Concert Buzz

Jackson Browne


Chastain Park Amphitheater

August 12, 2009

1 out of 5 2 out of 5 3 out of 5 4 out of 5 5 out of 5

by Phil Saylor

Jackson Browne Show - Chastain Park

Reviewer: Phil Saylor

Chastain Park in Atlanta is a great amphitheater in a neighborhood setting. The ground level and terrace tables are lit with candles adorned with food, wine and beer bottles presenting a social and party atmosphere. Because of this Chastain can be a tough place for artist. The folks that own the tables could go to every show or give there tickets to friends or business associates. It’s up to the artist to grab the attention of the audience, especially in the beginning. Jackson Browne and company did just that. I have been to Chastain before where the folks next to us were so rowdy I was compelled to ask them if the show was interfering with their conversation.

Walking in just after the show started at 8:00, with daylight left, I noticed the audience hum was at a lower than usual level. As the show progressed, the hum was completely gone and Browne was captivating with his music and wit. One lady hollered out a few requests that were not J.B. songs. One time he said he didn’t know that song but he would be glad to learn it and play it the next time he came around. When she asked him to play Cocaine he told her he could play it but he would have to give her the rehab version and didn’t think that was what she was looking for. He did play Take It Easy, which he co-wrote with Glenn Frey (I did not know that about The Eagles break out song), and it was a great rendition. Going Down To Cuba was a great song for my wife and I and reminded us of our trip to Havana in ’04. He also mentions the hotel National where we stayed. I agree with Jackson, everyone should go.

Jackson came off as an honest musician and person. He said he didn’t remember the first time he played Atlanta, but he remembered the last time. That’s honest. When you go to the refrigerator and forget what you went to get, that’s okay. When you go to the refrigerator to get something and forget that it’s a refrigerator, that’s not okay.

I love to see big name acts because they surround themselves with great musicians and back up singers. He has given his two wonderfully talented backup singers an opportunity to showcase their vocals in two songs The Patriot and the Rodey song. These girls had the audience in a vocal grip that wasn’t released until a full minute of applause had gently faded. Bravo to Chavonne Morris and Alethea Mills. Mauricio Lewak, the other keyboard player fully assaulted his task with every kind of organ and piano in his cul-de-sac, and towards the end of the show we learned that he could sing as well. Mark Goldenberg the lead guitarist was better on the acoustic and steel guitar than on the lead riffs attempted on the electric guitar. In one song it looked as if one of the stage hands appeared with a stand out lead part on a guitar. Everyone in our party just looked at each other and said, wow, where did he come from?

I have been to shows where there were no encores called for. Sometimes a worse situation is when a few die hard fans try to instigate one and the lack of support brings the lights up and everyone leaves. I knew that wasn’t going to be the case with Jackson and the whole crowd agreed as the candles rose and the applause grew louder. No one left with the exception of one old guy bumping a refrigerator size cooler up the stone steps in order to get it out to his SUV while he had a clear lane. The Pretender and Roadie Song ended the show with a dramatic blast of lights, singing by everyone, and a round of instrumental leads that satisfied everyone. I also felt that Jackson enjoyed himself and I think that’s important to an artist and a compliment to the venue.


This review is the subjective opinion of the individual reviewer and not of ConcertBuzz

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Rating: 2.1/5 (55 votes cast)

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