Fribourg, Switzerland - My first ever Cranes show. I was very excited after having read lots of things about their live performances on the net - I was so excited that I couldn't think of anything else for days before the show.
The doors didn't open at 21h as scheduled, but at 21:45 instead. There was no local support band as indicated. Being the excellent salesman he is, Mark was selling t-shirts and cd's at the merchandising booth because there was nobody else to do it. Cranes hit the stage around 23:00. The set started with Cloudless which unfortunately didn't sound very well, but after a few minor adjustments, the sound got a lot better for the rest of the show. Like last year's tour, they followed up Cloudless with two more Cranes classics, Reverie and Jewel (highlight of the night). After having played the older songs, they went into the core of Population 4 along with another highlight of the night, Shining Road, which was performed with evident pleasure.
The place wasn't exactly packed but everybody was happy to be there and enjoyed the show. The first encore was amazing. Tangled Up is so great live that I can't say anything else about it other than that it was great. It was very strange to watch Ali sing that song live after having listened to it endlessly on my cd player. Before playing Lilies, Alison asked Jim for the chords for the song. In response, he laughed at her, and Alison explained: "forgot my chords".
The day and my whole life were complete at the end of the show. I also met a girl named Val who drove all the way from Paris to see the Swiss shows. After the show we waited at the bar for the band to come out. Jim came first, selling cd's to two fans, followed by Mark who chatted with us for a few minutes. And then Ali passed through the door. She's like a ray of light. When she enters a room everything starts to shine. 'Shining shining like a jewel' - I think that this song is definitely about herself. Almost everybody at the club had already left at that point, so Val and I built up courage to talk to her. Alison really is unbelievable. She is very nice and looks quite shy, and she openly talked to us with a large smile. The best day of my life.