Photos Copyright © Mike Dare 2002

May 24th, 2002 Friday
Atlanta, GA
Cotton Club

To Be
Shining Road
Future Song
Flute Song
E.G. Shining
Far Away

Driving in the Sun
Paris and Rome


Review by Mike Dare

Atlanta, GA - Tonight's gig actually marks the third time I've seen Cranes in Atlanta, yet the first time in a different club. Previous Atlanta stops were the Loved tour in 95 and the Pop4 tour in 97, both at The Masquerade, both great shows. Tonight, however, was the best yet.

Cool venue, the Cotton Club is. Located in downtown Atlanta tucked away underneath The Tabernacle. In regards to parking in Los Angeles written in by a previous reviewer (JD Perez) - I bet you the parking situation in LA is nothing compared to the mess that was in downtown Atlanta tonight. It just so happens that the Cotton Club is located right next to Centennial Olympic Park, and this particular Friday marked the kick off of the park's weekly Free Friday Concert Series. Attendance for tonight's Park Concert...90,000 people. (Note, that's the park concert, not the Cranes gig unfortunately).

But this all made for a very happening scene. Before the show, the band and crew seemed to be enjoying themselves rather well people watching at Ted Turner's CNN Megaplex Food Court right across the street. I think there must have been a prom or graduation party going on that night because the place was packed with high school kids, some dressed up rather nicely too. It had to be explained to Paul that it was not considered classy in American culture to take your prom date to the food court for dinner.

Anyways, as for the show, things got kicked off around 9:30pm with yet another new opening band for the tour, Matthew. A high energy guitar based quartet (all very young) out of Chicago, with a hard rock/grunge sound. Not really the match up you'd expect at a Cranes show, but they were very entertaining to watch nonetheless. I won't be surprised if you see them with a major hit on mtv or the radio soon.

Very good crowd in attendance tonight. Taking a guess, I'd say about 200 people. Good vibe in the air too. You could tell there were a lot of hardcore Cranes fans in attendance. Met quite a few fans who traveled long distances to tonight's show - Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina. And they all had the same thing to say - "I've been waiting 5 long yrs for this show!" Wow.

Cranes hit the stage around 10:30pm. And to my surprise - it was quite a different set tonight compared to previous shows this tour. Core of the songs were the same, but the order was rearranged a bit, and a few new surprises were added. One of them being tonight's opening song Submarine. First time I've ever seen this one live, and it sounded great. Maybe the best Future Song to hear live, and makes me wonder why it hasn't been part of the set all along.

I knew we were in for another surprise when Ali picked up the bass said "Here's a really old song, which a lot of you might not know...", and then launched into the baseline of E.G. Shining. But from the response to the opening notes, you could tell a lot of people knew exactly what song it was. It's great to see that the Cranes can still whip out the old classics and play them better than ever with the new lineup. And for those not familiar with E.G. Shining - it's on the EP Collection CD. If you don't have it, go buy it. That song alone makes having the whole cd worth owning. I believe it dates back to 1990.

So, an overall great show tonight. Nice venue, tight sound, lively crowd, and a balanced set of songs old and new. Afterwards, all band members came out to mingle with fans. There was a mob of people waiting to meet Ali, and she took the time to personally meet each and every one of them, sign autographs and pose for pictures. That made me think - in all the concerts I've ever been to in my life, I have never seen any other band do that. How cool is that?

Yet on the other hand - I also got a kick out seeing a few pissed off girls in the back of the club impatiently waiting for their boyfriends standing in line to get Ali's autograph. Oh well. I guess you can't please everybody.

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