So we saw Ellen Foley perform live twice in the same weekend. We didn’t quite plan to see the show in Hoogland (a mere 5 kilometers from our home), as we had other plans. No, we were going the next night, to Zoetermeer. But as things happen (they sometimes do) and we were able to obtain some tickets at the very last moment, well, hey ho, let’s go.
While both shows were great, it was interesting to see how the setting can influence a show. In Cafe De Noot in Hoogland, there was a low, small stage in the corner of a crowded, hot bar, filled to capacity with nearly 200 people there. In De Boerderij in Zoetermeer, there was a full-size stage in a hall that can hold 750 people, with roughly the same head count. In Hoogland, we could barely see Ellen on stage, and it seemed like the band was too loud for her. In Zoetermeer, we could see her fine, and while the PA was louder, the balance seemed to better. The larger stage also showed how damned good she is. Ellen owns the stage. That casual strutting around and waiting for her cue, she got that down to a T. Also, if she hadn’t mentioned that the Hoogland show was only the second time the band played together, I wouldn’t have know.
The set list — a couple of tracks of both her first (Nightout, 1979) and last (2013’s About Time) albums, along with a bunch of covers — was nearly identical, with only “Sad Song” not making it to Zoetermeer. My personal highlights were “We Belong to the Night”, the Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers cover “Refugee” (although I only really know Melissa Etheridge’s version, that song rocks) and, of course, “Heaven Can Wait”, dedicated to its songwriter, Jim Steinman.
- Seen live
- Ellen Foley at Cafe De Noot, Hoogland on March 18, 2017
- Ellen Foley at Cultuurpodium De Boerderij, Zoetermeer on March 19, 2017
- Setlist (Spotify playlist)
- “Stop Right There!” / Worried Woman / What’s a Matter Baby / Stupid Girl (Rolling Stones cover) / Irene Wilde (Ian Hunter cover) / All of My Suffering / Guilty (Randy Newman cover) / We Belong to the Night / Madness / Refugee (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers cover) / Don’t Let Go / Sad Song (not played in Zoetermeer) / If You Can’t Be Good / Sway (Rolling Stones cover) / Boys of Summer (Don Henley cover) / Nothing Compares 2 U (Sinéad O’Connor/Prince cover) // I Found a Love (Wilson Pickett cover) / Heaven Can Wait (Jim Steinman cover) / Should I Stay or Should I Go (The Clash cover)