Support Act: Lisa Hannigan
Main Set: Say it to Me Now, Her Mercy, People Get Ready, Maybe Not Tonight, Talking with the Wolves, Goodnight Irene – Love Don’t Leave Me Waiting – Place to Be (Nick Drake) – Respect (Aretha Franklin) – Please Please Please (James Brown), When Your Mind’s Made Up, Low Rising, Time Will Be the Healer, Bird of Sorrow, Leave* – Love Reign o’er Me* (The Who), Astral Weeks* (Van Morrison) – Smile* (Pearl Jam), High Hope, Moving On, Fitzcarraldo, This Gift
Encore: Gold** (Interference), Heyday*** (Mic Christopher), Emer’s Dream (Colm), O Sleep*** (Lisa Hannigan), Falling Slowly***, The Auld Triangle*** (Traditional), Passing Through*** (Leonard Cohen) – When the Saints Go Marching In*** (Traditional)
**Glen, Colm, Lisa, Graham, Joe and Rob on vocals at edge of stage
[Thanks to Fleur for the setlist, notes & photos.]
Strings: Local Musicians
Ahhh Italia – there is a reason why I travel to this country every year and it mainly has to do with the fact that I ALWAYS seem to have a good time. I see no reason for this positive association to cease this weekend and upon my arrival in Milano I am greeted with gorgeous blues skies and a happy, shiny sun – this bodes extremely well for the outdoor show tonight at Il Carroponte (The Crane).
Myself and my music touring buddies head down to the venue around 5pm to see if we can pick up our tickets and check the space out before finding a place where we can soak up the Vitamin D and count the clouds (of which there are few!). Fortunately the venue is open and we are able to hang out, have a few drinks, count a couple of clouds AND hear Glen & the lads sound checking – result!!
There are two outdoor stages at the venue and Glen & the lads are set up to play on the smaller stage to the right of the main area. Those present at around 6pm (including kids on bikes and dog walkers) are shuffled around to a tabled area whilst the band sound check but of course being outside means that we can hear pretty much everything – including versions of ‘Red Chord’, ‘People Get Ready’ and ‘What Happens When the Heart Just Stops’. After hearing those Frames classics get a run I am excitedly rubbing my hands together with glee envisioning all sorts of good things for the show.
It is somewhat of a late start tonight – our opener, the fantastic Lisa Hannigan, is slotted to start around 8.30pm and Glen & the lads are scheduled to come on around 9.45pm. Luckily the weather is in complete co-operation with the evening’s plans and we are treated to a gorgeous, balmy evening with a nice light breeze – perfect outdoor concert weather.
Lisa pretty much immediately has the rapt attention of the crowd. As per usual Lisa’s angelic voice floats over those present and she is able to pick you up and carry you away into her songs with ease. Justin Carroll comes out to assist on ‘We The Drowned’ and the rest of the lads (save for Glen) come out to fill out the sonic landscape on ‘Flowers’ and ‘A Sail’. Lisa’s set is very well received and it’s great to see so much musical appreciation so early in the night.
After a short break, the lads make their way up to the stage. There is no real back stage area so everyone has to walk past the crowd. Glen of course sees this as the perfect opportunity to stroll into the crowd with his geetar for a rendition of ‘Say It to Me Now’ in true busking style. It’s pretty clear that his voice and the mood is high – get ready Milano cos it’s on!!
Here’s a few notes on some of the rest of the tunes in the set:
“Mercy, mercy coming to you, feel her beauty flowing through you, she will unbind you, set the world free, mercy, mercy”
The band clearly love to play this one too – and I have said it many times but there is nothing better than seeing people on stage truly enjoying themselves and having a good time. A gig is always an exchange of energy between the artist and those present – it’s what changes the songs from night to night and makes the experience personal to the attendee. I know these guys are masters at conducting crowd energy but I never tire of seeing them showing off these skills.
* The first Frames tune of the night makes an appearance after ‘Her Mercy’ – ‘People Get Ready’ – umm yay!! I know the majority of the crowd may not be quite so familiar with this tune but it gets a good reception and I am hoping that may spurn the introduction of some of the other Frames songs we heard in soundcheck. As a post script I note that save for ‘Fitzcarraldo’ I am denied any other Frames tracks tonight but there is clearly promise for me to be indulged at some upcoming shows!
* ‘Love Don’t Leave Me Waiting’ is now a crowd favourite but I’ve never actually heard a version with this many tags! After the song in full we merge into ‘Place to Be’ then to ‘Respect’ which merges into ‘Please, Please, Please’ (with trombone extraordinaire Curtis Fowlkes taking some vocal duties at the end) – great stuff!!
* Just prior to ‘Bird of Sorrow’ keyboardist Justin Carroll is expertly outed by Glen as a lad in the midst of heartbreak having recently broken up with his long term girlfriend. Glen describes Justin as the most handsome member of the band and the most sensitive. He also suggests that anyone who sees Justin later should give him a hug “because he really needs it”. I am sure Justin really appreciates the loving words of support from Glen – I’m just not sure he necessarily appreciates Glen giving them in front of a thousand people!! In any event, Glen and the lads (including Justin) break into an improvised number I’ve called ‘Time Will Be the Healer’ in which Glen advises Justin that time will heal all and to “Forget that girl – she was not good for you anyhow” – hilarious and all credit to Justin who took it all with smile.
* Any tune with the mighty Colm stepping into the spotlight for a solo is good with me so I always look forward to ‘Fitzcarraldo’ – tonight I revel in the fact that the band’s fearless leader forgets the words to the second verse and uses the lyrics from another one- ahhh how many times have you sung that one Glen? Excellent stuff 🙂
* ‘Hey Day’ is a nice surprise and is sung with gusto with Glen and Lisa swapping verses – g’wan Mic!!
* Colm takes the stage by himself for a lovely version of ‘Emer’s Dream’ from The Hare’s Corner. I suspect not many people have seen a violinist looping tracks before (this being most often left to guitarists and drummers), but this instrumental slips perfectly into the warm, night sky surrounding the stage.
* We hear both ‘The Auld Triangle’ and ‘Passing Through’ as closers – this is a little unusual but fits the tone of the night. Glen & the lads are told after ‘The Auld Triangle’ that they have to unplug as they cannot have any further amplified music over curfew time – this of course does not stop them at all and the entire band (including brass and string sections) make their way off the stage and into the crowd and eventually over to the other stage followed by pretty much the entirety of the crowd and there our night ends!!
Grazie Glen, Lisa e la banda per una meravigliosa esperienza musicale
(Thank you Glen, Lisa and band for a wonderful musical experience)
Grazie mille Milano per una notte d’estate gloriosa
(Thank you so much Milano for a glorious summer night)
Photos: Nice batch by mmpassionphoto at Flickr
Say it to Me Now (by dieveloni)
People Get Ready (by MrMagoafono)
Maybe Not Tonight (by MrMagoafono)
Love Don’t Leave Me Waiting – Place to Be – Respect – Please Please Please (by ilmendicantedisogni)
When Your Mind’s Made Up (by Massimo Pro)
Low Rising (by MrMagoafono)
Bird of Sorrow (by MrMagoafono)
Leave – Love Reign o’er Me (by Massimo Morgante)
Astral Weeks – Smile (by PaoloFuma81)
Fitzcarraldo (by Massimo Pro)
Gold (by MrMagoafono)
Emer’s Dream (by Massimo Pro)
Heyday (by Massimo Pro)
O Sleep (by melbourneflower)
Falling Slowly (by MrMagoafono)
O Sleep – Falling Slowly (by Massimo Pro)
The Auld Triangle (by elisa nichelli)
Passing Through – Saints (by christian chierici)
Video Montage (by littlewing86)