Anyway, despite the first snowstorm of the year, people came out, and showed up early, thanks to Cole’s warning earlier that week: “Showtimes this weekend are early. Minneapolis is 7.35 (yes, that means me), and Chicago is 7.00. Be there on time or miss Rattlesnakes.”
Since there were no opening acts listed, Cole would play a double set on this Retrospective show. And as promised, Cole started a little after 7:30pm with two songs from Lloyd Cole and the Commotions’ album Rattlesnakes, including starting song ‘Patience’, a fitting song for those who sat waiting patiently at their table.
Although there were only three ‘Commotions albums (Rattlesnakes, 1984; Easy Pieces, 1985; Mainstream, 1987), Cole made sure those songs were fairly well represented on this tour. Some of these songs were rarely heard live, so it was a real treat for older fans to hear ‘Lonely Mile’, ‘My Bag’, or the first set closer ‘Jennifer She Said’.
The other tribute was done in honor of the great, late Leonard Cohen. Choosing to avoid ‘Hallelujah’ (‘everybody knows’ that is his weakest song), Cole instead decided to cover ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’ (which, incidentally, was not written on his setlist - see photo). The Cohen song was sung in a way that it was written in a form of a letter and told the story of a love triangle.
Lloyd and William
Opening the second hour with ‘Don’t Look Back’ was slightly ironic, as this whole Classic Songbook Tour was nothing else than a look back, but the song, stripped to its essence, still resonates with storytelling grace twenty-five years later.
The younger Cole did a fine job embellishing on guitar though would once or twice play a note late, with his wincing face of realization plain that he knew, but his father never acknowledged it, saying “we’re pretty slick” before both strummed the opening of ‘Perfect Skin’.
Before ‘2cv’, the elder Cole explained his “double denim” choice of outfit, as being influenced by a recent trip to Austin, and Cole brought up the fact that many couples in his audiences are unbalanced as to their love for his music (one person in the relationship being much more of a fan) ...which he was all right with, before going into the appropriate ‘Brand New Friend’, melding the song into a verse of David Bowie’s ‘Sorrow’ at the end.
The two-song encore consisted of the bouncy ‘Lost Weekend’ from 1985’s Easy Pieces, and ‘Forest Fire’, a song as its lyrics go, is “a simple metaphor” for “a burning love” and “don’t it make you smile, like a forest fire”, which the two-hour show did, for these die-hard fans.
After his Chicago, the next night, Cole admitted that “Fabulous crowds most everywhere. Thanks to all who came along and made this my most successful acoustic tour to date. We start again on Jan 10th in Brisbane.”
Lloyd Cole continues his retrospective shows:
01/10 QPAC, Brisbane, Australia
01/11 City Hall, Lismore, NSW, Australia
01/13 Trinity Sessions, Adelaide, Australia
01/14 Hammer Hall, Melbourne, Australia
01/15 City Recital Hall, Sydney
01/19 Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba Australia
01/20 Arts Centre, Sutherland, NSW, Australia
01/21 Fly Bt Night, Fremantle, WA, Australia
01/28 Theatre Royal, Nelson, New Zealand
01/29 Paramount, Wellington, New Zealand
01/31 Sherwood, Queenstown, New Zealand
02/02 Coronation Hall, Dunedin, New Zealand
02/03 Piano, Christchurch
02/04 ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland
02/05 Vic, Auckland New Zealand
03/02 Stenhammarsalen, Gothenburg, Sweden
03/03 Konserthus, Small Hall, Oslo Norway
03/04 Kulturhus, Notteroy, Norway
03/06 Sodra Teatrern, Stockholm, Sweden
03/07 Palladium, Malmo, Sweden
03/08 Bremen, Copenhagen, Denmark
03/09 Atlas, Aarhus, Denmark
03/11 Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, Germany
03/12 Electronic concert Bunker Feldstraße Germany
03/15 La Maroquinerie, Paris, France
03/17 Effenaar, Eindhoven, Netherlands
03/18 Zonnehuis, Amsterdam, Netherlands
03/20 St Paul's, Worthing, UK
03/21 Phoenix, Exeter, UK
03/23 Assembly, Leamington Spa, UK
03/26 Aquarium, Lowestoft, UK
03/27 City Hall Ballroom, Sheffield, UK
03/29 Unity Works, Wakefield, UK
03/30 Atkinson, Southport, UK
03/31 Waterside, Sale, UK
Lloyd Cole at Dakota Jazz Club, Minneapolis (18 Nov 2016)