Last Update: 03. oktober 2003
The concert started with a few songs from the supporting act. I'm not sure of the name of the band (Draw or Drawer?), but the fact that I can't remember their name, basically sums up their performance. They were derivative of so much 90s rock, as to become almost soporific. Their only redeeming feature was that they had a rather cute bass player (her name is Roseanne, apparently)!
After a rather lengthy break, while sound checks were made, the members of Love walked onto stage, to applause and cheers from the audience. A few seconds later, Arthur Lee strolled on, to even louder cheers and applause. He was dressed in black jeans, cowboy boots, a black cowboy-style jacket with white tassles and a black cowboy hat, which he wore over a bandana that was tied over his head. He also wore sunglasses thoughout the entire gig.
The band was made up of 13 people in total, including A. L. There was a five-piece string section (4 violins/violas and 1 cello), a three-piece brass section (2 trumpets/cornets and 1 trombone), drums (David Green), lead guitar and vocals (Mike Randle), guitar and vocals (Rusty Squeezebox), Bass (Dave Chapple) and Arthur Lee (Guitar, maracas, tambourine and harmonica).
The first song was a new one. A real rocking crowd pleaser, with full brass accompaniment and lyrics that couldn't fail to please a British crowd. Basically the song was about how A. L. left the States "cos you made me cry" and came to Britain that "made me love you - yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah". The song is apparently from Love's new album out this year, and I can't wait!
After this they launched into a series (six or seven) of hits from Da Capo (Orange Skies and Seven and Seven Is) and Love's other albums (I only have Da Capo and Forever Changes, so I can't name the tracks). For this bit of the concert, the Forever Changes String and Brass Ensemble left the stage and the core rock element of Love sounded great without them! They played very tight, but fluid and relaxed and there is a great chemistry between them.
Then, the moment I, and everyone else, had been waiting for. The strings and brass sections took their places and Love began the performance of one of my favourite albums ever, Forever Changes. The arrangements were amazing, very similar to the album, but at times, the brass section added a more sinister undertone to some tunes. Arthur Lee was in great form and really nailed all of the tracks. Even "Old Man", for which he needed the lyrics on a stand (even though he didn't sing the original, I would have thought he could have learnt the words after 35 years!) was wonderful, with A. L. basically emulating Bryan Maclean's performance from the album. All of the songs from Forever Changes were wonderful, but perhaps the highlight for me was "Live and Let Live". The rocky guitar part was just riveting, with the rhythm section really pumping out a great vibe.
At the end of "You Set the Scene", Arthur Lee thanked the audience and the band left the stage. A couple of minutes of riotous applause and shouting later, the band returned for what I presumed would be the obligatory two or three encore songs. I actually lost track of how many more tracks they played! I think it was nine!
At this stage, the band were very much in the swing of things, and the audience were well and truly limbered up. Colston Hall is not the easiest place to relax, having fixed seating throughout. But by the end of the gig, everyone was standing!
When A. L. announced the final song (The Singing Cowboy), I could only marvel at the fact that the band had been playing for 2 hours without a break and that Arthur Lee was giving as good (and better) than the rest of the band, who all appeared to be under 30.
Every member of the band gave 100% and looked like they really enjoyed doing so. This was one of the most enjoyable concerts I have ever been to. The union of great songs, brilliant musicians and a really energetic performance made me remember why I want to go to live shows. Concerts just don't get better than this, or if they do, I've never been to them!