2005 – Where You Live Tour – November 9, 2005, London, Hammersmith Apollo


Set 1:
01. Why?
02. For My Lover
03. Change
04. Knocking on Heaven’s Door (with the support act Ben Taylor)
05. Don’t Dwell
06. Fast Car
07. 3000 Miles
08. The Promise
09. Say Hallelujah
10. Talk To You
11. Baby Can I Hold You
12. Another Sun
13. America
14. Talkin’ ’bout A Revolution

Encore 1:
15. Come As You Are (Nirvana cover)
16. Give Me One Reason (with extended rocky ending!)

Setlist submitted by: Rosemary May


  • Aurélie M., 11/10/05: It’s the first time i’m quite far from the stage, row K on the right side, it changes the way we see things that happen on stage, and the sound quality, the further, the worst it is. Still row K is a great seat and the price of the ticket is as expensive as the first row so I guess it means it’s a good one (?).[singlepic=728,400,300,center]Local crew was particularly active trying to find those who try to take some pictures, a bit too much, it was really boring to have them in sight while looking at the stage. Though before entering the venue we’ve been given a note on which it was written that we would be asked to leave the venue if we were found using cameras and recording equipment. Of course I saw no one being asked to go out, even if several ones were asked several times to stop taking photos! So what’s the solution? Selling some photos of Tracy live at the mershandising store? Why not.

    Tracy didn’t talk that much to the audience tonight, in comparison with previous shows. Songs from the first album were still appreciated by the audience as they receive more applause than any other ones. Ben Taylor was asked to join the band on stage to sing Knockin On Heaven’s Door, I prefered Lean On Me as he was singing more on the song but hearing this duet was good too.

    During Don’t Dwell the guy besides me was eating some nuts or chocolate candies I don’t know, couldn’t it be during a loud song like America or Say Hallelujah? No, of course he chose Don’t Dwell; oh yeah it could have been worst, during Behind The Wall or The Promise so I stop complaining.

    I was surprised to hear 3,000 Miles! Joe Gore on hands claps and on kind of weisenborn, maybe they didn’t play it lots of times live but I thought it was not completely finished, something in the speed and rythm of the song didn’t completely leave me satisfied, but it was so good to hear it!

    Other songs were played like previous nights except America on which they made it last a bit adding extra notes at the end of the song. As an encore we could get Come As You Are (highly welcomed by the audience and by myself as well) and Give Me On Reason.

    [singlepic=727,300,400,center] After the show, in front of the venue, some guys were selling some huge Where You Live posters for £2. The funny thing is that they were french posters and I couldn’t find anywhere in France!
  • Lyle: Tracy Chapman – London. The People It’s been a long time coming, but last night we went to see Tracy Chapman in concert.And bloody hell, she was good – but the audience were a nightmare. In fact, a very similar crowd to that experienced by Skytower.

    I don’t understand why people pay £35 per ticket to go and see a sensational concert, only to talk to their mates all the way through it. Or to text people all the way through – and believe me, in the dark, the screen illumination can be sodding bright, and fucking distracting. I also don’t understand the point of keeping on going out to get more drinks etc. You’ve paid thirty-fucking-five pounds to see this gig, yet you spend half of it walking to and from the bar, and/or fucking off the people around you by constantly moving. You stupid self-obsessed bastard.

    As for people with cameras, I don’t quite understand why they’re incapable of turning the flash off. Quite honestly, the flash at that range isn’t going to do anything, although it’s quite likely to screw up your photos. The camera thinks it’ll be getting a lot more light (due to the flash), then doesn’t – because the flash is swallowed up by the distance – so you just get screwed up and dull shots. And then try, and try again – but always with the flash on. Twat.

    Oh, and why is it that people insist on singing along with all the songs? You’ve paid to see the original artist sing them, not attempt to drown them out with your own toneless/tuneless attempts that – more than occasionally – also have the wrong words too.

    Still, despite all of these tossers, the gig itself was stonking.

    Tracy Chapman – London. The Concert

    So yes, a bit more about the gig itself.

    First of all, the Hammersmith Apollo is a sod to get to. OK, the parking in the area isn’t too bad, and it’s dead opposite Hammersmith Tube station, but it’s still something that, at street level, is a sod to get to. And we’ll gloss over £7.50 for parking.

    Inside, the venue’s pretty stunning. However, as with a lot of the Apollos, and older venues in general where they seem to have been converted from theatres, the seating is a) tight and cramped, and b) uncomfortable.

    Despite all that, the concert itself was stonking. She doesn’t do much on stage, yet there’s a certain amount of presence, for want of a better word. Not showy, just three people (and a bit of unidentified (pre-recorded?) percussion) doing what they do – and doing it bloody well. The standard well-known tracks (“Fast Car”, “Talkin’ about a Revolution” etc.) were all done, as were various items from all the earlier albums as well as the new one.

    In addition, a couple of covers, “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” and Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” added some variety, and a very much more rock-driven “Another Sun” which kicked things up a gear.

    All told, an absolute stunner of a gig. Not much talking to the audience – although some members still insisted on yelling for tracks, or talking to her – just a pure-breed performance. Well worth the money, and the effort, and even of having to tolerate the fuckwits. Although it would’ve been better if I’d had a stungun…


  • CAUGHT LIVE: TRACY CHAPMAN – SIOBHAN GROGAN at Hammersmith Apollo – By: Siobhan Grogan, Sunday Mirror, Tuesday, 13 November 2005

TRACY Chapman has always been something of an enigma.

She became an overnight sensation in 1988 when she played her debut single Fast Car at Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday concert.

Though nothing was known about the girl with the guitar and the haunting voice, the song became a huge hit and Tracy’s fan base remains just as devoted – even if her success since then has been more hit-and-miss.

There was certainly a special buzz in the air at this concert, the sort reserved for rare performances and band reunions.

It is more than two years since Tracy played these shores and her fans could not believe their luck to be in her presence. From the moment she took the stage in jeans and a black shirt, they cheered wildly throughout, hollering declarations of love at the stage before lapsing into stunned silence each time she sang.

She has the sort of voice that could affect even the hardest heart, though.

Rich, evocative and more powerful live than you might expect, it sounded stunning on older hits like Baby Can I Hold You as well as covers of Nirvana’s Come As You Are and the Dylan classic Knocking On Heaven’s Door.

Surprisingly, it was the songs from her new album Where You Live that really stood out.

Backed by drums and bass, tracks like Change and the hard-hitting America easily elicited the most passionate performances from Tracy and were more striking than any of the better-known numbers that drew the biggest cheers at this show.

Clearly it will take some time before any songs are as loved as Tracy’s old hits.

But with this album, she finally stands a chance.

For My Lover
Knocking On Heaven’s Door
Don’t Dwell
Fast Car
3,000 Miles
The Promise
Say Hallelujah
Talk To You
Baby Can I Hold You
Another Sun
Talkin’ Bout A Revolution
Come As You Are
Give Me One Reason

  • Pop: Tracy Chapman ***** – By: Lisa Verrico, The Times, Tuesday, 11th November 2005

Tracy Chapman and her two-piece band were still taking to the stage in the dark when the screaming and cheering began. “Go, Tracy,” shouted a middle-aged couple behind me, while several women competed to tell the sombre singer that they loved her. Could this be right? A Best Of collection aside, Chapman hasn’t enjoyed a major hit here for more than a decade, yet a capacity crowd ranging in age from 16 to 60 was going politely crazy before she had played a single note.

When the lights came up a little (it was a gloomy- looking set all evening) Chapman failed to reply, but delighted fans by going straight into two of her classic tracks. Why? and For My Lover, both taken from her multimillion-selling late Eighties debut, had barely aged — the former still a startlingly relevant protest song, the latter a stark storytelling number set to lap steel and acoustic guitar.

Chapman has done rather well on the ageing front herself. Wearing jeans and a brown shirt over a tight vest top, her dreadlocked hair shorter than in the days when radio playlists were stuffed with her songs, she cut a youthful figure unchanged by fame.

This was a no-fuss, no-frills show, driven by the same passion, protest and deep, warm, powerful voice that made the Ohio-born singer a star when TV cameras picked her up performing between big-name acts at Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday concert in London 17 years ago.

Fortunately for both singer and fans, Chapman’s songwriting has recently gone through a renaissance. After releasing only one album of note in the 1990s, the Grammy award-winning New Beginning in 1995, her last two records have shown her to be back on fine form. The current album, Where You Live, spawned three of the night’s highlights — the chart-missing single Change, the broody ballad Don’t Dwell, and America, a loud, rocky political rant about her homeland on which she beat enormous tomtoms between bursts on electric guitar.

The audience calls kept coming, but Chapman isn’t the type to indulge in frivolous banter. Instead, it was head down and on with the songs, including a cover of Dylan’s Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, sung as a duet with Ben Taylor, son of James Taylor and Carly Simon; The Promise, played solo and huge; the old hits Baby Can I Hold You, Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution and, of course, Fast Car. With protest singers back in fashion, Chapman should be in the charts, although seeing on her stage it was hard to imagine a singer less craving for fame.

Tracy Chapman plays at the NIA Academy, Birmingham, on Sunday, and at the Brighton Centre on Monday

  • Tracy Chapman, Hammersmith Apollo, London (Sinead O’Connor, Shepherds Bush Empire, London ; Billy Idol, Brixton Academy, London) – By Ben Walsh, The Independant, Tuesday, 15 November 2005

Hits and misses of the Eighties

As the canon of rock classics has shaped up for the new millennium, its rich tapestry has a large hole where the decade of the Eighties should be. For the era of Reagan and Thatcher was for the most part the era of synthesised radio-friendly pop, with Prince and Madonna as its twin figureheads, and the likes of Bruce Springsteen succumbing to stadium-sized bombast and, even worse, “production values”.

Whatever pleasures the decade of Mick Jagger and David Bowie’s “Dancing in the Streets” afforded, they tended to be finessed sonically, and often sartorially, to within an inch of their lives. Three artists whose heyday it was were back playing in London this week.

The folk-rock star Tracy Chapman rose to fame in the late Eighties on the back of her raw, quavering vocals, and tonight she stuck religiously to the script. The hits in the shape of “Fast Car”, “Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution” and “Baby Can I Hold You” – all from her splendid 1988 debut album, Tracy Chapman – were mixed with material from the prosaic new album Where You Live.

There was a surprising cover of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are”, and a beautifully rendered version of Dylan’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door”, here a serene, jazzy number that benefited from some sumptuous guest vocals from Carly Simon’s son, Ben Taylor. Chapman remains a compelling performer, and in her hit “Fast Car” she has a song every bit as exquisite as anything by the Boss.

Chapman’s sturdy effort was nothing compared to Sinead O’Connor’s eccentric stint. The shaven-headed, 36-year-old elfin singer was introduced by dub giants Sly and Robbie as “Sister Sinead O’Connor”, and took to the stage wearing an outfit not dissimilar to that of Hare Krishna practitioners…


  • FAST CARS AND POLITICS – By Claire Allfree, Metro, Nov 09, 2005

To the largely indifferent majority, Tracy Chapman is still the woman who sang Fast Car, one of several superlative songs from her eponymous 1988 album that remains a landmark in modern American protest music.

But although nothing she has recorded since has burned itself into the public consciousness in quite the same way, the decrease in interest over the years has allowed her to forge her own very precise, unmediated path. Thanks to the mass sales of her debut she need never have played another note. Perversely, given that most people think she’s no longer working, her last two records, this year’s Where You Live and 2002’s Let It Rain, are among the best things she’s ever done.

Chapman’s a tricky customer to place on the landscape of American folk music: ostensibly she owes little to roots, blues, country or gospel. That’s partly because she distils everything down to its purest state – most of her songs let her sinewy, sensual voice take centre stage, accompanied by the barest acoustic thrum.

Her tightly compressed melodies are subtly invigorating, as her live shows bear witness – surprisingly funky, swinging affairs given her music’s modest, stately demeanour. Invariably they also become joyous, semi political celebrations – Chapman’s a pivotal figure in black music and her set list tends to include the odd Bob Marley cover. She’s generous with her back catalogue, too. So if it is Fast Car you’re after, you won’t be disappointed.

7.30pm, £32.50 (returns only). Tel: 0870 606 3400. Tube: Hammersmith

VENUE: Carling Hammersmith Apollo, Queen Caroline Street, London, W6 9QH – UK (Capacity: 3 628)
PROMOTER: Clear Channel Entertainment

Share this article
Shareable URL
Prev Post

2005 – Where You Live Tour – November 7, 2005, Manchester, Carling Apollo

Next Post

America, new single

Read next