Robyn Hitchcock... Gigography

Robyn Hitchcock
Concert appearance: Wed., 19 Feb. 2003

The Rhythm Room
Phoenix, Arizona US

Set list:

Arms of Love acoustic
I Got the Hots for You
Cynthia Mask
Queen Elvis
Victorian Squid
Not Dark Yet (Bob Dylan)
One Long Pair of Eyes
Glass Hotel
I Saw Nick Drake
I Often Dream of Trains electric
Queen of Eyes
Madonna of the Wasps
You & Oblivion
Encore: Ghost Ship acoustic
Encore: I Feel Beautiful
Encore: Only the Stones Remain electric

We just got back from the Rhythm Room. It was a great show. Robyn seemed to
be in a good mood and was very talkative. Someone had loaned him a red
Telecaster, so part of the set was electric. Here's the basics:

(acoustic; black shirt, large white dots)
Arms of Love
I Got the Hots for You " thing about you is your collection of
Cynthia Mask
Queen Elvis "...I'd never squeeze into your dress, not now..."
Victorian Squid
Not Dark Yet (Dylan)
One Long Pair of Eyes
Glass Hotel
I Saw Nick Drake
I Often Dream of Trains
Queen of Eyes
Madonna of the Wasps
You & Oblivion (plus extended solo at the end)
(encore--acoustic; flower shirt)
Ghost Ship
I Feel Beautiful
Only the Stones Remain

Robyn told a lot of stories tonight, telling us what he thinks of the
desert, how he feels about his upcoming birthday, the safety of using a
plectrum rather than having the vunerability of finger-picking, increasing
one's virility by adjusting the tuning of your strings, and more about the
giant land clams waiting to invade from Canada "...there's nothing in the
dosiers to tell how to defend against them..."

Talk to you soon, Marc


Michael Senft
The Arizona Republic
Feb. 20, 2003 12:41 PM

It may have been a small audience at Robyn Hitchcock's gig at the
Rhythm Room Wednesday night, but it was an adoring crowd.

Taking time off from a Tucson vacation, Hitchcock, making his first
appearance in Phoenix in 10 years, enjoyed a glorious return to the
Valley. He joked that during the ten-year absence his audience had
grown taller and his vision had gotten worse.

Drawing from his entire career, he played a loose, 90-minute solo set
that drew on all facets of his career, from his early days with the
neo-psychedelic Soft Boys through his `80s college radio hits with
the Egyptians up to his most recent self-produced tunes. All were
stripped to their core, revealing that underneath the psychedelic
lyrics and alt-rock jangle, Hitchcock is a folkie at heart.

The high points of the show were from the Soft Boys'
masterpiece, "Underwater Moonlight." Hitchcock dwelled on that cult
classic, performing a silly, bluesy version of "I Got the Hots" an
exuberant "Queen of Eyes" and a gorgeous, contemplative "Only the
Stones Remain," which closed the show.

The predominantly 30-something audience was enraptured, cheering as
he played obscure tunes like "Victorian Squid" and singing along with
more familiar fare like "Queen Elvis II" and "Madonna of the Wasps."
Strangely, he did not play two of his most famous tunes, "Balloon
Man" or "So You Think You're in Love."

For most of the show Hitchcock played acoustic guitar (the
reverential part of the show as he called it), occasionally
punctuating his picking with harmonica. For the last half hour,
however, he plugged in a borrowed Telecaster giving tunes like "I
Often Dream of Trains" a dreamy, Eastern quality.

Growing old was a theme throughout the show. Hitchcock, who turns 50
in a couple weeks, joked about Keith Richards and "the time long ago
when there was only Dylan." He paid tribute to several of his musical
heroes throughout the evening, including doomed British folksinger
Nick Drake, for whom he sang the moving "I Saw Nick Drake." Dylan was
also honored with a gorgeous version of "Not Dark Yet" from Dylan's
1999 return, "Time Out of Mind."

Hitchcock also kept the audience in stitches with his rambling and
hilarious banter. At one point, while struggling to tune his guitar,
he joked that Sheryl Crow must have used the guitar before he did.
Song introductions morphed into ruminations comparing the
reproductive habits of mushrooms and the Virgin Mary. Yet even in his
most surreal, Hitchcock found ways of relating his stories back to
the Valley, adding a personal touch to the show.

Throughout the show, Hitchcock clearly seemed enamored with the
desert. Hopefully his newfound love of the Arizona countryside will
bring him back to Phoenix in less than a decade. The response he got
from the audience shows that despite a lack of hits, he still has an
adoring audience in the Valley.

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