Liz Stringer opened the show solo acoustic and I have to say, I was impressed. Lyrically these songs were fantastic, she was engaging, and most definitely someone I will now be following. It’s always such a treat when you hear a support act that gets your attention and Liz for me tonight was just that.
Taking the stage solo talking about the reschedule and the fact that he is here and most importantly well, Jackson Browne opens the set with a cover of Warren Zevon’s ‘Don’t Let Us Get Sick’ you could hear a pin drop in here and that is instant respect to an artist and an artist that deserves it. The band join Jackson on stage for ‘Downhill From Everywhere’ and damn, this band is tight, and the mix is amazing in here. Changing guitars again in as many songs ‘For Everyman’ and the harmonies with the back up vocalist is pristine. What I’ve always loved about Jackson Browne is man this guy is one hell of a songwriter. Like damn. These songs are amazing. That outro was so, so good. Bringing his backup singers to the front and they give us ‘Until Justice Is Real’ dedicated to all of us… followed by ‘Fountain of Sorrow’ as Jackson sits at the piano and once again shows us how good of a songwriter he is. It’s also a pleasure listening to and watching his band. They’re on it! Without missing a beat Jackson is handed an acoustic as his keyboard player sits down and finishes the song at the piano. ‘The Long Way Around’ is just a beautiful groove but it’s the next one that I was excited for and got an of course amazing reaction, it’s ‘Somebody’s Baby’ and it was perfect. I can die happy now as I’ve heard him sing it live. That song to this day is still a groove and one that you can’t help but bop along to any time it comes on. So happy he’s made amends with the song and it made it into the set.
‘The Vast Indifference Of Heaven’ another Zevon cover with him back at the piano. He stays there ‘For a Dance’ and a violin emerges and just brings this song out. Man his voice is perfect on this. That was sensational. ‘These Days’ with some haunting lap steel guitar is just a beautiful addition at this part of the set. Rocking things up with ‘Boulevard’ and I love the way he structures his songs, they are undeniably his and they just work. Back to the piano again and ‘The Pretender’ as a smattering of phones appear to capture it, and only a few with the lights on, well done this audience. That song was amazing!
‘Call It A Loan’ followed by ‘Too Many Angels’ which has a completely different vibe but works. Loved that one. A very impromptu version of ‘Cocaine’ after an audience shout out, we get it acoustic and as he called it, “the rehab version” I mean it was random but really kinda cool to hear as I don’t think this one gets a run a lot. Things get back on track with ‘That Girl Could Sing’ and that’s a groove! I really dig this one. Some amazing duelling guitar work on this one took it to the next level. Staying at the piano with ‘Doctor My Eyes’ and that was awesome! And got the biggest reaction of the night so far. What a tune.
Introducing the rest of the band it’s time for the big one. It’s ‘Running on Empty’ and he just sounds like he does on the record and it’s perfect. That was something. The crowd were ecstatic and a much deserved round of applause as they leave the stage. Jackson returns to the piano and plays ‘The Load Out’ and mid song the lap steel returns and once again it’s dead silent in here. There is just a feeling of awe in here. The band return to the stage and the song builds and it’s just so perfect. They take it into ‘Stay’ and that’s how you go out.
Oh wow. They’re back for one more!!
Even better it’s ‘Take it Easy’. That was unexpected. He medleys it up with ‘Our Lady of The Wall’ which was a beautiful way to round out the night. As each band member solos and showcases their talent. We marvel at this night, the songs, the playing, it was just everything you wanted it to be. What a talent.
Venue: Aware Super Theatre – Sydney
Date: December 1, 2023
Presented by: Frontier Touring
Don’t Let Us Get Sick (Warren Zevon cover)
Downhill From Everywhere
Until Justice Is Real
Fountain of Sorrow
The Long Way Around
The Indifference of Heaven (Warren Zevon cover)
For a Dancer
Call it a Loan
Too Many Angels
That Girl Could Sing
Doctor My Eyes
Running on Empty
Take it Easy
Our Lady of The Wall