Laurie Anderson in Concert | The Auditorium, Rome | 22 June 2007

When Laurie Anderson slipped onto the stage in the Sala Sinopoli at the Auditorium in Rome on Friday night she was barely noticed at first by the audience who were still settling into their seats. However, the second she started to speak they fell into an almost stunned silence as she began her journey through her 'Homeland' - a profoundly bleak portrait of 21st-century America and its impact on the world as a whole.
In the brief pause which gave the audience the opportunity to applaud after the brilliant and hypnotic electronic anthem - Only An Expert - the relief of those in the theatre was palpable, for they had been allowed to enjoy a brief moment of humour, albeit darkly cynical, in what was going to be an emotionally intense evening.
From moving personal references to her parents and grandmother, to the flights of surreal fantasy of Underwear Gods, in which giant billboards come to life and take over Manhattan in all their gigantic and oppressive perfection, to blistering attacks on President Bush and US foreign policy, this was an incredible journey.
We can only hope that Laurie Anderson isn't a lone voice in the wilderness and that things must change, and soon, for the better.