Review #1 from Sebastian Alonso (La Riviera, Madrid, Spain, 22.04.99)
About the concert, it really rocked in spite of everybody knows in Madrid that La Riviera is an awful place to do concerts because it sounds very bad. Anyway, the concert was sold out a week before the concert, which is a very unusual thing in Spain where everybody waits until the last moment to buy the tickets, but it’s normal because The Cranberries didn’t play here since NNTA tour in July 1995.
The morning of the concert I met The Cranberries again in a famous record shop in Madrid where they were interviewed by a lot of journalists. I was there and I must say that Dolores was a little bit unkind with the journalists. Opening band for The Cranberries was The Hormones (classical pop) and they were good. At 22.00 all the lights went off and all the band came out. The audience got completely crazy at seeing them for the first time ever or for the first time in four years.
Dolores wore jeans and a black jacket and said “Hello, Madrid. What are you doing?”. People just couldn’t stop shouting hysterical like I never had listened to in a concert. The 2800 people who were there looked very happy to see the band again. These are the songs they played:
PROMISES: It rocked, but it wasn’t as cool as other versions alive because the people shout so loud that sometimes I couldn’t even hear the song in spite of I was at row 3. There was so much noise that I think that the band couldn’t hear themselves and so they got wrong twice. There was above all one big mistake by Fergal on drums. I don’t know how to explain it, but Dolores was shocked and got quiet when she had to sing and Mike laughed and looked at her and then to Fergal. Anyway, nobody noticed this mistake in the concert because I think The Cranberries are very professional and very speedily they were back on the right part of the song. We just noticed this mistake when we watch the concert on TV, not in La Riviera.
ANIMAL INSTINCT: Surprisingly a lot of people knew the lyrics and everybody put their hands together. Let me remind you that BTH was on sale on April 19th and the concert was on April 22nd. After that song, Dolores took off the jacket and showed a pink shirt. She also threw their socks to the audience and a friend of mine got them. I don’t know if it’s true, but he says that Dolores’ feet smell quite good!
DESPERATE ANDY: It was quite good. Dolores didn’t sing it as well as in the album but sang it very well too. I must say that this was one of my favorite songs then and I noticed that again they did another mistake. This time was Dolores, who didn’t sing the sentence “Have yourself another shandy” and instead, she sang the next sentence. Noel got a little nervous, but Dolores laughed, got near to him and touched his bottom happily. I was the only one to notice this mistake, but then we watched it on the video.
ODE TO MY FAMILY: Everyone got crazy since the first “doo”.
SUNDAY: Dolores was very nice with her acoustic guitar.
LINGER: This is not a popular song in Spain. I was worrying about the people here that didn’t know the lyrics and didn’t appreciate the song, but I was wrong. Everybody got crazy since the beginning.
WANTED: Everybody sang the classical chorus and Dolores came to me and stared in “oh-ooh-oh” part. She couldn’t just stop quiet. She couldn’t stop dancing from here to there asking the people to sing.
SALVATION: Again the audience went crazy. I can’t believe the audience in the USA could stay sit down. Here everybody jumps and dances until everybody is asphyxiated. I must say that Mike looked very impressed watching how a lot of people had to be taken off the crowd because they were asphyxiated.
SAVING GRACE: Very quiet song, but the people knew the lyric too and Dolores was so impressed that she said at the end: “You know all the lyrics, you’re so cool. Spain rocks, men. Madrid rocks, OK?”. It was very cool.
YOU AND ME: Dolores introduced it as a song for her only song and she came down from the stage to touch people’s hands.
DAFFODIL LAMENT: In spite of it never was a single for obvious reasons, it’s one of the favorites of the audience and everyone knew the lyrics. It was one of the highlights of the night.
I CAN’T BE WITH YOU: It definitely rocks alive. It’s cool.
WALTZING BACK: The light effects were excellent, but The Cranberries should understand that this is always the song that the people like least of all they play alive. I like it, but I prefer they play another ones.
RIDICULOUS THOUGHTS: As always, one of the highlights of the night. It was fantastic!
DELILAH: Definitely rocking. It sounds alive much better than on the album.
ZOMBIE: I think that everybody can imagine it. Everybody knows how Zombie sounds alive and how the people sing it. At the end, Dolores did peace sign and asked for it.
[ENCORE] Dolores came back in a long dress. These were the songs:
PRETTY: The new version, something like Pret a porter version. At the beginning people didn’t recognized it, but then when the guitar started, everyone sang along.
SHATTERED. Before starting, Dolores said that this was the last show of the European tour and that we had been the best. She was obviously very impressed of people sing the songs from BTH album. Then, people sang Shattered bridge too and I remember Dolores’ face astonished when people shout “Move over, move over”. I think she was like “YOU REALLY KNOW THE LYRICS?”. Shattered is really good alive, played in an acoustic set.
WHEN YOU’RE GONE: Very very well received too.
LIAR: This was the surprise, because they didn’t play it in the other European gigs and I asked for it a lot of times during the concert. Dolores did her dance like in the video from London.
DREAMS: Everybody sang it. It’s an excellent song to finish a concert, it’s just an excellent choice, the best one.
After the concert, Ave Maria was played (Dolores version).
And that’s all. I promise a review for Madrid and Barcelona concerts in December as I’ll be there in both of them. I can’t wait!!!
—Sebastian Alonso Casado
Review #2 from Sebastian Alonso (La Riviera, Madrid, Spain, 22.04.99)
The Cranberries couldn’t fill the stadium in spite of BTH success in Spain and I’m sure it’s because this concert was the most expensive of the year besides Bruce Springsteen and they played in Madrid in April, so a lot of people had already seen them. The show was very good. The stage was simply wonderful. I think it was much more interesting than U2’s Popmart. I love U2 and The Cranberries show was cheaper and easier, you know, but it wasn’t as cold as U2’s. And of course, it was much better than the other concerts I have been: R.E.M., Oasis, Alanis…
The light effects were very good during all the concert, the towers, the different heights and all that was correct, but sincerely, I liked more the first leg of this tour, when we could see Dolores nearer, hear her loud and clear in those small places. I don’t know if she is tired of touring or anything, but she looked happier in the first leg of the tour. She smiled and danced more, she looked at the people in every song, made them sing… This time, it’s But in spite of this, the show rocked and everybody liked it, especially people who had never seen them live. The band that supported The Cranberries was an awful Spanish band, and at 22.00, lights went off.
It has been ignored, but I think that one of the highlights of the night is that at first, there are two curtains that hide The Cranberries stage. You don’t know how it is until the last moment. When that strange music intro is played (it’s true it’s too long), blue lights are projected and then SUDDENLY the curtains are opened and THEY are there, on that wonderful stage, rocking the start of Promises. Everybody went mad when the curtains were opened. It’s not the same as seeing them coming slowly and seeing the stage from the beginning when you arrive. It’s all a big surprise and it was a strong highlight. Dolores was very sexy, with a furry long overcoat showing her leg to the audience sometimes.
These were the songs they played:
PROMISES: A short version, without the slow “ooh” intro, without the third chorus and with a double solo guitar at the end like on the album. At the end, Dolores said “Thank you” in Spanish (“gracias”). She said other things in Spanish but I won’t bore you with that.
ANIMAL INSTINCT: It’s one of the favorites of Spanish people, maybe because it has been used in a TV ad. The light effects were like CD-SG cover. Dolores took off the overcoat and she was in a very short skirt. I don’t want to disturb anyone, neither Dolores nor her husband, but I must say that a lot of people can give details of her lingerie that night…
LOUD AND CLEAR: It rocked. It seemed keyboards weren’t there. I could only hear guitars. Dolores danced a lot in this one, moving her arms and hips.
ODE TO MY FAMILY: I don’t think it is a song for big stadiums. THE ICICLE MELTS: The only surprise, it was good to hear it alive. I’m fed up with Sunday.
LINGER: People sang it but not as so much as in April. Dolores didn’t play her guitar. After Linger, Dolores shouted “One, two… One, two, three”, I mean, the beginning of Salvation, but Noel looked at her and stopped her because they had to play Wanted before.
WANTED: Noel started playing suddenly when Dolores stopped the “one, two, three”. She was a little confused, I think, and didn’t make the people sing as much as the other times. Anyway, she danced and did her sexiest moves ever.
SALVATION: With Dolores saying first “OK, this time, this time is the one, two, three, four… One, two… one, two, three, four” DESPERATE ANDY: It was quite good. BTH has been a success in Spain, being the second best-selling album of The Cranberries, and the people welcome the songs from the last album and knew all the lyrics. They played a very long version, with solo guitars in the end meanwhile Dolores changed her clothes.
PRETTY: The 99 version, you know. Dolores came back with awful silver trousers.
WHEN YOU’RE GONE: People shouted the “hey, baby” part.
DAFFODIL LAMENT: Some people were disappointed because they didn’t play Go your own way, but the effects with the flowers were, for me, one of the best things of the show, as it is one of my favorites.
I CAN’T BE WITH YOU: Really good live, as always. Dolores did new dances, which were little and strange jumps up and down.
WALTZING BACK: Again and again. I like how it’s introduced when Dolores shouts “BACK” at the same time electric guitar starts to sound, but I’m a little bit tired of hearing it live.
FREE TO DECIDE: It was not as welcome as I thought. It’s obvious that TTFD isn’t the best album, although there was a lot of people who missed songs from this album in the show.
ZOMBIE: Dolores played the final solo so perfect that she smiled at the other guitarists very proud. As in the old tours, she asked for peace in North Ireland.
RIDICULOUS THOUGHTS: Very good, an excellent choice to finish the first part.
Before the encore, a lot of people started to sing Shattered, but they didn’t play it.
DYING IN THE SUN: I didn’t think the piano and the sun show were so good. I was at first row and I almost cried. Dolores sang and played perfectly as the sun moved from one side to another. Fergal played keyboards very well too.
YOU AND ME: We didn’t know it was going to be the fourth single, but it was welcome, as it had been the first one. Everybody shouted since the guitar started and knew the entire lyric.
JUST MY IMAGINATION: Dolores introduced it as a song about being young. It has been a success in Spain and people sang it all along. Stars effects were really good. Dolores sang more than in The Jay Leno Show. She sang the “Not my (x18)” part and a little bit of “la, ra, laaaa”
DELILAH: Dolores and the people all shouting angrily together. DREAMS: Before this one, Dolores said she was very thankful to Spanish people for supporting The Cranberries and so, they were going to be back in Spain in April to play in Esparrago Festival. You know, BTH is around double platinum in Spain, was top 1 and it’s still on the charts, and she knows it… Everybody went crazy with Dreams and as always, Ave Maria was played after it.
—Sebastian Alonso Casado