Despite the beer covered iPhone pic I will first tell you that I am a photographer and not a writer, but last nights show deserves a few words!
I have been a fan of Jason for a couple years after being introduced to his music through a girl who I was dating (we’re no longer dating… but currently engaged. Thanks Jason!) Last night’s show was amazing on so many levels.
Isbell didn’t just play the hits. He went off of his usual set list to pull out some rarely played songs. “Decoration Day” was a surprise, it was one of just a few he played from his time touring with The Drive-By Truckers. Jason has won 4 Grammys since his days with The Truckers, and rightfully so! His current album won Best Americana and his heartfelt love song “If we were Vampires” won Best American Roots.
Jason welcomed the packed crowd while acknowledging them in his Alabama twang. He said he didn’t know what to expect playing at a church two years ago when he supported Wilco at the Basilica. This evening the band opened with “Hope On The High Road,” “ 24 Frames” and more from Isbell’s Southeastern album. Touching on his political views with “White Man’s World,” Jason showed not only his musical talent, but his storytelling skills as an artist. You can tell he actually sings from his heart. His songs tell stories which hit home, songs like “Tired of Traveling Alone” and “Cover Me Up,” which he dedicated to his wife and violinist, Amanda Shires. Songs like his current Grammy winner “If We Were Vampires” beautifully remind us to love the ones we love as our time is certainly limited.
Janson and the 400 Unit closed the night in southern rock and roll style with “Super 8 Motel” and “Never Going To Change.” The set only pleased his fans but surprisingly gained many new ones! I use the word “surprisingly” not due to his music but the fact that the promoters of Cities 97 did such a poor job of promoting (4 Grammys Cities 97..repeat 4 Grammys). He was not even mentioned on their Cities 97 radio ads for their event!
Despite the poor promoting the crowd was packed and pleased. I cannot wait to see him again!!
Oh, and one last thing… To the Dude trying to sell me weed while I was using the port-a-potty… I do not need to sample the product by you blowing smoke in the port-a-potty. But Thanks!