Sunday, March 27, 2011

Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne is one of my very faves. I've been listening to him since I was a little kid, when I first heard him sing on the late '70s No Nukes album. Running On Empty is hard to beat for a running song, or for driving state to state, cassette in the deck. Jackson is in the Rock Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and his music is widely covered.  He co-wrote Take It Easy, which the Eagles made famous. Just the same, he doesn't seem to be quite as well known now as he used to be.

On Saturday, I caught him on his solo acoustic tour at the Queen Elizabeth in Vancouver. Pretty special for me. I've seen him once before, with his band, at the Gorge, back when the Gorge was more of a pilot project. That was a rock show. This show was just him, unaccompanied, with a row of guitars to choose from, and a keyboard, taking requests from the crowd, talking about his songs and causes. He's very much the activist--always has been. Greenpeace. Nukes. Plastic. Surfing. 2.5 hours, with an intermission, a dark stage, with a single spotlight.

The setlist included all the classics, and it might've been a snoozer if you didn't know his songs, since his band wasn't there. Drums and bass help, and his songs are particularly meditative and melancholic sometimes. Since I do know them though, it was about as good as it gets. And 5th row seats! Seeing a rock star at age 63 handle himself so well seemed  instructive on how to age with grace professionally.

No comments: