Sunday, February 24, 2008

You'll Be Leaving on a New Train

We went to see one of my favorite artists, John Prine, a few nights ago. It was a good show, even though John Prine was in the middle of a big cold, and his voice was even gravellier (neologism du jour) than when I saw him in 2003. The opening act was an Irish country singer named Maura O'Connell, and she joined him onstage for a couple of numbers later in the show.

Since this is the middle of winter in downtown Winter Wonderland, the venue was indoors. John Prine is a popular enough name that it was one of the big theaters in Capital City (2800 seats), and we were on the far right side of row FF. I had an aisle seat ("I caught an aisle seat on a plane;/ Drove an English teacher half insane/Makin' up jokes about bicycle spokes/And red balloons..."), so I was able to stretch my legs a bit.

There was a guy in the row behind us who was probably used to the more outdoor type venues. He had a LOUD voice, and he was providing a CONSTANT NARRATIVE of whatever went on INSIDE HIS HEAD, which included repeated use of the F-WORD, which isn't necessarily something that offends me, but my son was right there, and we were in a freakin' theater. The usher came by a bit later to tell us that GPop's was the third complaint they'd had about the guy's behavior. The guy's wife was trying to rein him in, and I could tell that she was very near mortally embarrassed.

Son was kind of excited to go, but he had only slept a couple of hours the night before, because he'd been at a friend's house. He lasted through the opening act and one or two songs into John Prine's set, then he dozed off on my arm. He was probably the youngest person at the show. He did wake up later to watch some of the numbers. I wanted him to see some of the impressive guitar and bass work onstage. The players were rockin' pretty hard up there at certain points. John Prine had that jiggly left leg thing going on in the faster numbers. The bass fiddle guy played the instrument both as a rhythm instrument and with a bow during one song. We ended up leaving at 11:00, and I think we probably missed the final number, which I'm guessing was "Paradise."

John Prine is known as a folk singer, and he has the "folksy" part down. There was one point where he started a song, and the crowd began to cheer. He stopped and said, "What are you cheering for? I have five songs that start like this." When he was talking about another song, he said that someone asked him to write a song for a movie, and he did, but it wasn't all that special, because he used "the same three chords that I always play."

All told, we had a great time. Son approached me last night right before bed, and he said, "Dad, thanks for everything we've done and bought the last couple of days." Then he gave me a big hug.


Jen said...

what a great kid.

GDad said...

Yes, he is.

gay CME guy said...

I love John Prine! Glad you got to see him live.