Should I or shouldn’t I go? I was indecisive when Jackson Browne’s mini UK tour was announced, and by the time I made my mind up to try for a ticket there were only a few seats to choose from. This actually turned out to be pretty lucky, as on Monday night I found myself down in the arena area in the Royal Albert Hall for the first time, and with a pretty good view.
I haven’t really listened to JB much over the last 20 or so years [and it is soon 38 years ago since I first saw hime live at the Palace Theatre Manchester (a magical night)]. The exception being his live album with David Lindley “Love is Strange” (wish it was on vinyl) and the recent CD release of the radio recording “Live at the Main Point 1975”, again with David Lindley. But for a few years in my late teens he could do no wrong. His first 4 albums, along with his production of Warren Zevon’s ’76 self titled lp comprise one of the most brilliant consectutive set of albums – PERIOD – up there with Joni Mitchell’s early 8 album run (Songs to a Seagull to Hejira), Dylan’s mid ’60’s run, Ornette Coleman’s first 4 Atlantic Lp’s etc etc. The albums consist of brilliant mellow, heartfelt, introspective and uplifting songs supported by some fantastic musicians.
Anyway back to the now – sitting in the area and looking up and around the Royal Albert Hall you realise what a vast, weird and magnificant building it is. And if you have a chance to go, take a walk in Hyde Park before hand.
From the first few bars I knew I had made a good choice to attend, and it got better as the band warmed up. Intially I was a bit reticent about the guitarists – I always think of JB performing best with David Lindley – but by the end I was won over by the whole band.
The concert lasted over 3 hours (including an intermission) and the audience were treated to a fantastic selection of songs from throughout his canon – mixing the personal with his songs crusading for justice and the environment – yes I would have liked a few different songs but not at the expense of any he played.
And his new lp should be out on vinyl any day soon!