Shindell in Germany – it felt like my patriotic duty to attend the show in Oldenburg last Sunday. The Wilhelm 13 is a sweet, cozy venue. A steady stream of people arrived, every other wondering aloud that they had expected to be the only ones in the audience (partly due to the soccer match Germany vs. Norway, which took place that night.) In the end, the promoters had sold all tickets, making the event not just a musical success.
The show began shortly after 8 pm with “All Wide Open”, preceded by a quick “Guten Abend – that’s all I got”. The first set featured lots of new(ish) songs. “Transit” was more enigmatic than ever. It helped that the sound was very good, particularly the vocals. “Careless” was another early highlight. During “Parasol Ants”, Richard kept glancing at his lyrics book. With “Ascent” he warned the audience there would be mistakes because he hadn’t practiced the song and didn’t have the lyrics at hand. The rendition was spotless, though. This resulted in the situation of all available copies of “Blue Divide” being sold during the break. “Satellites” on the electric guitar had a nice drive. “Atlas Choking” has to be one of my favorite Shindell songs, and that night’s version was awesome.
The second set contained old and new, originals and covers side by side. “We Learned the Sea”, a Dar Williams cover, sounded particularly haunting. The venue wasn’t as hot as the UK pubs, and Richard seemed to appreciate the lack of sweat running down the guitar body. Anyway, “Are You Happy Now?” got some additional “Are You Happy Now?”s at the end and I think Clara lost some line during the last chorus. After announcing “The Next Best Western” and tuning the electric guitar for several minutes, the Western was ditched in favor of “There Goes Mavis” on the acoustic guitar.
“Any requests?”, Richard asked when he was called back for an encore. Silence. Then someone said: “Courier“. Good choice if you ask me. Great song, happy Johannes!
The second encore was a classic. I was just a bit confused by hearing the Joan Baez story while Richard seemed to play the intro to “The Ballad of Mary Magdalen” on the bouzouki. Naturally, “Reunion Hill” was played, eventually.
“Any more requests?”, was the question before the third encore. Silence. Then someone said: “Che Guevera T-Shirt”. “That’s a long and complicated song”, said Richard, considered it briefly, but then opted for “Stray Cow Blues”.
- All Wide Open
- The Deer on the Parkway
- Parasol Ants
- Atlas Choking
- We Learned the Sea
- A Summer Wind, a Cotton Dress
- Midnight Bridge
- I Know You Rider
- Are You Happy Now?
- Get Up Clara
- There Goes Mavis
- The Courier
- Reunion Hill
- Stray Cow Blues