March 11, 1997
The Theater of Living Arts, Philadelphia PA


Review and photos by Mike Dare. Check out the setlist.

Philadelphia, PA - The third stop of the Cranes US tour. No dead body stories with the hotel this time, but the place was still quite "dodgey". From the 15th floor, the band got a nice of view of industrial Philadelphia along with the housing projects on both sides of the hotel.

The area of the venue, however, was actually quite nice. The Theater of Living Arts is also a pretty cool place. Ali decided to throw in a few new songs into the setlist. They brought back the intro music to precede their stage entrance ("Skies Over Berlin" from the "Wings of Desire" soundtrack) and then opened the night's set with "Everywhere". The rest of the set was going to be the same as the two previous nights, but Jim broke a string during "On Top of the World" and couldn't restring in time for the next song. So at the last moment, Ali picked up the Ovation, pulled up a chair, and played "Sweet Unknown". It sounded excellent, and is arguably the best song they played that night. That's pretty good considering that Mark mentioned that they haven't even played that song since they recorded the album and that he almost forgot how it went. Still, they pulled it off nicely.

The crowd, however, was pretty much dead that night. What was extremely odd was that there was a 5 foot gap between the front row of the audience and the stage. But there was nothing there to prevent them from coming all the way up to the stage. It was like everybody was afraid to get too close to the band.

The crowd didn't start to show signs of life until the encore. Maybe it was because Ali came out and said, "Ok, we're gonna play an old song that some of you might not know. It's called 'Give'." A definite hightlight of the night. To all those fans who are bent on the intensity of their older stuff...the Cranes proved that they still got it. They also had a little fun on "Lilies" by doing a slightly extended jam on it to close out the set.


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