Burning Leaves in Berlin

Laurie Anderson was in Berlin this evening with her "Burning Leaves" concert. She is only giving three concerts, Umeå in Sweden, Berlin, and somewhere in Switzerland.

I really like her performances and her storytelling, her experimentation with sound. This was no exception, although she was reusing a good bit of old material. Ya get old, ya forget that ya already used that piece twice.

The stage had a stuffed chair, her synthesizer, her laptop, her violin, and a sea of candles. She was dressed, as always, in black, her hair looked rather normal. Normally, it stands on end. The Ex-Berliner reported in an interview on how she cuts her hair - she goes into a dark closet with her scissors and doesn't come out until it is done.

She even had one piece in German (Hänsel und Gretel, I wonder what she did in Sweden?) Swedish radio reports that she had the audience spellbound, DN lists the old stuff she used, but notes that she had the audience eating out of her hand.

Although I enjoyed the concert, the German audience was *definately* not totally spellbound and eating out of her hand. They showed up late - some very, very late, and I found it irritating that they were let in. They coughed and sneezed like they were coming down with swine flu. And then - at least 20 people left, all at different times, making an entire row stand up to let them out. Okay, it wasn't a concert, and it was in a strange language called English. But spending money for a ticket to an artist you don't know is always a bit iffy, especially in Berlin. I feel they should just suck it up and wait it out.

Laurie Anderson had to come back 3 times for bowing, but did not give any encores. German audiences are greedy, they want an encore so that the have the feeling they got something for free. I suppose they were hoping that her husband, Lou Reed, would come out with her and they sing some old Velvet Underground song together......

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