Yes, it was really cool. I lost count, but I do believe there were 15 songs, plus a four song encore ("Guitar Town", "Jerusalem", "Little Rock n' Roller", and "Copperhead Road", of course). I got to Burton Cummings just in time to catch most of Allison Moorer's set. Damn, what a voice. So powerful! Unfortunately, during the set, I had to find my seat, and there was some uncomfortable shifting, as I was in the wrong one, initially.
The one thing that slightly marred the experience – and that of a number of the people around me – was this woman that sat in front of me. She was either taking pictures (no photography was allowed, but that didn't stop people...including her) or talking on her fucking cell phone. She got up around the eighth or ninth song, and didn't come back. Thank God. The middle-aged guys that were on either side of her were relieved, as was I.
So yeah, the show was dope. Just Steve and his guitar, or several guitars, plus Allison signing backup ("Days Aren't Long Enough" and "City of Immigrants"), and DJ Neil on CD turntables and effects. I could totally hear the grinding teeth of the "purists" in attendance, but it really shouldn't have been that much of a surprise to anyone that's heard Washington Square Serenade. Well...it was a surprise to this one dude in Minneapolis. It's like, dude...you saw the fucking decks on the stage when you got in, right? Maybe you shoulda ran. Anyway, it really worked, in my opinion. Together, they summoned Indian rhythms and echo effects for a trippy version of "CCKMP". And you could tell that Steve was really comfortable with the whole arrangement. Hearing him say "a-ight, kick it!" to his DJ thrilled me to no end.
As a teen, I was familiar with "Copperhead Road", as was any motherfucker that listened to 92 CITI on a regular basis, but there was something about hearing the title track of I Feel Alright on Definitely Not the Opera that resonated with me, and I've been a fan ever since. It could've been the fact that he dug himself out of the gutter, or maybe it was his harmonica on that track. It was probably the harmonica. I still haven't learned how to play a harmonica...there are three to the left of me as I type this. Anyway, it took me ages to see him (I'm not the Folk Fest type, but the recent line-ups have had me reconsidering my stance), and I'm glad I did tonight.
SteveEarle.com • Tour Dates • DJ Neil • Allison Moorer