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Kingdom Of Love
Queen Of Eyes
Hear My Brane
The Bells Of Rhymney
When I Was A Kid
I Love Lucy
Pulse Of My Heart
I Wanna Destroy You
Only The Stones Remain
The 2002 U.S. tour kicked off with a sparsely attended but enthusiastically received show at the Variety Playhouse in Atlantaís Little 5 Points neighborhood.
As I was comparing notes with my friend Beatle Brian whoíd just seen Paul in Portland over the weekend, "I've seen Robyn twice before and was mighty (thatís Southern for mightily) impressed both times, but this was something else entirely. Itís a bit like The Soft Boys are my own personal Beatles. Not that The Beatles aren't my Beatles too, but they're so big I can't get my arms around them."
But there they stood in the flesh Monday night--The Soft Boys--about 15 feet from me. Morris Windsor was at the back pounding away on a tiny drum kit; Matthew Seligman (the only person there who also appeared on Live Aid, unless Phil Collins and Tina Turner were up in the balcony without my knowledge) was at stage left melodically rumbling up a storm, and over on the right side was Kimberly Rew with his gray Beatle wig of a hairdo, playing Mick Taylor to Robyn's Keith Richards. Then there's Robyn himself front and center, looking like a middle-aged Peter Cook (minus the alcohol bloat) and sounding like the bastard son of Syd Barrett and Bob Dylan.
Hereís a set list from memory.
Hear My Brane
Kingdom of Love
I Wanna Destroy You
The Queen of Eyes
Only the Stones Remain
Bells of Rhymney
When I Was a Kid
I Love Lucy
Pulse of My Heart
My Mind Is Connected to Your Dreams
I may well have forgotten something, so any additions would be welcome.
"Kingdom of Love" was the opener, and Iím pretty sure that "Insanely Jealous" was the final encore. Robynís introductions were generally more concise than those at his solo gigs (which is considerate with three other people on stage with nothing to do while he talks), but there were some real gems, including one about the two famous Rogers--Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett and Jim "Roger" McGuinn attending a screening of "2001: A Space Odyssey" together on acid with their gigantic mobile phones by their sides. Kimberly even told a story about appearing on the U.S. edition of ĎNever Mind the Buzzcocksí in which a contestant correctly identified him as the composer of "Walking on Sunshine," though apparently the fake Kims were of questionable quality.
The new songs were quite entertaining, and the oldies were so perfect that my head was throbbing from the rapid firing of my synapses. Iíve never been as moved by a musical performance in my life, and I saw the Police TWICE back in the early 80s. (Itís a joke, son.) This was as good as guitar/guitar/bass/drums/3-human-voice music gets.
If you miss the date closest to where you live, you really donít deserve to be happy.
PS: A big shout out to my homies Tim and Chip, who along with me represented for the Northeast Alabama posse in the hay-youse. And much love to new acquaintances Dee and Bibi, and John from Orlando who swears he saw the íBoys in Hoboken in í80. Peace! (Pardon my hiphop, but Iím giddy from beautiful music and lack of sleep.)
The Atlanta show was incredible! The boys kicked it off with "Kingdom Of Love" and "Queen of Eyes" right off the bat! I was in heaven! I was watching the Soft Boys play their classic tunes! Robyn was himself as usual making cracks about Atlanta! We love him for it and expect it! They did the majority of the new album and songs off of Underwater Moonlight. "Bells Of Rhymney" was a particular highlight for me since it's one of my fave byrds tunes of all time! They nailed it effortlessly in the vocal dept! Robyn and Kim were amazing trading off guitar parts together during "Mr.Kennedy" and throughout the show. This dynamic really made the show happen since they are both phenomenal guitar players. The show was sparsely attended which I found very surprising since Robyn last Atlanta show in April was packed! The show was incredibly tight and they seemed to be having a great time playing for us! I don't have the setlist in front of me but the other songs performed: "Narcissus", "Only The Stones Remain", "Vegetable Man","Unprotected Love", "Insanely Jealous" and I do believe "Hear My Brane" was played as well. I'll send it as soon as I can.
I really wanted to get up to Athens show but I couldn't make it. Overall, I hope the Soft Boys will continue to be active and make more new music. I must see them again!