Jackson Browne – The AEC Theatre Thursday22March 2018.
Words Geoff Jenke
There were two shows on at The Adelaide Entertainment Centre on Thursday evening and it wasn’t hard to tell who was going to what show. The Gen X & Y’s headed for the main arena to witness Limp Bizkit thrash out a few tunes, while us Baby Boomers turned right at the entrance and headed into the Theatre Room. We didn’t have “NO Crowd Surfing” signs on our doors.
Jackson Browne is certainly the original L.A. troubadour. He is one of the people responsible for the Eagles West Coast sound, having co-written Take It Easy for the band with Glenn Frey. His songs are charged with honesty, emotion and personal politics.
Tonight, Jackson took us through a 45-year journey with songs from his first album (and before) onwards. Backing Jackson on the road were his long-time band mates in Bob Glaub on bass, MauricoLewak on drums, Jeff Young on keyboards, Greg Leise playing lap and steel guitar and Val McCallum on guitar. Apparently, Val selected the set list for the show on this night and when Jackson asked him during the show if he could change it for a song or two he got a resounding no from Val. On backing vocals were Alethea Mills and Chavonne Stewart.
Jackson Browne opened the firstset with After the Deluge from his 1974 album Late for the Sky. Although he will be 70 years old this year, he still looked and sounded 40. The songs then bounced between “newer” songs like Some Bridges (1996) and then You Love the Thunder from 1977. Naturally the crowd wanted the hits and Jackson didn’t disappoint, with Doctor my Eyes coming out early.
The Dreamerisa powerful song about the immigration battle in the U.S., Jackson and allowed the backing girls to come to the fore. He followed it up with the tragic relationship song Lives in the Balance. Jackson then played what he said was “the first song I ever wrote” in These Days, first recorded by Nico way back in 1967. Gregg Allman also recorded it in 1973.
When introducing “that” Eagle song he co-wrote with Glenn Frey, he told the audience “I learnt to sing this song by singing along to it on the radio in the car. I didn’t play it live for along time because people thought I would be just doing an Eagles cover. Well yes, it is basically an Eagles cover”. Take it Easy closed the first set to an arousing audience reaction.
After a short break, the band returned for more of the same, hits interspersed with album tracks. The audience were yelling out requests, but Jackson said they had to stick with Val’s set list. We got a bit of country in Redneck Friends, Jackson asking what the equivalent to Redneck was in Australia. Bogan was the united shouted reply. “well they are everywhere, all over the world, they just go by a different name”.
The band then played two Warren Zevon songs in Carmelita and Lawyers, Guns and Money before the run home with the popular songs The Pretender and Running on Empty. Encore started with 1977’sFor a Dancer and naturally was followed by The Load Out and Stay with the band each getting their own moment to play and sing onStay.
Jackson Browne put on a great show with a very professional band behind him. Greg Leide interwove his steel guitars through most of the songs and the two girls supplied great supporting (and occasional lead) vocals all night. Jackson looked and sounded relaxed and engaged with the audience, telling stories of the songs and even cracking a few jokes.
No one went home disappointed.