Valuable quotes

"No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow." ~~

"The minute you start talking about what you're going to do if you lose, you've already lost." ~~

Cree Prophecy - "When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money." ~~

Friday, September 19, 2008

An Evening With Jackson Browne...

Aah, where to begin? I had the distinct pleasure of taking in what was to be my seventh Jackson Browne concert at the Tower Theater in Philly on Thursday night. Even the Tower itself is renowned for past performers like the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, U2, the Dave Mason Band. In fact, David Bowie played the Tower as his first ever in the USA concert. Paul Simon appeared there more than a few times and even a part of his One Trick Pony tour was recorded there, along with the VHS tape for marketing. An aging theater which I pray someone will restore to it's former beauty before it's too late. Just it's aura alone...but I digress.

What could possibly be left to say about this truly amazing, one of a kind man, Jackson Browne? No surprises he would be making an appearance at the Tower again. While he seems ageless from afar, he isn't, but he still has that boyishness that endears you to him.

I expected to see him appear sporting the beard that he had at Sundance Music Festival, and on the cover of Time The Conqueror, his new cd. But he surprised us
once again when he quietly strolled onstage, like always no introduction and no pretension; no rock and roll attitude or 'sit up listen now, I'm a big star' personae. Just his familiar clean shaven face, the one I've known all these years, giving the audience his patented shy 'hi'. He came front and center and did what he's done for as long as I've followed him - enjoyed his audience as much as they enjoyed him.
That is one thing I've always admired about him - his rapport with his audience. He will laugh and talk with everyone - joking about himself and the situations he's found himself in as well.

We didn't have to sit through an opening band either. Jackson was all the opening band anyone in the theater wanted. He started the show with 'Boulevard' and seemingly played without any kind of set list, playing what popped into his head, although I'm sure there is a loosely structured one - there
has to be, if you're going to play for three hours. He typically does and didn't disappoint this time either.

He joked, “I’m struggling with the self-knowledge that I’m lazy enough to just stand up here and do whatever you guys tell me to do.” While he doesn’t quite do that, he will kid with the person asking for a song that it was the best way to get him not to do that particular song.
The song of course, will show up a bit further in the show.

But this is his style and it allows him to occasionally take requests from the audience, which in turn gives him an opportunity to do the archival songs he may not otherwise get to do.

One song from the newly released cd was 'The Drums Of War'. The audience, up til then had been animated - swaying, dancing or singing along. But when the first drum-laden bars of this tune began, a hush fell over everyone and they just listened -rapt. If this is any indication of the contents of Time The Conqueror, Jackson has another hit album on his hands.

He had his longtime band with him also - Kevin McCormick (bass), Mark Goldenberg (guitars), Mauricio “Fritz” Lewak (drums) and Jeff Young (keyboards and backing vocals).

However, there were two new additions who are also on the new cd are backup singers. Chavonne Morris and Alethea Mills are two vocalists Jackson met in early 2001 while working with Washington Preparatory High School located in South Central Los Angeles. These girls are absolutely worth the price of the ticket on their own! They are one of the best things Jackson has done.

Lastly, he finished things off with I Am A Patriot and reminded everyone to get out and vote - and even with good reasons to talk about political things and law suits, he made no mention of candidates or policies being presented.

Having been to so many of his concerts now, there are so many little stories I could regale you with about him and how he chooses to conduct himself onstage.
I think the thing I like best though, was never before more evident than it was last night - Jackson is true to form and has been since he appeared on the scene in the mid 1970's with the song that got my attention - Doctor My Eyes, and for me there was no turning back.

He really has proven he's conquered his time and not the other way around. His vocal chords don't yet know they'll be celebrating their 60th year on this planet October 9th.

As I said, a truly amazing man.

For myself, I will leave you with the song that went straight to my heart and is still my favorite today - Late For The Sky. I could have written these words about my own situation at the time myself, had I been talented enough. And one day, I'm sure I'll get through the whole song without crying.

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