Kyle Woolard – Zwiebelkirche, Berlin; November 24th, 2018
Like the previous year, Kyle embarked on a European tour right after Iceland Airwaves, solo this time, without the rest of The Anatomy of Frank. Most of the tour dates didn’t fit my schedule and the only feasible one was on the outskirts of Berlin and had a support act so I wasn’t sure if it was worth the trip. However, Kyle told me it was a nice venue and he promie dme a song so I promised I’d be here. In the end I didn’t get the song I had requested, but two new ones and a beautiful show that I would not have wanted to miss.
Getting to Berlin is always easy, so I arrived there quite relaxed if late. The show was in Altglienicke, i.e. about an hour from the main train station. Luckily I found a hotel there. Left too early, had to go one station by S-Bahn and arrived while they were still soundc hecking. Walked around a bit in the misty weather and finally got back to the church when they were done. Was allowed in and got to pick a nice spot while waiting. The organizers were really friendly and even asked us if we wanted cozy lights (i.e. none but candles) or lights by which we actually could see. I opted for the latter. 😀
There was not one support act but two with local band Achten being the first. They made nice music and the singer tried out a few new songs he had just wriitten as he told us he was studying at some Pop Music academy (if I recall correctly). It was nice, I liked it.
Next up was Adam Giles Levy, who played a bunch of bluesy rock song. I liked the feel of them. He explained a bit about some of the songs, which gave context to the stories he told. he has a good voice and I enjoyed his playing. some songs really spoke to me, others did not, but overall it was a good warm up. 🙂
Finally it was time for Kyle to step on stage. he greeted us in german, asked if we were ready and started with ‘Blurry’. As soon as he stated singing, a smile spread on my face and I remembered while I’d made this trip. His music makes me so happy. It immediately draws me in and time stops until the show is over. I didn’t look around, but the room grew quiet, so I believe the same happened to everyone else too. The sound at he small church was really good and I just let myself be carried by the Music.
‘Girl from Ipanema’ was dedicated to Adam. I sang along quietly, since I was filming and didn’t want to destroy the recoording with my off key backing vocals. 😉 Watching Kyle play was just beautiful. Even alone with a guitar he can command the entire room, Holding everyone captive with his songs. To me it is always calming somehow, even though most of the music isn’t calm at all. Once again I marveled at the clever lyrics he writes. There are so many good and quotable lines.
Kyle told us he loved being back at the Zwiebelkirche for the final show of his tour. He announced he’d play a few new Songs, especially for me, because I had seen so many shows. The first one was an “exercise in being hoest” as he put, because songwriters put lies in heir songs to make themselves look good, so he wrote one inspired by a bird he heard above his driveway, singing all day long. Researching what they might be singing about he found out all they ever say is “Hey Girl!” The song was about listening to the birds and not writing songs, because he was busy building a house during summer, then moving on to broader schemes. The song was being serious, but it aso had an undertone of not wanting to be taken too seriously, where the end made me think of Milow’s “I used to be a Rockstar” somehow. It was lovely.
A child had been crying in h back and Kyle apologized, saying he’d play better now. The second new song was “completely brand new”. I did not fully understand the title, but I immediately loved it. The lyrics really spoke to me and gave me quite a lot of food for thought. I’d describe it as a song about struggling with your dreams and with making them come true. I could not figure out all of the lyrics, but got enough of it to know that it’s totally my thing. <3 If an album comes out of Kyle’s honest song approach I’d certainly buy it.
I had not heard ‘Patagonia’ in a while and was happy to have it in the set. The words came back to me as soon as Kyle started singing. 🙂 Before the next song he told us not to worry, the band still existed, but he just likes touring on his own once in a while, because he appreciates the challenge. He then spoke about wanting to do something special for German audiences and having learned German songs for the occasion. So the first time around he sang Die Prinzen’s “Alles nur geklaut” and was told how terrible it was so next time he tried Die Prinzen’s “Ich wär so gerne Millionär” and people didn’t want that one either. So he researched for Germany’s most popular song either so we must like it. He google translated it from English and we should be singing along “Sag mir warum” (tell me why). We managed and it turned out to be The Backstreet Boys’ ‘I want it like that’. It was bloody funny and rally well done too! 😀
I’m not sure it has really been years since he last played ‘Occupy Anchorage’ as he claimed, but it was certainly so long that I could not remember the title when I heard it. The song immediately tool me back to the tour he did with Árstíðir where he played it with them every night. ‘La Llorona’ is always a favorite and I loved the sing-along. He even asked Jonathan from Achten on stage to sing the call and response with him. Before, he did a magic trick though. 😀 At that point I was still hoping for ‘Viteri’, but he had forgotten he’d promised to do it for me and my reminder came to late so he did not see it before the show. It did not matter in the end, because the concert was all sorts of wonderful. I’m sure I’ll hear it next time.
He ended with Elvis’ ‘Fools rush in’, saying it may not be totally appropriate for a church, but luckily we did not live in the 50ies. He walked into the crowd a little while playing it and stood right next to me most of the time. Of course we could not let him go like that and he had to come back for one more. ‘Vancouver’ was the last song that night and for the second time I noticed he censored himself, because apparently he did not want to swear in church. It is always perfect to end a show with and got the audience going nicely. When it ended I still had a big smile on my face. 🙂
Took the chance to chat with Kyle and Adam for a while after the show, before it was time for me to say goodnight and return to my hotel., happy I’d gone to Berlin for the show. It was fun, see you next year!
Blurry Part I
The Girl From Ipanema
Borderline (new song)
The white ?? sea (new song)
I Want it Like That (Backstreet Boys cover)
Fools Rush In (Elvis Presley cover)