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Last Night at DPAC, Jackson Browne and Sara Watkins (fiddle player) gave a great performance. Since 1972, Jackson Browne has released 21 albums and I have loved each and every one. I arrived wanting to be transformed to a time of road trips to the mountains when Running on Empty was playing loud on my cassette player. I was expecting to hear all of my favorite songs, including Shakytown, Rosie, Running on Empty, and These Days and J.B. delivered. However, I was a bit disappointed that he did not play The Pretender, For A Dancer, Redneck Friend, or Doctor My Eyes. What? A J.B. concert without Doctor My Eyes? I guess there just wasn't enough time to play them all. With so many hits, it must be hard to decide which songs to play even with an audience who at every chance, is yelling out another request. He is promoting a new album and unlike most of his albums, the songs that he played from it sounded like deep-south Louisiana swamp music and in other keys besides minor. Good stuff people as I will be looking to download it in a few minutes.
Sara Watkins opening was missed due from a late arrival, but I was happy to see her join Jackson Browne on stage for every song during the latter part of the performance. Folks if you think J.B. can bring you to tears with songs like Fountain of Sorrow you should hear a fiddle bow drag slow and long in notes of a minor key. It'll rip your heart out. Sara's presence on stage added to J.B.'s tunes, but you could tell she was nervous, uncomfortable, and winging it on the cuff. Not rehearsed by any means.
One thing that I really enjoyed was the interaction between J.B. and the audience. As always he was talkative and interacted in-between tunes. He was not working from a set list but rather playing his favorite songs which was cool. One of two highlights of the show were during Rosie. The spotlight turned on two of the guys in the band singing backup who were draped in each others arms- and obviously making fun and having fun with the song. And the other, was one lucky friend of J.B.'s (a local resident named Dougie) who was in the audience and was called on stage to sit in with J.B. That was a nice surprise and as we were leaving the auditorium, I noticed Dougie's entourage waiting to get backstage.
Having seem CS&N just two Sundays ago, I also noticed and was proud that we have so many accomplished players living right here in the Triangle. CS&N had a musician from Chapel Hill playing with them and announced how honored they were to have him on stage with them. Both concerts did not disappoint and I feel lucky to live in a city where touring artists make BTI and DPAC a stop. Thanks to DPAC and their staff for scheduling all of these great performances. Good Job folks.
On another note: If you arrive to DPAC just before show time on ticket, parking attendants leave the lot. You can park for free in the parking lot on DPAC grounds. Also I have noticed, that you really need to understand the performance that you are going to. Visual Art Shows -you do not want to be stage left or stage right, I spent half of Billy Elliott missing the performance on stage left as the curtains come out too far and interfere with the line of sight. You need to be as close to the center as possible and for music performances you do not want to sit in the nosebleed seats. The delay is horrible. My suggestions for all shows would be to get stage front and not farther back than the 1st tier up.
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