Friday, 9 March 2012

Gretchen Peters at The Arc

Gretchen Peters
The Arc, Stockton-on-Tees

It's been nearly two years since I saw Gretchen Peters at The Sage. I enjoyed the show back in 2010 and was keen to catch Gretchen again this time around. The opportunity came a little closer to home than normal; Stockton's Arc, to be precise, which hosted a sizeable and very appreciative audience.

The evening started well, with support from Lynne Hanson, who played a very nice acoustic set.

Lynne Hanson
There wasn't much of a wait before Barry Walsh and Christine Bougie took the stage to open Hello Cruel World, the title track of Gretchen's new CD.

Hello Cruel World
Gretchen then appeared to very warm applause, sang the opening line, 'Haven’t done as well I thought I would/I'm not dead but I'm damaged goods...' and 90 excellent minutes of darkly-tinged Americana came our way.

St. Francis

There was no gap between the first two songs as they plunged straight into St. Francis. Only after that was there time for a little chat, starting with the greeting, 'How are we all doing?' Gretchen then outlined the musical agenda for the evening. 'You may guessed – I have a new record out' she said, going on to say that the reception it had so far received had left her thrilled, so she '...won’t have to do the sequel: Goodbye Cruel World'. 

Gretchen Peters
The plan was to play the new album in its entirety before playing a few of the more established songs. A good decision; the new album represents a very high watermark for Gretchen's music and to hear all of the new songs contrasted very well with the reflective, popular choices of the 2010 tour.

Switching to piano

Set List

Hello Cruel World
St. Francis
Dark Angel
Paradise Found
Woman on the Wheel
Five Minutes
Camille Natural Disaster
Little World 
Koblenz (Barry's instrumental track; played Gretchen-less)
The Secret of Life   ('All right – we’re going to play some that you know...')
To Say Goodbye 
The Secret of Life

Before the encore

Last Train To Clarksville ('This one goes out to Davy')
On A Bus To St. Cloud 

Lost in the song
The end of the show
Come back soon!
Post-show chat

Keep up to date with all things Gretchen Peters by visiting her official website.

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