Monday, February 27, 2006

Lucinda Williams - Feb 25.

The crescendo of our trip is hard to determine. It was such a great time seeing "J", S&S, bicycling all over the Bay Area, hanging out in the Noe Valley and Mission District. The timing of our trip was determined by a Lucinda Williams concert. I bought the tickets in November and then looked for accommodations and flights. This would be the sixth time that we saw Lucinda, and the second time that we left town to do it. The other time being a road trip to Kansas City, MO. I suppose that we could easily be accused of being stalkers.

The show was at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Oakland. Its a fabulous venue that is located within a half-block of the 19th Street BART station.

Lucinda and her band opened for George Jones, the country legend. Her set included: Fruits of my Labor, Reason to Cry, Overtime, Pineola, Well-well-well, I lost it, Tears of Joy, Jail House Blues, Joy, Get right with God and a great rendition of Ode to Billie Joe (the Bobby Gentry tune from the 60's). Given that the she was opening for George Jones, the set was a bit subdued from other Lucinda gigs that we've been to. The band was tight (as usual) and Lucinda's voice was probably the best of any time that we heard her perform.

The George Jones Show featured an abundance of self promotion between sets. There was a promotional video playing repeatedly on a large screen and there were people walking through the crowd selling CDs for $10. If you were a card-carrying George Jones fan club member, we got to meet George back stage before his set. We both found this a bit odd, although I have a lot of respect for George Jones and his legacy.

The George Jones Band came on. The first three songs were done without George, sort of a warm up. We were advised that George was having a throat issue, but would be out soon to do his best. George Jones graced the stage a few minutes later. He did have bronchitis and really struggled to make a go of it. I felt bad for him, and he genuinely felt bad that he wasn't 100%, and he said so ("...I swear that I'll make this up to you someday..."). We left after 4 or 5 songs. We were tired and it was getting tough to watch George struggle. I left telling myself that he is a gamer, so to speak. Plays hurt and did the best he could. What else can you ask from anyone in any position?


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