New York City USA, The Town Hall

May 5, 2002

May 5, 2002. Special guest appearance of Ryuichi Sakamoto who played Zero Landmin, Forbidden Colours and  Red Guitar with the band in The Town Hall, New York.

In the playlist above, you can listen to the tracks.

Setlist:
The Scent of Magnolia
BlackWater
God man
I surrender
Jean The Birdman
Midnight Sun
Boy With The Gun
Orpheus
Waterfront
Heartbeat
Linoleum
Rooms of Sixteen Shimmers
Ghosts
Buoy
Cover Me With Flowers
Zero Landmine (w/ R. Sakamoto)
Forbidden Colours (w/ R. Sakamoto)
Krishna Blue

1º encore
Nightporter

2° encore
Bhajan

3° encore
Red Guitar (w/ R. Sakamoto)

Review by Christopher Derer:
As would be expected, a very varied crowd turned out for David Sylvian’s long overdue return to New York. The band took to the stage at ten past eight, with Sylvian’s entrance met by a standing ovation from the audience. Attired in dark glasses, a caramel-brown leather jacket, dark brown trousers, and tan slip-on sneakers, Sylvian stood out from the rest of the band, dressed predominantly in black. Getting right down to business, the quintet opened with “The Scent Of Magnolia”, and breezed through three more songs before Sylvian spoke ­ informing the crowd that an ongoing technical problem had been resolved. Sylvian appeared quite relaxed and smiled throughout the show, which I certainly wouldn’t have expected. He genuinely seemed to be enjoying himself, which I feel made the evening all the more special for the audience. The minimal band achieved a solid dynamic, offering mostly faithful renditions of Sylvian’s work, although with some subtle and often interesting interpretations from time to time. Colorful brass and string accents, present on studio recordings, were somewhat missed, but this hardly detracted from the overall sound. In particular, keyboardist Matt Cooper was truly a delight ­ his spirited playing was most entertaining, often bordering on the unintentionally comedic. I thought Sylvian might even start laughing at one point during one of Cooper’s manic solos! Undoubtedly the highlight of the show for many was the guest appearance by longtime collaborator and friend, Ryuichi Sakamoto. Rumors that Sakamoto would be in attendance that evening had been circulating for weeks prior to the show, which probably inspired many fans to make the journey from far-off places for this particular performance. A lovely rendition of Sakamoto’s Zero Landmine tune segued smoothly into “Forbidden Colours”. As an added surprise, Sakamoto rejoined the band during their third encore ­ an ‘impromptu version’ (according to Sylvian) of “Red Guitar”. While I certainly can’t argue with the songs chosen for the tour, I was disappointed that only one track from “Brilliant Trees” was included, and the brilliant “Gone To Earth” album was overlooked completely. Even so, I didn’t notice these omissions until I reviewed the set list after the show, thus reinforcing the success of the selections. Sylvian graciously acknowledged the audience for their appreciation and enthusiasm towards the end of the evening. I don’t recall ever attending a concert that didn’t include some sort of visual augmentation ­ a set, lights, dancers, props, video screens, etc. That five musicians, stationary on stage for the most part, could mesmerize a crowd for two hours with sound alone is truly a credit to the quality of the music. It’s no wonder that Sylvian has achieved a status akin to deity with his admirers.

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