Tuesday, September 26, 2006

John Prine
Opening act: Dan Reeder
Massey Hall-Toronto

John Prine’s Toronto show was definitely well received. Missed the warm up act, Dan Reeder, due to beer. Backed by Dave Jacques (stand up and electric bass) and Jason Wilbur (lead guitar, mandolin), Prine tore into Spanish Pipedream from his debut album.

I was told by a die-hard fan, who had attended many Prine shows over the years, not to expect too much from this performance. My buddies and I were front row, centre and really didn't give a fuck.

There was a bit of an issue with the sound initially, but no weakness evident in the set.

He was in good form, though the voice had more than a bit of gravel (understandable, considering his health issues in the late 90’s). His finger-picking was flawless and his sense of humor was always on display. Between tunes, people were randomly screaming out requests. He smiled as he said, “I know ‘em all.”

Two hours seemed like 15 minutes. Jason Wilbur gets special mention for tasteful playing (his slide work was impeccable)

“Some Humans Ain’t Human” seemed/was directed at George W. Without any soapbox preaching between tunes, Prine commented that he had dug out some of his Vietnam era material and it was all too relevant. The more things change, the more they stay the same. I must admit that I was only familiar with the classics. (I didn't shout them at him, though) The newer material more than held it’s own and I went on to check out his latest CD after the show.

Souvenirs was fantastic and Billy the Bum was completely unexpected. Sam Stone was fairly chilling considering the regrettable actions of the currrent US administration.

With such a treasure trove of songs, he could have easily done another show without repeats. No one would have complained.

The setlist:

Spanish Pipedream
Picture Show
Six O'Clock News
Storm Windows
Grampa Was A Carpenter
Fish & Whistle
Glory Of True Love
Takin' a Walk
Angel From Montgomery
Billy the Bum (solo)
Long Monday (solo)
Dear Abby (solo)
Clay Pigeons (solo)
That's The Way The World Goes Round (solo)
Sam Stone
Bear Creek
She Is My Everything
Ain't Hurtin' Nobody
Some Humans Ain't Human
Hello In There
Lake Marie
encore: Paradise (with Dan Reeder)

No comments: