What a magical night. Onetime Go-Betweens co-frontman Robert Forster wrapped up his short North American solo tour -- his first in 11 years -- at Brooklyn's Bell House on Saturday night. There was no opener and no setlist, just Forster playing what he felt like, sharing stories and his timeless songs. He opened with two Go-Betweens songs from the band's 2000-era reunion period -- "Born to A Family" and "Spirit" -- and went on to split the night between his old band's songs and solo numbers, both of which were met with rousing cheers. The set included "Dive for Your Memory," "Head Full of Steam," "Spring Rain," the title track off his recent solo album Inferno and lots more.

Clearly vibing off the crowd's enthusiasm (the partially seated show got two standing ovations), Forster was a total charmer and the 20-song set flew by. My favorite moment: near the end of his set he played "Surfing Magazines" (from 2000's The Friends of Rachel Worth) and the audience provided the "dah dah dah" backing vocals.

Recapping the show on Facebook, Forster wrote:

A sold out show, a room full of people who listened and responded in a way I have rarely known, and never experienced in New York. It was a turning point night. Overwhelming. Standing ovations. I couldn't believe it. And while it was magic, it was in the spirit of the whole tour. The end point to a run shows that built and showed me that my music and the music of The Go-Betweens has followers and admirers here willing to come and see me play. Thank you. It certainly won't be another 11 years till i come back. (Wish it was 11 days) Not by a long way. Another turning point realisation - I have to come back.

Watch video of "Surfing Magazines" and check out the Bell House setlist, below.

The second volume of the G Stands for Go-Betweens retrospective box set series is out December 6.

SETLIST: Robert Forster @ The Bell House 11/16/2019
Born to a Family (Go-Betweens)
Spirit (Go-Betweens)
I'm All Right (Go-Betweens)
I Love Myself (and I Always Have)
One Bird in the Sky
Here Comes a City (Go-Betweens)
Darlinghurst Nights (Go-Betweens)
Baby Stones
Spring Rain (Go-Betweens)
Life Has Turned a Page
Dive for Your Memory (Go-Betweens)
Inferno (Brisbane in Summer)
In the Core of a Flame (Go-Betweens)
Learn to Burn
Demon Days
Head Full of Steam (Go-Betweens)
Surfing Magazines (Go-Betweens)
Rock 'n' Roll Friend (Go-Betweens)


photos by P Squared

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