Luka Bloom - Live Review

The Village Underground - New York City

Saturday, 22 June 2002

Ticket Village Underground

By Denise M. Smith

It's been a while since we visited Hudson's lady. The words and perceptions of Riverside, accompanied me. A three year fast of live bloomtoons

      - was just too much for me.

So we hopped on the train and headed north. The city of New York always gives back generously what you put into her. I was eager to get out and feel her vitality, her pulse, her heartbeat.

      - You play it safe, you loose the game.

She delivered marvelously.

      - taking me higher and higher.

We had an ambitious day's program geared at visiting most areas of the city in 4 hours. Bwahahaha - madness!

      - There were people rushing everywhere
      - With things to buy and sell
      - There were taxis looking for someone
      - to run down

It didn't start off very well, as our train was late, so 45 minutes had to be improvised. Did I mention NY Taxis? You wanna shave some time off your life? Take a NYC cab and ask them to step on it.

      - Gabriel can you hear me? (Ok this one is from BTM&TM) so instead
      - I give to you, rescue mission

Ahh, the adrenalin rush... We land for refreshment in the upper east side at a goofy little place known for its devilish delights - Serendipity 3. My kinda place.
They brought the frozen hot chocolate first. Dessert before dinner. Susan starts musing how they make things look much bigger in the movies. Huh? My frozen hot chocolate looks just as big as it did in the movie - however - that's not John Cusack sitting across from me, oh well, nothing personal, sis.

Serious chocolate fix happening here, yumm.

      - And in these dreams
      - I feel no pain

Where to next?

      - the rush of want in you

A cab appears on queue for us as we leave the restaurant - late - because I had to have a little more chocolate (I am now about as high as I can get without chemical intervention.)

      - the tingle of touch in you

We miss a horrible collision involving a - Taxi - in the busiest part of town. Ambulances everywhere. Whole blocks closed off.

      - Sirens punctuate your symphony

We are delivered safely to the door of St. Patrick's Cathedral.

angel Photo from BigWhiteGuy.com

      - Let me hear you say, I'll be fine, my angel.
      (Everyone needs a guardian angel in NY these days)

Getting the massive door open is another matter. Oh and it looks so small outside nestled between all those huge buildings. Inside - whoa - where'd all this come from? Its quiet and cool, heavenly...

      - Breezes soothe our souls

Out of the sanctuary and into the heat. Our next taxi ride - a guy in a turban, no air conditioning, windows stuck up, tape playing the same thing over and over again...

Sigh...I am soo ready for Luka.

      - I love your music
      - and I love your songs
      - I love the wild things in your head
      - I want you here with us
      - Helping us to stick this mad place.

It's 7pm. Do you know where your hotel room is?

The show is 8pm. Need to freshen up. Been sweating all day. The humidity has sapped our energy.

      - People get sucked into you

Oh we can walk to the club! I'm dead tired and I'm thrilled I can walk to the club - 4 blocks. No taxi drivers! Yes!

      - People get hooked on you

The excitement is building! Off to see Luka! On foot...ooo the tootsies are hurting. Get to the club, door guy asks me if I'm over twenty one? Huh? Twenty Two then? Give him the look. Stamp. Passed.

Its dark inside, bar in back, small tables and booths all around the perimeter of a large empty center floor, all tables reserved. How did that happen? Thought it was general admission? Guess we're standing for the next 3 hours. The room has an exposed brick background, very basic. The stage is pretty long about half the length of the room. I look around, move toward the stairs, my eyes meet Jeannie's welcoming gaze. There is always a smile from her that makes you feel at ease, at home. No sign of the Argie chatterbox, Vicky. She must be doing some big time mingling. Ah, here she is. Hugs, haircut, bag of goodies in hand. I discover that - the goodies - are that - something - that tempts someone else near and dear to us. I secure them and think, where is everybody? Small crowd. Opening act goes on. Mairead? Nice voice. Guitar playing, ok. She gave it a good go, but it was obvious, one minute longer, was too long.

      - We long to see each other

She leaves the stage and there is a dash to the front by all the polite folks standing around. Ok where'd they all come from? Being dogged tired, I make it to the third row of pressing bodies. Where's Suz, oh well, she's a big girl. She can take care of herself. The woman in front of me is tall. Man with her taller. Sigh. At least I'll see himself from the neck up. Hmm wait, TV monitors. This won't be so bad. Wow, its getting hot in here, all these bodies crammed into a small space. I'm getting a little claustrophobic. Suz somehow finds me. Always bring a Sagittarian along on your joy rides. Ok, now I'm wondering if my feet will hold up for 2 more hours on this cement floor. Where is Luka? It's half past eight.

A flashlight leads him to the stage through the throng of eager fans. He's on stage, picks up a guitar and finds himself - facing himself - on the 4 TV monitors. Whoa, that's fecking scary! I feel like I should be doing the news. Turn them off.

Luka Village Underground Photo by Sean Daly

1. Dreams in America
2. Monsoon -> I've booked my reservations.
3. You -> for you
4. Acoustic Motorbike - cyclists, walkists. Walkists? Blame it on the mushrooms.
5. Don't Be So Hard on Yourself
6. Ciara - for all the Ciara's in the world.
7. Raglan Road à absolutely lovely, forget Luke and Sinéad
Air conditioning is bothering the man and his band. Turn if off. I wanna smell your armpits.
8. The Holy Ground
9. Natural Mystic - you know the Bono joke by now
10. Love is a Place I Dream Of
11. Here and Now - for everyone who lost someone on 9/11
12. To Make You Feel My Love
13. Exploring the Blue
14. Rescue Mission
I am so glad to be back in the Village. I'm a low rise kinda guy.
15. Sunny Sailor Boy -> excellent singing from the audience.
16. You Couldn't Have Come at a Better Time - the singing is loud, longer and rowdier.
17. Perfect Groove
Ah-hem the impromptu strip tease. I guess he couldn't get off the stage so he jumped down and sat on the edge of it and said "Is this my dressing room?" Off comes the soaking shirt, to some ooos and nervous giggling. On goes a dry cotton blue tropical print shirt. The temperature in the room has just gone up a few more degrees. So what do you - think - he's going to play?
18. I Need Love
19. Delirious - taking it up another notch. The audience is right there with him, singing, whooping it up, delirious.
He tries to get away but we're not finished with him. He comes back and says curfew at 4am?
20. Fertile Rock - The Village People are serious contenders to dethrone the Tivoli Choir.
21. Gabriel - This is for my son, who's an angel
22. Dancing Queen - How come its only the women that sing this part? C'mon guys this - is - the Village. Does a deeper na-na-na...

And then its over. Already! Amazing. The energy generated in the room is palpable. Happiness. Satisfaction. A small group of list members merges together again. People are only just beginning to remember the songs he didn't sing. Was it Alice that lamented "no Bogman"?

Next time...maybe.

It was so good to meet Maggie, Alice, Tony and Niall. Thanks go to Sean for the picture of Luka on stage. I know Jen (PirateGirl) was there but we didn't get a chance to meet. She told me she was up front somewhere. Oh well, maybe…next time.

Luka was very happy and relaxed after the show, more so than I've seen him before. There is no doubt that he owns a little piece of New York's heart, most likely location, a place in the Village.

      - Something happens to me
      - When I get together with you.

A special thanks goes to Paul Scully for the wonderful, glitch free, clearly mixed sound.

And thanks Luka for going for it - big time. It was a splendid show. I'm already dreaming in America of the next time...

      - The only thought that was a saving grace
      - Reunion, with the passage of time

Denise M. Smith
Philadelphia, PA
June 2002


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