01. Say Hallelulujah
03. Let It Rain
04. For My Lover
06. Smoke and Ashes
07. Baby Can I Hold You
08. The Promise
09. Fast Car
10. Another Sun
11. Telling Stories
12. You’re The One
13. Talkin’ Bout a Revolution
14. House of the Rising Sun
15. Give Me One Reason
16. Get Up, Stand Up
Setlist submitted by Eric & Scott McNeill
- Reasons to love Chapman – By: BARRY SAUNDERS, News Observer, Monday, July 28, 2003 7:41AM EDT
If I hadn’t seen it for myself, I never would have thought that protest songs and Chardonnay — and $7 a cup latte, while we’re at it — went together.
After watching Tracy Chapman get several hundred people on their feet in Cary with a rousing rendition of Bob Marley’s anti-imperialism song “Get Up, Stand Up, (For your Rights),” at the end of her concert Friday night, though, I’ll believe just about anything — even that a female artist can succeed without exposing her anatomy and lewdly gyrating in a music video.
Y’all listening, J. Lo and Beyonce?
Chapman’s performance at Regency Park Amphitheater re-affirmed for anyone who might have doubted it that there is still a place for a troubador with stories to tell.
And my, did Chapman have some stories. From the opening song, “Say Hallelujah,” she had the audience rocking and thinking. “Why are the missiles called peacekeepers when they’re aimed to kill?” she asked in her first song. “Somebody’s going to have to answer.”
Despite her socially conscious songs, like 1988’s “Talkin’ ‘Bout A Revolution,” most of her nearly two-hour set dealt with issues of a more personal nature, like love and personal disenfranchisement. Her offerings were slightly skewed more toward her older material, although her newer stuff was well represented, including her latest CD “Let It Rain.”
Thanks to her earnestness and craftsmanship, Chapman’s entire performance was well-received, but the audience saved its most enthusiastic responses for her older stuff.
Chapman is a veteran who has been around for almost two decades, ever since — the legend goes — her Tufts University roommate gave her music-exec dad a tape of Chapman’s singing and daddio signed her to Elektra Records.
Because she has been recording since the mid-80s, Chapman obviously knows the importance of mixing not only old numbers with new ones, but also her more introspective, melancholia-inducing songs with more upbeat material — lest her show become a sobfest.
From the minute Chapman — dressed in blue jeans, a long-sleeved black top and her long, locked hair — took the stage with her superb five-piece band and single backup singer, the audience yelled their acknowledgments. “We love you, Tracy,” or “You go, girl” penetrated the air during each quiet moment. And some not-quiet ones.
The cries also demanded favorite songs, most frequently “Give Me One Reason.”
Three-quarters of the way through the show, she finally leaped into that 1996 pop hit, her biggest. It was worth waiting for. Chapman is one of the few performers who actually sounds as good live as she does on CD, so she often added something new to the songs. That prevented the audience — at least one member of it — from wondering if it was live or Memorex.
On “Give Me One Reason,” for instance, she followed up the regular version of that bluesy song with what sounded like a rollicking, Texas-honky-tonk swing version.
Chapman has been unfairly typecast as a folkie, primarily because of her proficiency with the acoustic guitar. It’s true that her strong, tremulous voice –which easily cut through the humidity about which she goodnaturedly complained early in the evening — calls to mind folk legend Odetta. But Chapman is equally adept at the electric guitar, as she showed on a stunning rendition of the Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun.”
Yet, she never tried to deny her folk roots. There were tears in some eyes when she grabbed her acoustic guitar and, accompanied only by a bass fiddle, folked it up on 1995’s “The Promise.”
The night’s opening act, Joseph Arthur, gave a deceptively complex 30-minute set that was well-received. Accompanied only by himself on electric guitar and harmonica — and foot pedals — Arthur’s simple melodies were layered with previously recorded sounds that had you looking around for the rest of his non-existent band.
The high-tech troubador, whose voice called to mind a young Neil Young, connected with the audience and had them primed when the featured act took the stage.
- Shawn Conley, 07/30/03: …Hey Everyone. The Regency Park – Cary, NC show was incredible. It was my first Tracy Chapman show and I really didn’t know what to expect. I have been a fan forever but the opportunity never presented itself. I’m kicking myself as I write this. I got second row seats so I could watch everything, but I didn’t realize how close they really were. At Regency the stage is only a few stone steps high so it felt like being onstage. The opener, Joseph Arthur was much better than I expected. He reminded me, with his skillfull footwork with the recorded loops, that there are still a few “one man bands” out there. Imagine pieces of Bod Dylan, Dave Mathews, John Lennon and Oasis(without the attitude) rolled into one.
…But, on to Tracy. Amazing! From the opener of “Say Hallelujah” you could tell this was going to be a great show. It was very intimate. Tracy paused the show and told a story about spending the day watching the turtles and ducks on the pond that is only a stones throw from the stage at Regency. She was incredibly sweet and very charming, almost shy at times. She was able to transition it into a very tastefully placed comment about Amnesty International by describing how this one little turtle kept getting pushed away by the ducks as Tracy was tossing food out to it. She had never seen/fed a turtle up close before and had to ask the audience a few times to get a clear answer on what kind of turtle it probably was. It was great watching her connect with the audience.
…New songs from “Let it Rain”, like the title track and “Say Hallelujah” followed after and were very well recieved. I was amazed at her five piece band. Her backup singer is incredible- to quote Tracy -“There’s nothing more to say” Everyone got quiet when others, such as “Another Sun” and “You’re the One” were played. It was more a respectful appreciation than a lack of familiarity. Even the people who hadn’t heard them before seemed to want to pick up enough of the songs to sing with the chorus. Her renditions of hits like “Telling Stories”, “Fast Car”, and “Give Me One Reason” had everyone on the edge of their seats, singing their hearts out of course. Bringing out older material like “For My Lover” and “Why?” gave me a new appreciation of songs that I had forgotten that I loved so much. After watching her, I spent the night wearing out my finger tips re-earning how to play them the right way on my acoustic. After calls from the audience during the first half of the show for ” The Promise” , Tracy finally relented and came to the front of the stage to accomodate them. I was not familiar with the song then, but I plan to get the album (oops, showing my age), err cd, it is on right away. It was played beautifuly and I could see a few wet eyes behind me after she finished.
…The closing and the encore were what really blew me away though. Tracy played a cover of the Animals “House of the Rising Sun” that was unbelievable. Her voice and approach to the song was so strong that I’m sure I was standing there with my mouth open, staring for most of the song. After the goose bumps started to go down on my arms, I couldn’t imagine why I had never thought of that as a song perfect for her voice and passion. Her encore of Bob Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up” had the house on their feet, dancing in the aisles. That was fitting because right after that she thanked everyone gracefully and left the stage, leaving them no reason to find their seats again. I would have to say that the show that night goes into my top five. I have seen most of the performers I have wanted to, including Aerosmith, Elton John, Billy Joel, The Grateful Dead, Jimmy Buffet, Metallica, Guns and Roses, Santana, Dylan, Kiss, you name it. Tracy blew most of them away with just her personalityand honesty towards her music and audience. I will not miss another chance, when she comes close, to see her again. Thanks Tracy, just for still being only Tracy!
- Mike, 07/27/03: Awesome show, first time I’ve seen her in person, totally blew me away. She and her band sounded better in person than on CD. Her voice was flawless, she connected with the crowd, and our front row seats were well worth the price ($49). Joseph Arthur was very good too, didn’t know who he was until that night, but he made a fan of me and my wife as well.
- Scott McNeill, 07/25/03: Great show…the opener did a great job, and Tracy entertained the crowd quite well – especially with the finale (Give Me One Reason). I am SOOO glad I went and will definately go back if she comes around!~
- Eric, 07/25/03: Awesome- Great Voice; Great Sound; Band was On!