2003-04-14 Annie Lennox - Bare - The Apollo - New York - The USA

Information

Artist : Annie Lennox

Date : 2003-04-14

Tour Name : Bare

Country : The USA

Town : New York

Venue : The Apollo

MAP

MEMORABILIA

PHOTOS

Programme

REVIEWS

PublicationReview
New York TimesDesolation and despair, but singing of it proudly

" Laments turned to rage and then to triumph when Annie Lennox sang at the Apollo Theater on Monday night. Her songs, past and present, have revolved around love and a woman's identity, wondering how much to give and how much she can take. They often begin like torch ballads, describing their loneliness in long, poised phrases above soothing chords and a muted beat. But sooner or later, she breaks through the illusion of composure, letting a sob or a sharp edge into her silky voice. If the tension grows strong enough, the beat kicks up, and Ms. Lennox lets loose like a full-fledged soul singer, determined to find catharsis in confessions like "Everything I want to be comes crashing down on me."

Ms. Lennox, 48, is on her first tour as a headliner in a hit-making career that dates back to the 1970's. She is no stranger to performing; she filled arenas in the 1980's and 90's as half of Eurythmics. At the Apollo she was calmly commanding onstage, a lean and fashionable figure who drew all eyes to her stillness or strutted decisively while she sang about 'walking on broken glass'.

Ms. Lennox has made three albums on her own: 'Diva' (Arista) in 1992, 'Medusa' (Arista) in 1995 and the new 'Bare' (J Records), which is to be released on June 10. 'Bare', her first album of her own songs in a decade, revisits the emotional terrain of 'Diva': self-doubt and the will to survive after a painful breakup. She sang a few of its songs, plunging into the despair and resolve of 'Pavement Cracks', the rancor of "Bitter Pill" and the masochistic longing of 'Wonderful', making her voice small and vulnerable as she asked, "Does it feel cold, Baby, does it feel hot?"

Revisiting older songs, she removed their pop camouflage. In Eurythmics' 'Here Comes the Rain Again' she traded its cool electronic pulses for her own piano chords to reveal a desolate ballad; a largely unplugged version of 'Cold' was all delicate heartache. But she showed backbone, too, stepping forward with three backup singers in her feminist anthem, 'Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves', and celebrating unvarnished lust with Eurythmics' 'I Need a Man'.

The Apollo has an illustrious history as a proving ground for the rhythm-and-blues and soul singers who shaped Ms. Lennox's music, and she paid perfectly gauged homage with her finale, "Why." It shifts from sympathetic regrets to accusations, and as her voice rose from calm melancholy to confrontation, her face turned from a mask of sorrow to a wounded glare: "You don't know what I feel!" she concluded. And then, as the applause swelled, she smiled, surveyed the Apollo and quoted James Brown: "I feel good!" " (J. Parales, The New York Times)
New York PostYou're rythmic, Ms. Lennox

"After 20 years of shedding stylistic skin, Annie Lennox - half of the shattered Brit blockbuster duo Eurythmics - has reinvented herself again. This time out of the box, Lennox is a blue-eyed gospel singer who's hitting the back wall with songs about the power of love.

With three old-school R&B back-up singers helping her soaring voice climb even higher, she was right at home in the world-famous Apollo Theater. In many ways, this concert recalled the tenor of Lennox's historic 1985 video duet with Aretha Franklin on 'Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves', which was also one of the highlight tunes of Monday's gig. Still, the Apollo concert was oddly timed, considering it was played in support of Lennox's third solo record, 'Bare', which won't be available in the United States until June 10.

At first, that worked against Lennox and company, who offered the new material up front in the program rather than weaving those songs into a more standard set. On the other hand, by keeping the tunes separated, Lennox was able to dazzle the devoted in the final third of the performance, peeling off her best-known and loved tunes one after another. On one listen, in a live performance, the old stuff was much better than the new. The audience seemed to agree.

That might change after 'Bare' is released and familiarity with the freshly minted numbers grows. But one thing is certain on both the new and the old: Lennox's beautiful, powerful roar is undiminished from the days she and Dave Stewart reigned over the world of techno-pop. Lennox has always had a gender-bending streak. In the mid-'80s, she appeared on the Grammys dressed as Elvis, and in a video for 'Who's That Girl?' she played both the male and female leads - and wound up making out with herself.

In this show, that passion was indulged with a costume that found her wearing a strangely asexual dress, pants, jacket and mook hat - all at once. As she eased into the late set propelled by tunes like 'Here Comes the Rain Again', 'Would I Lie to You' and 'Sweet Dreams', she changed into more feminine duds. Lennox is a gifted singer and a very theatrical performer. It would be nice to hear this show again after the new disc is released." (D. Aquilante, New York Post)
New York Daily NewsAnnie's Lennox's life has caught up to her lyrics.

At the Apollo Theater Monday night--for her first New York solo show in eight
years--Lennox sand about jealousy, betrayal, manipulation. longing, regret,
deprivation and, ultimately, surmounting it all.

Though most of those emotions surfaced in songs Lennox wrote years ago, they
seemed newly informed --given the recent revelation that Lennox's 12-year
marriage to Israeli director Uri Fruchtmann has come to an end.

Clearly, Lennox has figured out how to use hurtful experiences to her
advantage. At the Apollo, the 48-year old singer infused her songs with an
authority and verve beyond anything she has captured on record. In "No More
I Love You's." Lennox emphasized the lyrics' equation of desire with despair.
In "Here Comes the rain," she brought a pensive regret to its subject of
depression.,

Lennox also showcased four songs from her solo album "Bare," to be release
June 10 -- her first CD in 11 years to feature original (solo) material. All
my dreams have fallen flat, " she sang in "Pavement Cracks," a new soul
ballad with a pop spine.

Hits dominated the show--seven from her days with Eurythmics--but the
arrangements punched new life into them, "Chill in my Heart" turned into the
sort of bright acoustic soul song Minnie Riperton might have sung in the
70's. "Sisters Are Doin' it For Themselves" grouped a solo piano with the
Lennox and her three backing singers to recall the sound Laura Nyro and
Labelle achieved in the classic "Gonna Take A Miracle."

But the most rousing aspect of the 95 minute performance was the way Lennox
transcended her trauma. She did it though vocal sweeps and flourishesthat
seemed unsinkable.
BillboardNew York's Apollo Theater was the perfect setting for a stop on Annie
Lennox's first solo tour. "Bare," the singer's forthcoming J Records album,
delves deeper in to the blue-eyed soul she has hinted at through her
previous two solo albums, and the mix of music representing her career was
right at home in the storied R&B venue.

"I think that's pretty cool," a beaming Lennox said in acknowledging that
she was standing on the floorboards of the legendary Apollo. "I love being
here."

Well-known as half of the Eurythmics, Lennox is undeniably cool, a luminous
presence on stage. Riveting vocals aside, her stature is further enhanced on
this rare solo outing by simple, but visually stunning lighting changes and
tasteful usage of video projections on an enormous backdrop.

But it's her strong and compelling vocals and emotional investment in a
song's performance that makes Lennox such an incredible draw. With a crack
band and a trio of soulful backup singers, Lennox exploded out of the blocks
with "Money Can't Buy It," from her 1992 Arista solo debut, "Diva." Like
much of the show to follow, the song grooved with passionate R&B flavor,
courtesy of the well-rehearsed rhythmic five-piece band.

Only four new songs from "Bare" were unveiled for the willing audience --
the first, album opener "1000 Beautiful Things," coming four songs into the
show. With a deceiving Spanish guitar intro, it, the gripping "Pavement
Cracks," and the beautiful "Wonderful" are hopeful messages among much of
the darker emotional imagery of the new album. That side of the set was only
briefly exposed through the powerful "Bitter Pill," which came near the end
of the main set.

The rest of the show delighted, often bringing the audience to its feet in
appreciation for favorites from "Diva" ("Little Bird," "Walking on Broken
Glass"), 1995's "Medusa" ("No More I Love Yous," Neil Young's "Don't Let It
Bring You Down"), and well-known Eurythmics hits ("Who's That Girl?," "Here
Comes the Rain").

A gracious performer, during the rave up "Sisters Are Doin' It for
Themselves," Lennox deferred to the formidable voices of backup singers
Carol Kenyon, Beverly Skeete, and Claudia Fontaine, allowing each to
showcase their talent on alternate verses. Lennox not only took the chance
to introduce members of her band, but also had their names projected on the
screen behind the stage, further extending the recognition of each, and
gathered all for a cast bow at the end of the night.

And that end came all too soon, just 90 minutes after it started. Leaving
the audience wanting more, Lennox brought out the iconic "Sweet Dreams" to
kick off the first encore, which also included the powerful "I Need a Man."
Satisfying an impatient buzz, Lennox returned to the stage for an
impassioned delivery of "Why?" that simply devastated the faithful.

The show was a reminder that Lennox's solo albums come all too infrequently,
and with them, the chance to see her perform. But, like all good things, she
makes it worth the wait.

Here is Annie Lennox's April 14 set list:

"Money Can't Buy It"
"Legend in My Living Room"
"Little Bird"
"1000 Beautiful Things"
"No More I Love Yous"
"Walking on Broken Glass"
"Pavement Cracks"
"Cold"
"Here Comes the Rain Again"
"Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves"
"Who's That Girl?"
"You Have Placed a Chill in My Heart"
"Don't Let It Bring You Down"
"Wonderful"
"Bitter Pill"
"Would I Lie to You"

Encore one:
"Sweet Dreams"
"I Need a Man"

Encore two:
"Why"

Here are Lennox's remaining U.S. tour dates:

April 17: Nashville (Ryman Auditorium)
April 19: Dallas (McFarlin Auditorium)
April 20: Houston (Jones Hall)
April 23: Denver (Macky Auditorium)
April 26: San Diego (Copley Symphony Hall)
April 27: Phoenix (Gammage Auditorium)
April 29: Los Angeles (UCLA - Royce Hall)
April 30: San Francisco (Orpheum)

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
HX Magazine"What's up with American life today? Local drag queens are arrested
on the street, Congress tramples the freedoms of the dance community
and Madonna pulls her own video. But through it all, we still
experienced 1,000 beautiful things--and that was just on Monday
night at the world famous Apollo Theatre. Solo chanteuse Annie
Lennox debuted songs-one of them, in fact, titled "1,000 Beautiful
Things"--from her forthcoming disc, Bare. Illuminated with gorgeous
yet simple lighting and backed by three singers and a band, Ms.
Lennox had the crowd dancing on their feet one moment and weeping in
each other's arms the next, and we totally dug the subtle and quirky
poses the soulful lady would strike mid-song. Though she wasn't
chatty,the former Eurythmics frontwoman was clearly enjoying her
spotlight in Harlem. And we were enjoying her enjoying herself.
Plus, we were dying from her song selections: "Why," "Little
Bird," "I Need A Man," "Who's That Girl?" (during which she played
the piano) and even, for the first encore, "Sweet Dreams." What a
body of work. Add to that list future classics such as "Pavement
Cracks" and "Wonderful." And such an energetic concert. We're
counting the days till [SIC] Bare is available in June from J
Records. Tickets to her Solo 2003 concert were impossible to come
by (and selling upwards of $600 on eBay). Those lucky enough to be
seen: Rosie O'Donnell and partner Kelli Carpenter-O'Donnell, Alicia
Keys (and bodyguards), Bette Midler, Rolling Stone's Jann Wenner and
Matt Nye, Sheryl Crow,Bob Pontarelli, Richard Amiraian, Bruce
Gilkas, Alan Pavese and David Carney, Greg Gorman, Glenn Mendlinger,
Fly Lifers Martha, Peter and Carmen, Gregory T. Angelo and Trenton
Straube..."
Next Magazine"Monday night our musical madness hit its high point as we took the
A train up to 125th Street to Harlem's landmark Apollo Theater to
hear perhaps one of the most perfect concerts ever performed by one
of music's most enduring and enchanting divas, Annie Lennox. We
could gush for pages here, but we'll start by saying that Lennox
simply turned out one of the most soulful, emotional, musically
stellar and movingly intimate shows we've seen. She appeared
onstage in a hip leather coat, wearing shades, a scarf and a little
knit skull cap, and as she peeled throught the layers of the
evening's songs and emotions, she peeled off her clothes, ending up
standing sleeveless and Bare-shouldered in a slinky sequined top.
She delivered four new searing songs from her forthcoming album,
Bare, and served up a perfect batch of her previous solo hits and
Eurythmics gems. "Here Comes The Rain Again" was performed simply
with Lennox alone at the piano, giving the tune a moody, jazzy
heartbreaking flavor. She lead her band through charged and dynamic
renditions of powerful hits like "Would I Lie To You?" and "I Need a
Man," and she brought her trio of back-up divas downstage for a
sizzling, scorching, she-powered version of "Sisters (Are Doing It
For Themselves)." Other highlights: a rousing take on "Sweet
Dreams Are Made Of This," a heavenly heart-aching version of "No
More I Love You's"--and Lennox closed down the house at show's end
with a gorgeous, chill-inspiring rendition of her searing swan
song "Why." The sold-out crowd was jubilantly shaken. In the crowd
were starry types like Alicia Keys, Rosie O'Donnell and Kellie
Carpenter-O'Donnell, Sheryl Crow, Bette Midler and Jann Werner and
Matt Nye--and a houseful of gays who just couldn't get enough of
this one-of-a-kind siren."
BillboardNew York's Apollo Theater was the perfect setting for a stop on Annie Lennox's first solo tour. "Bare," the singer's forthcoming J Records album, delves deeper in to the blue-eyed soul she has hinted at through her previous two solo albums, and the mix of music representing her career was right at home in the storied R&B venue.

"I think that's pretty cool," a beaming Lennox said in acknowledging that she was standing on the floorboards of the legendary Apollo. "I love being here."

Well-known as half of the Eurythmics, Lennox is undeniably cool, a luminous presence on stage. Riveting vocals aside, her stature is further enhanced on this rare solo outing by simple, but visually stunning lighting changes and tasteful usage of video projections on an enormous backdrop.

But it's her strong and compelling vocals and emotional investment in a song's performance that makes Lennox such an incredible draw. With a crack band and a trio of soulful backup singers, Lennox exploded out of the blocks with "Money Can't Buy It," from her 1992 Arista solo debut, "Diva." Like much of the show to follow, the song grooved with passionate R&B flavor, courtesy of the well-rehearsed rhythmic five-piece behind her.

Only four new songs from "Bare" were unveiled for the willing audience -- the first, album opener "1000 Beautiful Things," coming four songs into the show. With a deceiving Spanish guitar intro, it, the gripping "Pavement Cracks," and the beautiful "Wonderful" are hopeful messages among much of the darker emotional imagery of the new album. That side of the set was only briefly exposed through the powerful "Bitter Pill," which came near the end of the main set.

The rest of the show delighted, often bringing the audience to its feet in appreciation for favorites from "Diva" ("Little Bird," "Walking on Broken Glass") and 1995's "Medusa" ("No More I Love Yous," Neil Young's "Don't Let It Bring You Down"), and well-known Eurythmics hits ("Who's That Girl?," "Here Comes the Rain").

A gracious performer, during the rave up "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves," Lennox deferred to the formidable voices of backup singers Carol Kenyon, Beverly Skeete, and Claudia Fontaine, allowing each to showcase their talent on alternate verses. Later Lennox not only took the chance to introduce members of her band, but also had their names projected on the screen behind the stage, further extending the recognition of each, and gathered all for a cast bow at the end of the night.

And that end came all too soon, the whole of the concert over just 90 minutes after it started. Leaving the audience wanting more, Lennox brought out the iconic "Sweet Dreams" to kick off the first encore, which also included the powerful "I Need a Man." Satisfying an impatient buzz, Lennox returned to the stage for an impassioned delivery of "Why?" that simply devastated the faithful.

The show was a reminder that Lennox's solo albums come all too infrequently, and with them, the even more infrequent chance to see her perform. But, like all good things, she makes it worth the wait.

Here is Annie Lennox's April 14 set list:

"Money Can't Buy It"
"Legend in My Living Room"
"Little Bird"
"1000 Beautiful Things"
"No More I Love Yous"
"Walking on Broken Glass"
"Pavement Cracks"
"Cold"
"Here Comes the Rain Again"
"Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves"
"Who's That Girl?"
"You Have Placed a Chill in My Heart"
"Don't Let It Bring You Down"
"Wonderful"
"Bitter Pill"
"Would I Lie to You"

Encore one:
"Sweet Dreams"
"I Need a Man"

Encore two:
"Why"

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