On July 9, 1999, Big Country performed at the Sutler in Nashville, Tenn. The band had been in Nashville filming a video for "Fragile Thing," what would be the first single from the forthcoming "Driving to Damascus" album.
I borrowed a friend's camcorder and recorded the event. After all, a Big Country show in the U.S. was a rarity. Little did I or anyone know that this would be the final performance of the original lineup in the United States.
The band was playing with a good deal of borrowed equipment and were without most if not all of the effects rigs they'd normally use onstage (delay units, for example, most noticeable on their performance of "Wonderland"). The lighting was minimal at best, too, hence the rather grainy video quality. The performance, however, was still amazing, which became apparent when the band launched into "You Dreamer" at soundcheck (included here).
This was the first time many of us heard some of the songs that would be on the "Damascus" album. The band seemed excited about the album's prospects, and the chemistry was still there, still strong, still vibrant. And of course the crowd, small as it was, was wildly enthusiastic to have the band back in America after so long an absence. Some of the banter going back and forth is truly hilarious.
I shot the show while also watching it. I didn't want my entire experience to be seen looking through a camera's viewfinder. Consequently, the camera work stinks at times. I also (foolishly in retrospect) made too much use of a strobe-like effect on the camera for a couple songs.
But all in all, with the exception of a brief period where I had to change batteries, the full show is here in all its glory, including the only time in BC history where the song "Chance" was sung by the audience in stunning four-part harmonies. Only in Nashville, and the band's reaction to this was priceless.
Hope you all enjoy this record of a milestone show from, as far as many of us are concerned, a milestone band.
Opening crowd 0:00 Soundcheck (You Dreamer) 3:00 Driving to Damascus 5:18 The President Slipped and Fell 9:12 Perfect World 12:03 I'm Not Ashamed 17:40 Harvest Home (interlude) 20:12 John Wayne's Dream (partial) 23:38 Fragile Thing 30:20 I Get Hurt 35:39 You Dreamer 41:57 Your Spirit to Me 48:37 Dive Into Me 55:05 Wonderland 1:01:24 Alone 1:08:43 Look Away (1st attempt) 1:13:52 Look Away 1:15:30 Fields of Fire (with intro) 1:20:01 Backstage 1:26:59 Chance 1:28:42 In a Big Country 1:34:34 Backstage 1:40:19 Rockin' in the Free World 1:41:26