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"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Monday, June 12, 2023

Laurie Anderson Let X = X @ Barbican Hall "it's not every show when you the audience are asked to scream for 10 seconds"

Last night Paul and I went to see Laurie Anderson perform her Let X = X show at the Barbican Hall in London's glitzy Barbican Centre.
Let's face it, it's not every show when you the audience are asked to scream for 10 seconds* and to do a mass Thai chi dance. But then Laurie Anderson is no ordinary artist.
Composer, writer, director, visual artist and vocalist, Laurie Anderson, has created some ground-breaking works over the years that have spanned the worlds of art, theatre, experimental music, and technology. 
Her recording career, launched by Big Science in 1981 includes the soundtrack to her feature film Home of the Brave and Life on a String.
Much of this music was performed last night and the audience was enrapt.
Anderson's live shows are legendary, ranging as they do from simple spoken word to elaborate multi-media stage performances. In 2002, Anderson was appointed the first artist-in-residence of NASA.
For the special show last night, Laurie performed with her live band Steven Bernstein, Briggan Krauss, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wollesen and Doug Wieselman. And the set was funny, thought-provoking, electronic, techno, jazzy, atonal, chaotic, jazzy, melodic, and beautiful.
Paul and I were mesmerised.
The set-list:
From The Air (with 'Captains' band introductions)
Another Day In America (excerpt)
("This Is The Language Of Positive Change")
Let X=X / It Tango
(10 second scream for Yoko Ono by audience)
O Superman
('The End of The World has a lot in common with the beginning of the World')
Get On The Good Foot (instrumental) (James Brown cover)
Gravity's Angel
("The Future Is... Digital" from Language Of The Future / AI Song (possibly expanded Cartoon Song))
Ramon (from Strange Angels)
Walk the Dog
(Advice for suicidal students: 1) Eat Good food 2) Get Enough Sleep 3) Try Not To Hate Yourself)
Born Never Asked
Junior Dad (using Lou Reed's original vocal) (Lou Reed & Metallica cover)
Junior Dad (Part II) (Velvet Undergroundesque instrumental)
The Lake - Vocal Version
('It's Not The Bullet That Kills You, It's The Hole' intro)
It's Not The Bullet That Kills You, It's The Hole
Only an Expert
From The Air (Endless Nights variation) (including "Endless Nights" / "'This The Time & This Is The Record Of Time" / Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (with dark 2nd verse addition) / Deep voice excerpt / Crowd & Band Thank You)
(Laurie mentions Lou Reed's unfinished book 'Straight Like Thai Chi' which Anderson has now completed)
Thai chi dance
*The reason for the 10 second scream? It was tribute to Yoko Ono. In 2016 when Trump got elected as US President, Ono was asked to comment. Her reply was a scream that lasted for 3 minutes. Thank goodness we weren't asked to last that long!

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