San Francisco USA, The Fillmore

May 12, 2002

May 12, 2002


The Scent of Magnolia
God man
I surrender
Jean The Birdman
Midnight Sun
Boy With The Gun
Rooms of Sixteen Shimmers
Cover Me With Flowers
Zero Landmine/
Forbidden Colours
Krishna Blue

1st encore

2nd encore

3rd encore
Red Guitar


Review by David & Troy:
Simply, the venue experience was Cathartic. Troy and I are on a post high from the event. The Sylvian as well as the rest of the band were obviously pleased to be performing at the Fillmore. David even made a comment that this event felt like home and that although well received elsewhere, this was particularly special. As you know, he did live for a few years in Napa, California. David grinned, “showing teeth”. Better yet, he made eye contact with the audience, repeatedly smiling and almost chuckling. The rest of the band was in equal spirits. The performance was without error. Every aspect was as to be expected…perfec t. The show lasted about 120 minutes. The set list was pretty much the same, including encores, as the previous show. Yawn, time to sleep.

Review by Shivu:
I was at the show last night at the Fillmore. The before music was Davids ambient stuff forthcoming on Camphor. There was no opener and the band walked on without ceremony one at a time at around 820pm. First off it was a great show. Very simple lighting and very good musicianship. Band was quite tight and had a groove that suit the mid to slow tempo material. David was smiling throughout and was making occassional banter with the crowd with comments like “feels like home” and “its good to be back”. The response to the band and music was unanimously grateful and appreciative. He said “thank you very much”several times and sounded like he really meant it. The crowd was faithful. Most of the material was older stuff from Secrets and Gone to Earth. Some classics like Red Guitar and Forbidden Colours made an appearance too. The Japan material was restricted to Nightporter and Ghosts (which received a lounge jazz arrangement). The thing I will remember is how personable he was in terms of the real warmth he exudes. The Seattle Zony Mash guys on bass and guitar (Torn-like) were great as was the guy on the Rhodes. My favorite was watching Jansen move his hands. A flawless set from a true professional. He was calm throughut and his voice was perfect and never out of pitch. The set ended in standard fashion – with 3 encores. The second was a Jai Rama bhajan – that I think David composed. The last song was Red Guitar.

Review by Martin Randall:
Still in afterglow from last night’s show at the Fillmore. One of the things I enjoyed was getting to meet other Sylvian fans ­ one couple I met in the line outside had flown in from Mexico City just for the show. I met another couple, Elisabeth and Patrick (hi if you’re reading this!) in front of the stage waiting for the show to start ­ Elisabeth had flown in all the way from Lexington, Kentucky just for the show (and had had to pay twice because of the change of dates!) ­ all with long histories of following David’s music. It’s amazing how much impact he has had on all these people’s lives, that they will follow him through years of sparse output, and travel thousands of miles to see him. David and the band took the stage about 8:20 ­ David was obviously pleased to be there and was grinning from ear to ear. “Seems like home”, he remarked. He’s grown his hair longer since the severe days of “Dead Bees” and almost looks like the New Romantic again, a little older and wiser, perhaps. He seemed a lot more comfortable on-stage than I’d expected, and was smiling a lot and making eye-contact with the audience. The set was a mix of old and new ­ rather heavy on “Dead Bees” material, and nothing from “Gone to Earth”, which was a shame. However, much of the material from “Dead Bees” had been re-worked so significantly that it took on a whole new life, and songs that had not particularly impressed me on the album became quite startling in their intensity ­ “BlackWater” comes to mind, taken slower and more deliberately than on the album. I’d love to see a live album of this re-worked material if David is listening! It was a real treat to hear the classic “Beehive” material ­ “Boy with the Gun” was especially haunting. One of the highlights of the evening, as someone has noted, was the new version of “Cover Me with Flowers”, which was quite astonishing in the way it built in its menacing sort of way, with some great bass playing from Keith Lowe sporting a natty black kilt ­ his thundering bass added a lot to the overall sound of many of the pieces, and he really fit well with the band. I could have done without the histrionics from Matt Cooper on keyboards ­ they seemed very out of place at a David Sylvian concert. David at first seemed amused by his antics, but after a while I got the impression that even he was thinking they were a little over the top. Tim Young on guitar was fairly entertaining, and Steve Jansen played flawlessly and with great class ­ a perfect match for Sylvian. All in all, it was a superb concert ­ I’ve been waiting to see Sylvian for years, and I wasn’t disappointed. Let’s do it again soon, David!

Review by Jules:
San Francisco is home and we welcomed Sylvian back with open arms. Ever controlled, Sylvian stuck to the same set he has played at each of his U.S. concert dates but the majic he wove last night never let that on. I have never seen him more seemingly relaxed and willing to interact with his audience. He looked and played like a bluesman with a little smooth jazz thrown in to add a new spin on old material. It was nothing short of wonderful to see him back with his brother Steve Jensen who is, if you do not already know, among the top drummers in music today. I have never heard him more willing to “play” with his material and the result, contrary to what some might think, was nothing less than brilliant. David has grown up (as have we) and the old material, excellent as it was is even better newly interpreted. Sylvian has clearly grown and been influenced in new directions and his soul shines. The humm continued as he calmed us with his own Jai Rama Bhaj! an and sent us all sailing out after Red Guitar. This man has become whole and it shows. Fine job Sylvian, you must come back to us soon.


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