STEVE EARLE - HELL YES!
So my friend in music Richa sent me a message via Facebook that Steve Earle was playing 3rd and Lindsley. Sometimes I will wait around to buy a ticket, you know, to see if I'm actually going to be in town or not. For this show I went ahead and pulled the trigger. It's a good thing I did because that show sold out super fast. Saturday night was the night and we got there at 5 PM. The doors opened at 6 PM so we were like 8th in line. I was chatting up people in line and then I realized that from inside the bar I could hear Steve and the band playing Copperhead Road. I made everyone stop talking to soak in the fact that it wasn't an MP3 or CD playing...it's was Steve and the band. Bad ass.
TABLE UP FRONT
We scored a table right up front. The first thing I saw were all the guitars. Then all the cases, which was equally as impressive! No one was really there yet so I had free roam to take photos with my iPhone. I wish I would have taken a shot of the pedal boards for reference. Next time.
There was no opening act, it was pure Steve Earle for the night. 3rd and Lindsley is a great venue. Almost every seat in the house is a great seat, the waitresses kick ass and it's pretty laid back.
The first time I ever saw Steve live was his first show he did after he got out of prison. That was a killer show. Very rock and roll. Another memorable show was one he did with Bill Monroe. It was great to see Bill do his thing. He even had what looked to be his 15 year old bride in a granny dress sitting on stage. The problem was that Bill would not get off stage. I'm pretty sure Steve had to take the mic away from him. You could tell Steve didn't want to do it but hey, it was the Steve Earle show.
All that to say I was curious what to expect. I was told to expect a lot less rock and more politics. I get that politics are important and shape our lives and our kids futures but sometimes you just want to hear some music. I hoped it wouldn't put me off the show.
Steve came out in a big alt country beard, a short sleeved snapped button shirt, biker chain and round toed cowboy boots. A very Buddy Holly looking guitar slinger strode out with what I described to a friend as a red, curly haired fiddle player that looked like something create for a 3D movie. I mean that in a good way. This girl looked like a red headed angel dropped from heaven to play fiddle for us. Nashville favorite Kelly Looney looked like a short haired version of himself. I have heard his name on live albums so much (think Copperhead Road where Steve yells "KELLY LOONEY!") that every time I see him I yell, "KELLY LOONEY!" The drummer was low key and keeping the groove and of course Steve's wife Allison Moorer, looking just like she should. Have I mentioned I think Allison has the best female voice in country music? How is she not the most famous female country artist in the world? It just reaffirms my belief that talent and fame have very little to do with each other.
EYE TO EYE
When Steve hit stage I saw him scan the audience from left to right in a very intense way. I mean eye contact on every near the front. It was very deliberate. I wondered, was he looking for old friends, old enemies, super fans, super crazies, label execs, all of the above? If I ever get him on the phone I'll ask. He put this head down and they launched into the show.
Steve did a great job of spanning his career song wise. I found Steve when I was 19 and Guitar Town had just come out. That was it for me. I was just about pure Steve Earl all the way up until around I hit 40. I like to say that Steve Earle was the soundtrack to most of my life. He did Guitar Town, which was great. He did Copperhead Road and told everyone that was waiting to hear that song that now they could leave and check in with their probation officer - ha! He did some songs off of Train A Coming. I taught myself the mandolin to that album. I was also amazed at how many of the songs I knew the words to... just about all of them. It was truly a great show and I think we were all pretty happy about it.
Allison Moorer got up and did a few songs and just killed it. Kelly Looney even did a song but the two that blew me away, other than Steve, were the Mastersons. Chris Masterson has the glasses and teeth of Buddy Holley complete with neckerchief, and 50's rolled up jeans bottomed off with biker books. He was KILLING that guitar. I mean in an in your face sort of way, then in a subtle way, then back in your face. I'm a fan!! His wife, Eleanor, had it all - great voice, great guitar work, mando picker, crazy hair, pretty face and she looked to be all of 18. When I got home I immediately looked up their website.
We got in at 6PM, the show started at 8 PM and I don't think we left until around 11 PM. We were on encore 2 and then folks started leaving. Richa told us, "The shows not over until the lights are on." The lights weren't on and Steve come out for encore number three. He gave us a brief talk talk about why this year's election is so important, pointed out some facts and then sang his Woody Guthrie song. We ended the night with "This Land is Our Land." and the whole crowd joined in at the end. I'm getting chills writing about it right now.
It was a helluva show. Thanks to the Steve Earle family!!