Thursday, April 7, 2011

Jackson Browne...last night

OK, it wasn't a million guitars, just 17 or 18. And a keyboard relicating a grand piano. And a couple of chairs. And any song he had ever written, plus a couple he didn't write. Jackson Browne brought his solo acoustic show to Hamilton Place last night, to a big crowd, not quite sold out, but very healthy. Surely the floor was sold out. And everyone brought their loudest voice to call, shout, scream for their favourites. Jackson had announced this as a "no setlist" show...which meant he would sing the songs you called for, as long as those were the songs he felt like singing.
They're all his songs after all. Kudos to him for remembering them so well. We just saw Lucinda Williams at Massey Hall with a songbook perched in front of her for the lyrics. Jackson just kept singing the verses over again til he recalled the next line. It was an interesting exercise. Should keep the Alzheimers at bay!
He sang a couple of Warren Zevon songs. Don't forget, Jackson produced Zevon's first Asylum record. He sang "Off Of Wonderland" and "Giving That Heaven Away" from 2008's Time the Conqueror and reached back as far as "Jamaica Say You Will" and "Rock Me On The Water" from the album known as Saturate Before Using from 1972. They were selling T-shirts with that album cover emblazoned on them at the merch counter.
Oh, they also had Time the Conqueror, the two solo acoustic CDs, and the Lindley/Browne live release Love Is Strange for sale, and buttons, and a DVD and a water bottle, and other T-shirts. It was a Jackson Browne marketplace in the lobby.
It was fun to see him wandering between piano stool and chair, deciding whether to play keyboard or guitar. It was fascinating to watch him choose the right guitar for the least he didn't have to change tunings for each song! His voice is rougher than in the past, although having shaved off the beard he looks about the same from where I was sitting as he did back in 1973 when I saw him last.
An interesting night. Made me want to go home and listen to the originals. Maybe that's not such a bad thing!
Just one more thing...folks...leave your Blackberries and iPhones at home. We finally get rid of thsoe stupid concert wands, we're no longer getting hot metal from sparkers dropping on our neck, so turn off the @#$% phones! The picture quality stinks anyway, and it's OH SO ANNOYING to have those bright lights popping up all over the auditorium. Even for the performer. I know, I've done it...I've been scolded by Ramblin' Jack Elliott! But as Jackson Browne said, "If you're hoping for a performance that just might be...transcendent...don't do it!"


media said...

Where did you see him in 73 ? I'm interested to know where in Canada and when he has been here over the years.

David Kidney said...

He played Maple Leaf Gardens. Trying to recall everyone who was in the band back that I've researched a bit, it likely was a couple years later. '75ish.
My memory is not as good as Jackson's, that's for sure.