01. Say Hallelujah
02. Across the Lines
03. Let It Rain
04. For My Lover
06. Baby Can I Hold You
07. The Promise
08. Fast Car
09. Another Sun
10. Talkin’ ‘Bout A Revolution
11. You’re The One
12. Telling Stories
14. House Of The Rising Sun
15. Give Me One Reason
16. Get Up Stand Up
17. A Change Is Gonna Come
18. I Am Yours
Setlist submitted by Charlie
- Tracy Chapman steps on all the bases; Her diverse set keeps a crowd of 4,000 enthralled – By: JAY N. MILLER, The Patriot Ledger, July 21, 2003
There are few performers in any part of the musical spectrum who can sing and play with the passion and intensity of Tracy Chapman. That was evident again Friday night, when Chapman kept a crowd of about 4,000 fans enthralled for two hours at FleetBoston Pavilion.
Chapman is a master of dynamics, whether it be from a well-crafted lyric or melody, or the nuance in her vocal. There were moments in her 18-song set when something as simple as the way she strummed a chord added to the dramatic impact.
The six-piece band backing her also added to the power of her music, which always transcends her folk roots, straddles rock and pop and includes healthy helpings of funk. That might hold the key to why her audience was so diverse.
Of course local music fans know the story well, of how Chapman was not long out of Tufts University, singing in Boston area folk clubs, when her 1988 debut vaulted her almost overnight into stardom, multiplatinum sales and four Grammys. Subsequent albums haven’t made quite as big a splash, in spite of their quality, although 1996’s ‘‘Give Me One Reason’’ got Chapman another hit single. Friday’s setlist included tunes from all of Chapman’s career.
The show opened with the amiably lurching gospel funk of ‘‘Say Hallelujah’’ from Chapman’s latest CD, ‘‘Let It Rain.’’ The title cut from that album came a bit later and provided another stunning view of her artistry, her hushed vocal bringing an intimate feel to the big tent as it washed over the crowd with the plaintive chorus ‘‘give me hope when I need it most.’’
Chapman’s earthy side was more evident on ‘‘For My Lover,’’ its funky rhythm and repetitive, scat-like chorus creating a hypnotic mood. ‘‘Save a Place for Me’’ was perhaps Chapman’s vocal highlight, done with only acoustic guitar, bass and keyboards, as her voice soared through a panoply of emotions in the gentle ballad.
Chapman, 39, noted that she’d written ‘‘Fast Car’’ while alone in her Boston apartment many years ago, with only a dog for company. Friday’s version of the 1988 hit was a masterpiece of understatement, all the conflicts and frustrations subtly implied in the verses, leading to the cathartic chorus. Later on, ‘‘Talking ’Bout a Revolution’’ was a much more rousing vehicle, which had most of the crowd standing and singing along. Though Chapman was discreet with any political content – merely pointing out that the venue’s concourse had tables with info for Amnesty International and Rock the Vote – the timeless quality of her anthem was quite evident in the fans’ reaction, and when she ended it with a solo coda, the effect was galvanizing.
‘‘Telling Stories,’’ the title cut from her 2000 album, was Chapman’s chance to really stretch out, and she proved she can belt it out as potently as any rocker.
Chapman’s spidery vocal swoops added some innovative new angles to the old classic ‘‘House of the Rising Sun,’’ in what was a dramatic re-interpretation. ‘‘Give Me One Reason’’ featured even more adventurous steps, morphing from its reggae-tinged start to a funky dance workout centered on a foundation I’d have sworn was based on Sly and the Family Stone’s ‘‘Thank You (Falettinme be Mice Elf Agin).
Chapman encored with an exhilarating romp through Bob Marley’s ‘‘Get Up Stand Up,’’ and then did a moving acoustic rendition of Sam Cooke’s ‘‘A Change Is Gonna Come.’’ Chapman finished with a lilting solo take on the sweet ballad ‘‘I Am Yours.’’
Opener Joseph Arthur’s half-hour solo set was long on special effects, like backing tracks. Unfortunately, Arthur’s monotone vocals and lack of stage presence made it forgettable.
- Chapman pleases audience at Pavilion – TRACY CHAPMAN – At FleetBoston Pavillion on Friday night. – By: Nick Dussault, Metro Boston, Monday July 21, 2003
It’s been 15 years since one-time Boston resident Tracy Chapman took the music world by storm with her Grammy winning debut.
Friday, a poised, confident Chapman returned to the area with her finest show yet.
Performing to a nearby sold-out crowd at the FleetBoston Pavilion, the fold singer created a remarkable intimacy as she played a superd two-jour set in which many of her big hits were nicely intersperced with material from “Let It Rain,” her newest album.
The crowd applauded widly as Chapman delivered one great musical moment after another. It was clear from the first strains of her opening number “Say Hallelujah” that Chapman is at the top of her game.
With this show, the much-heralded musician proved she has become much more than the slightly shy folk singer who played her heart out.
- Gone from Tracy Chapman are ‘her teenage angst-ridden sounds’ – By Zoë Gemelli, The Bay Windows, Thursday, July 24, 2003
Tracy Chapman live, at the FleetBoston Pavilion, Boston, July 18.
According to former Bostonian Tracy Chapman, Boston has a distinct odor. While spending some time here last week she happened upon a certain smell that brought her back to her days here. She giggled when telling the crowd that factoid; it seems all of that busking didn’t taint her nostrils. “It doesn’t smell like that any place else in the world,” she mused. The Boston crowd ate it up.
Chapman doesn’t play into hype or meandering stage banter. She keeps the small talk small and meek, while she plays a mean blues guitar. Her approach to the down time between songs is charmingly honest.
Having a couple mega radio hits hasn’t changed Chapman much. The only noticeable difference these past 15 years, besides the length of her dreadlocks, was the artistic growth through the many years of performing live that has allowed her to perfect her sound. Her unique flittering timber has matured as has her playing. Older songs “Fast Car,” “For My Lover,” “Across The Lines,” and “Baby Can I Hold You” played now are rid of the teenage angst-ridden sounds; they are instead pronounced with a knowing wisdom. During “Talkin’ Bout a Revolution,” Chapman brought up her politics, politely nudging the crowd to register to vote with Rock the Vote or give to Amnesty International at the concession stands.
Touring with a new album out, “Let It Rain,” Chapman played the title track and a few songs from it and her previous album, “Telling Stories.” But it wasn’t until she gave the crowd what they came for that she had everyone on their feet in spectacular adulation; they went nuts when she played “Give Me One Reason,” her signature blues-rock hit that stayed on the radio for the better part of 1996.
She left the stage on that note, but came back for three encores. Adding fuel to the fiery crowd, she covered Bob Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up” with gusto. And she ended by evoking the spirit of Sam Cooke with his song “Change Is Gonna Come.” Seeing Chapman perform down by the water after the rain poured down most of the day made for a perfect summer’s night show.
VENUE: FleetBoston Pavilion, 290 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02216 – USA (Capacity: 5 000)
PROMOTER: Clear Channel Entertainement
OPENING ACT: Joseph Arthur