Philadelphia, PA December 7, 1994 review

by Jon Held

I saw Milla tonight at the Armory in Philadelphia! I really have enjoyed the reviews some of you wrote, so I will repay the favor by writing my own.

The Armory is a small stadium. It's huge, dome-shaped, and really did used to be an armory. The hall is extremely reverberant, a big change from the venues where Milla played her own concerts. She opened for "Toad the Wet Sprocket".

I arrived two hours early, at 6, hoping to be able to meet Milla. She arrived at 6:45, but went into a private entrance. The security was very tight, so I wasn't allowed backstage. I poked my little head into a backstage entrance, hoping to get someone to encourage her to come outside to meet me and the 6 other fans who were waiting. I made the request to the first person I saw - a beautiful young petite woman with long curly blond hair named Becky - who turned out to be Milla's concert manager. (someone on this list called her "attractive" - I believe this to be an understatement! She also seemed friendly and warm.) Becky told me that for assorted reasons, this concert was quite "closed", Milla would not be meeting any of her fans. Disappointed, I gave Becky some recent printouts from this list (with the names crossed out, for anonymity's sake), and a letter I wrote, and Becky would give it to Milla. I then bought a t- shirt, a yummy one with her cover art on the front, and a tasteful "Milla, The Divine Comedy" on the back. They were also selling a shirt with a purple picture of her on the front, which was slightly sub-yummy. (Sorry Mike, I only had money enough for one shirt! I felt bad that I couldn't get you one. But I'm sure the shirts will be available at ALL her "Toad" concerts - you'll get one.)

The performance itself was phenomenal. The hall added alot of reverb which really enhanced the sound. I always thought that Milla's performnaces in smaller venues sounded too acoustically dry. The production quality was high - smoke machines, fancy lighting, etc, which also added to the whole feeling. She played with her standard live band, except with an added drummer. She sang for about 40 minutes. Her performance was impressive, better than the recordings of some of her summer concerts which I heard. Her voice was powerful, emotional, and precise, and got better as the performance progressed. She was not as talkative as usual, but that was expected. She played the "standard set", and her new songs sounded amazing - I think they've improved. She wore a blue t-shirt, a black blazer (is that what it's called?), and a short(er) skirt, and as was mentioned by someone in a recent review here, she did look more "sophisticated" than she has in the past. I stood very close to her, as the hall was only half full.

She mentioned some things about her songs that you would be interested in- "It's Your Life" was written about a girlfriend of hers who tried to "steal" her boyfriend. And "Clock" was written about Anne Frank, a young jewish girl during the Holocaust who was shacked up in a room by friendly Germans so she wouldn't be murdered. (I think).

Afterwords, I decided to wait by her tour bus, intent on meeting her. Me and about 5 others waited. After about an hour of waiting, her band appeared, and then she did. She thanked me for the printouts, I told her she was phenomenal, she autographed my knapsack, etc, etc, and I hugged her (she's quite huggable!). She was very warm and friendly to me and everyone, but had to rush onto the bus soon afterwords, to go to Virginia. I then talked to Becky again, who expressed much interest in the Internet, and said that the bassist had a computer, and was interested in knowing the basics of doing the net thing, so I told her. I also told her to encourage Milla to send Mike or me a letter to forward to this list. Hopefully, she will.

One little thing Milla mentioned, that will make some of you happy - she said that she read some of the printouts BEFORE the concert - hopefully whatever she read psyched her up and made her performance just a little better. It's dope knowing that while she was performing, she might have been thinking about good things written on reaching-from-nowhere.

It was a terrific evening!

Mark, I told her (in my letter) that you are looking for an address to mail her tape to, and hopefully she'll contact you with the info, or if she contacts me, I'll forward it to you.

Mike, how many subscribers to this list right now?

Gotta go, my diet pepsi is about to expire...

Shakhterskiy privet s Philadelphia