Linda and I took in the Jackson Browne Acoustic Solo Performance in Boise on Thursday night October 13, 2016 at the Morrison Center in Boise, Idaho. Both of us love his music and the acoustic format enhances the listening experience (at least for me) exponentially. Thursday’s concert was our 2nd of his current tour – as we attended a performance in Reno, Nevada in June as well. Instead of playing solo, Browne is joined by long-time associate Greg Leisz – a wonderful and pleasant development.
It should be noted that with the exception of a run to the store (10 miles out and back), a trip to and or from our home in Idaho is by definition Destination Travel. As most of you know first-hand our regular 154 mile (one way) commute to Boise includes traversing the 100 mile Camas Prairie section of the actual Oregon Trail (US 20). After 30+ years, I remain enamored with this drive for which I never tire. Historians tell me the current driving conditions and modes of transportation are materially safer and improved upon from the Oregon Trail’s hey-dey of 1873.
Linda and I have attended Browne concerts since the 1970’s and together since the 1980’s. Truth be revealed we have used Jackson Browne and his music as a means to travel for over three decades. Need to see the family in Kansas City? Plan it around a Browne concert! Want to take in a professional ball-game? Is Jackson touring? Yes, well let’s take in both. Want to go to Winery? Oh… Browne will be performing there was well! Want to visit a city or region? What a coincidence… Jackson will be performing their in a few months. Music in a interesting setting? – Mississippi River Gambling, a former prison, music venues that are national historic sites, effectively a private party – hey why not with Jackson Browne!
One thing I am finding of interest is that the age of Browne’s audience at these concerts ranges from the 20’s to the 80’s – with Linda and I approaching the end of our 50’s. That is a big spread.
Browne is the consummate first-person performer. He connects to his audience with small reflective insights that feel personal and directed to you specifically. Sure it is showmanship, but effective no less. So when Browne makes fun of himself about the closeted nature life on the tour and how it was obliterated by the natural beauty of Idaho – to his absolute surprise – you take him at his word.
Browne is also a master of modifying the music to be performed based on the taste, inclination and request of the audience. To use a sports metaphor, Browne almost always seems to be in the zone – even when he is tour weary – as he was in Boise. So when Linda yells Fountain of Sorrow, Browne actually turns his head, tilts it sideways in acknowledgement, smiles, changes instruments, and plays the requested song. The beauty of this approach is that the concert goer gets the standard classics but also the album oriented songs of their choice. On this night that includes Browne playing – at the request of someone in the crowd – The Naked Ride Home. And therefore with Jackson Browne – for us at-least – no ride is too long.