place like this somewhere in a cool part of Berlin. When I read ‘Arena’ I imagined some over- commercialised venue (think O2 Arena in London) without any soul that simply did the job – of course this being Glen I should have known better (smacks myself on the hand!).
This show was sold out ages ago and there are plenty of people outside looking for tickets. I was a bit slow off the mark getting tickets but luckily I was able to get in touch with a gig angel who helped me out (you know who you are – thank you!).
I was remiss in my Munich review not mentioning the merch (OMG there is merch!) – how exciting is that? It wasn’t quite the cool spread of Glen gear that the folks in the US had – so no scarves or hoodies but there were two different Glen t-shirts (the Silencio one and a new Glen Euro tour one which has an art kinda print of Glen’s profile on it) together with a Euro specific poster (with the same profile print). Did I take pics of them? No – sorry – but I’m sure someone will come good with some shortly.
Some tidbits from the show:
* If you haven’t seen the YouTube videos of the performances of Love Don’t Leave Me Waiting with the strings and brass players then do yourself a favour and check it out. I first saw Glen play this song solo but with a 10 piece band it’s like the song has been to Chanel and got itself a bitching outfit! It sounds so organic but polished – I am making any sense? How about this – song sound good yah!
* Ahhh there is always one in the crowd isn’t there? Someone who wants to make comments from the audience and just…..not….stop! Tonight it was a loud, tall admirer identified as Gary – he was funny the first time and Glen dealt with him well but the next 3 or 4 times it got a bit tiresome to the point where both the audience and Glen were begging him to “shut the fuck up”! Gaz, mate, it’s cool to be enthusiastic but let’s leave the comments to the man with the mic. I must say Gary did somewhat redeem himself later on in the night by acting as comedy sidekick to put off a woman continually begging for Falling Slowly when Glen had previously told her he wasn’t going to play it without Mar – Gary’s call of “It wasn’t me” brought huge laughs. We forgive you Gaz!
* The crowd were up for some singing tonight and Glen took it on board and had us providing backing vocals for Maybe I was Born to Hold You in These Arms and Backbroke. These small pieces of participation always go down well – it’s about feeling as if you are a part of the proceedings and not just a punter who has simply paid their money to be entertained. They are very inclusive because even the most tone deaf audience member can give it a go. The classic axiom applies – the little things always count!
* I find it hard to believe that I am ever going to be tired of hearing Glen’s version of Astral Weeks. What I really like doing now is watching the faces of people in the crowd as Glen revs up to guitar-string breaking intensity – there are always a lot of open mouths, wide eyes and spontaneous smiles – I can’t think that there is anything better for an artist than to see your onstage efforts translating into a physical response in your audience.
* I love This Gift – I really do think it is one of the best songs Glen (with the help of Mar) has written in years (well other than Bird of Sorrow!) – around the insistent melody are the lyrics which shine out and speak to me personally for many reasons. I also know that they speak to a lot of people differently which is a great thing for a song and a songwriter.
* After a Frames double-shot, Glen treats us to a personal Vienna-based story about ‘stealing’ a Ducati motorbike whilst drunk and managing to get around any resulting arrest and police trouble. It is of course much better when Glen tells it so you should check out the vid here. I wonder who the ‘mate” on the bike was? Ahem 😉
* Mark Geary is also in town and comes on to give us ‘It Beats Me’ with Glen and the lads. Mark apparently performed a gig at a private home the night before and due to noise restrictions the audience couldn’t clap to show their appreciation so instead they gave a salute which looks more like straight jazz hands. The same action is adopted by Glen and the audience when Mark appears and it’s clear they are all having a great time – nothing like playing with your mates!
* The night ends with a dedication to Mic Christopher via Forever Young – Glen, Mark & Lisa all share verses and it is a perfect illustration of the mateship in the room (and beyond!).
Thanks to all again for a great night!