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March 8, 2008 JOHN PRINE at Robinson Center Music Hall, Little Rock Arkansas - Guest Artist: Kane Welch Kaplin. Back up musicians: Jason Wilber and Dave Jacques

By TerriJ64
Here is a slideshow from webshots taken at the show by TerriJ64

John Prine Concert, 03/08/08


Posted on Sunday, April 27, 2008
   There are those places where you expect folks to be rowdy and loud, and there are also those places where such behavior comes as a surprise — a shock, even. When you go to an athletic event, you aren’t surprised to hear loud exhortations and occasional salutes or taunts. And if you find yourself at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert down by the river, you might know to be on the lookout for flying whiskey bottles.
   A loud rock concert at Alltel Arena is likely to attract loud fans, but most attend shows to hear performers, rather than to hear themselves “perform” and, for whatever reason, attract attention to themselves.
   The word that comes to mind is “boorish,” which is defined as “rude, awkward, ill-mannered.” It seems the perfect word for some situations.
   And after the surprise wears off, anger can sometimes bubble to the surface, followed by a desire to have someone do something, especially at an event such as the John Prine concert at Robinson Center Music Hall in early March. People whose seats were in the mezzanine were subjected to “boorish behavior.”
   Prine, a singer-songwriter with a backing band, is not loud enough to drown out clowns, as it turned out. While those of us at the concert who were seated on the floor weren’t disturbed, phone calls and e-mails from concertgoers demonstrated clear agitation.
   One person who wrote, Jack Heinritz, put it succinctly: “Three or four rowdy characters were whistling — loudly and shrilly — loud and shrill enough to physically hurt, even from a distance, during the opening act,” he wrote. “These guys would throw their heads back and whistle through their teeth for sometimes 10 seconds at a time. I observed several people approaching these men, and asking them to ease up. They got the finger, plus louder and longer whistling.
  “I was hoping they were Prine fans, who would settle down to hear his songs. Wrong. If anything, they got progressively louder and more obnoxious. Understand, this isn’t just be- tween songs; it was during the songs. By the third Prine song, I’d estimate 30 to 50 people had left.” Out $ 113. 70 for his two tickets, Heinritz left when his wife developed a severe headache. On their way out, he tried complaining to someone who looked like an authority figure (he was wearing a blazer and dress slacks ) and was told nothing could be done, although “lots of people complained on their way out,” he was told. “My thinking is, if a baby is crying in a theater, interfering with others’ enjoyment of a movie,” Heinritz wrote, “an usher will ask the parent to remove the baby from the theater. Except for the age of the offender — and the element of intent — is this any different ? If security at the Robinson Center can’t do anything about such a disruption, why are they there?”
   For their part, city officials were horrified to arrive at work the following Monday and find a couple of irate emails and three phone calls from unhappy Prine fans. In a crowd of more than 2, 500 people (close to capacity, which is 2, 609 ), the number of bad actors was small — apparently a pair of whistlers — but loud. “Normally, this doesn’t happen here,” said Phyllis Lucas, director of event operations for the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau, which oversees activities at Robinson Center. “We have safety officers and they go in and observe the situation, because what one person considers ‘rowdy’ may not be what another person considers ‘rowdy.’
  “Every time we went to observe, they were fine, on their best behavior. This is only the second time in my 34 years here that I remember ever having a person that we’ve had to ask to pipe down. We can’t eject someone with force out of the building. If a person refuses to leave the building, then that’s when we call the Little Rock Police Department, and ask them to go talk to the person.”
   The shrill duo refused a staff request to leave, but then re-considered and did so before the arrival of police officers.
   “We tried to handle it as swiftly as possible,” Lucas said. “If something happens again, we’ll call the LRPD sooner. To a patron, it may have looked like we’re not doing anything, but we are. We do care about our patrons’ entertainment experience.”
   And though the powers that be were not able to rescue the Prine concert from disruption, they at least restored Heinritz’s faith in his city officials. Noting that the Little Rock Police Department had been called, “but when they arrived the offending parties had left the building,” Lucas offered the bureau’s official apologies and — best yet — a refund of the Heinritzes’ $ 113. 70.
   Read the rest of this article & post your comments here

By: Jack Hill
Read the Full Review here
   John Prine was in rare form Saturday night at Robinson Center Music Hall, and fans in the near-capacity crowd knew it. Counting a fine opening set by Kane, Welch and Kaplin, the audience got almost three hours of music, counting the interim between the acts. And everyone on stage seemed to be having a Saturday night hoe-down sort of experience, while the fans gave it back with numerous standing ovations.
   Prine certainly knows how to deliver the goods. Starting his two-hour set with "Spanish Pipedream" (better known to some as "Blow Up Your TV") he wasted no time in setting the mood, and by the fourth song, he revealed that he had written it ("Please Don't Bury Me") at Jack's Fishing Resort in Stone County, Ark., long rumored to be a favorite retreat for Prine.
   With only bassist David Jacques and guitarist Jason Wilber to back him up, Prine poured out a fine selection from his nearly four decades of songs that ramble from poignant to hilarious and back again.
   Commenting on the recent snow he had seen and heard about, he delivered several of his songs that make mention of the white stuff, starting with "Souvenirs," noting when he finished that he had sung it for his old pal, the late Steve Goodman, a singer-songwriter who had gotten his start in Chicago about the same time as Prine.
   The splendid set also included "Storm Windows," "Fish and Whistle," "Glory of True Love," "Crazy As a Loon," "Angel From Montgomery," "Bear Creek Blues," "Hello in There" and "She Is My Everything," dedicated to Prine's wife, Fiona, who was in the audience, he added. When he sang "Lake Marie" (known to some as "Standing by Peaceful Waters") Prine got so carried away, he was having an Elvis moment, it seemed - shaking his leg, swept away by the power of the song and the story behind it.
   Truly, Prine is one of those icons like Bob Dylan who thankfully put Little Rock on their schedule every two or three years, as they try to keep us safe from the onslaught of commercial country, trampy tart music and other corporate attempts to force feed fast food-like music to the faithful.
   The opening act, Kieran Kane, Kevin Welch, Fats Kaplin and Kane's son, Lucas Kane, only got a six-song, 25-minute set, in which to wow the crowd with an unusual mix of instruments and voices. The set was typified when the group did "Postcard From Mexico," a David Olney/John Hadley composition in which they took pains to announce that it was a two-voice song, but not a duet. Other stand-out songs were "I Wish I Had That Mandolin" and "I Ain't Gonna Do It."
   And though their set was a bit short, they did get invited out on stage by Prine for a blazing version of "Paradise," the last song of his three-song encore, which also featured "Illegal Smile" and "Killin' the Blues

By: Lindsey Millar

8 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $36.50-$46.50. Few singer/songwriters toe the line between whimsy and poignancy like John Prine. Reared in the late-'60s Chicago folk scene, Prine caught the ear of Kris Kristofferson, who was key to helping him land a record contract. With a quick succession of albums in the early '70s, the country-folk crooner struggled on the charts, but on the strength of songs like "Angel from Montgomery," "Sam Stone" and "Grandpa Was a Carpenter," he became much beloved among his fellow performers. Bette Midler, the Everly Brothers and other artists covered his songs, and Bob Dylan appeared anonymously at one of his early shows, backing him on harmonica. In the years that have followed, Prine's refused to be pigeonholed, recording a decidedly non-folk album with Stax guitarist Steve Cropper, forming his own record label and putting out an album of duets featuring Prine's favorite "girl singers." In 1998, Prine was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma. He underwent surgery and treatment. Ten years later, at 61, he's still trucking along as ever before. Last year he released "Standard Songs for Average People" with bluegrass legend Mac Wiseman. His voice has a bit of a sandpaper edge to it now, but don't expect that to do anything but add weight to his deep catalog. The groove-folk collective Kane Welch Kaplan opens.

By: Rock Candy

read his blog & comment here
   In case you were wondering, that was me whistling Saturday at the John Prine concert. Not the short, trilling squawks. Mine were long, piercing soprano shrieks. I drank five Bloody Mary’s just before the concert and didn’t breathe all day Friday in anticipation.
   When Prine sauntered onto the stage, looking an awful lot like Mickey Rooney in the role of Paulie Walnuts, with an impish grin and side wings of white hair that gave way to a kind of pomp-spike on top, I had to whistle: There is only one John Prine.

  Initially, I’d planned to limit my banshee call to a kind of super-applause at the end of songs and in response to mentions of things I support, like peaches, Jesus and topless dancers. You know, for maximum impact and all.

  But when Prine hit on all those in the first song, I threw the plan out the window and decided just to whistle when the spirit moved me. By my count, I averaged seven whistles per song for the first half of the set, though that number is skewed a bit because I whistled 27 times after JP revealed that he wrote “Please Don’t Bury Me,” the funniest of all anti-interment songs, at Jack’s Fishing Resort in Stone County, Ark., and probably 40 times during “Fish and Whistle” for obvious reasons.

  In the second hour of the concert, I got a little winded, but whenever Prine delivered an especially poignant lyric I made sure to let out a shriek in case anyone around me had fallen asleep. Also, whenever he played hits like “Angel from Montgomery,” “Sam Stone” and “Hello in There,” I made sure to whistle along with the chorus so everyone could hear the melody better.

  After a nearly two-hour set, complete with all my favorite songs, save “In Spite of Ourselves” (come home, Iris Dement) and “Donald and Lydia,” and an encore that included opening act Kane, Welch and Kaplin lending acoustic support to a rousing version of “Paradise,” I quit using my pinkies and went ahead put my index and middle fingers deep into my mouth and blew as hard as I could. Applause is fine and good, but when you’re talking John Prine, any sound with force less than glass-breaking won’t work. I’m not sure if I broke any glass, but I did pass out and break my arm. No biggie. I’ll be back in action in time for Joshua Bell.


By: Jeremy Adams

  I guess I left out a little early on that forty mile trip of silence. Okay so I lied. I did speak to that empty passenger's seat a few times on the way.
   Luckily I got a great three dollar parking space just as close as one could get in Little Rock, then soon after I parked the car I made my way inside and directed myself to the main entrance of the music hall. While I was eyeing my ticket and my seat some young dude in a John Prine tee-shirt working on the sound asked me what I was doing and I told him "I was just checking out my seat and that I was early". He replied with "the doors don't open until seven thirty", so I strolled out and looked at the merchandise for sale, the mini bat that was being set up, and then took a seat on a stool.
   Then here came some people with walky-talkies talking about some crazy fan was in where he wasn't suppose to be. I politely raised my hand and said "that must be me". They were cool about it (it was their fault for leaving the doors wide open), so they just asked me to please wait behind the doors until they opened.
   The first person to arrive after me looked like Jerry Seinfeld in a Rolling Stone jacket and then there was this gray headed older woman with a black throw over on. Now that I think about it.the majority of the crowd wore at least one black article of clothing. You could tell they all had a story behind them, I was curious, but I wasn't there to socialize (at least not this time). It was a very mature crowd that gathered there and it made me feel young with my salt and pepper hair. Just kidding.
   I couldn't even tell you what time the opening act (Kane Welch Kaplin) kicked off because my head was in a whirlwind. They only played a handful of songs and they mentioned that John had met them in San Francisco and had asked them to join the tour for a few shows. They were a really great act and told us that John Prine always brings an attractive audience. Then before they left the stage they said they'd be outside selling CD's and that they sign anything. Needless to say my ass didn't budge from my seat the entire night other than letting the three ladies sitting next to me in and out for their beer and potty breaks.
   The sound of applause struck just before the man even stepped out and then BAM, there was the man we'd all came to see! He looked shorter than I had imagined. It was so surreal to me as if I was hallucinating (maybe I should have gotten more sleep the night before?). He had on a big black suit and it made his shoulders look huge, his little black boots, and that huge (jumbo?) acoustic guitar made him strand out. And it was like the jacket and or lighting threw these shadows in the indention's in his face, I don't know how to explain it well.
   Hmm., but once he came out of the jacket he didn't seem so bizarre to me anymore.

The set list goes as follows.
  1. Spanish Pipedream
  2. Picture Show
  3. Six O' Clock News
  4. Please Don't Bury Me
  5. Souvenirs
  6. Storm Windows
  7. Fish and Whistle
  8. Glory of True Love
  9. Crazy as a Loon
  10. Angel From Montgomery
  11. You've got Gold
  12. All the Best
  13. Dear Abby
  14. Sam Stone
  15. Bear Creek
  16. That's Alright by me
  17. She is my Everything
  18. Ain't Hurtin' Nobody
  19. Hello in There
  20. Lake Marie
  21. Illegal Smile
  22. Killing the Blues
  23. Paradise/Muhlenberg County (Performed with Kane Welch Kaplin)

   It was awesome and everyone sang along aloud to Illegal Smile!!! Oh and he talked about all the songs he played that had snow in them in Memphis and that it turned out being more than he'd thought.
   I could have went without some of the high pitched redneck whistling and hoot' in and hollering, but some people just have a funny way of expressing themselves I suppose. I know I've gotten a little excited before, but this night I was on my best behavior. If at all anything could have been done differently it would have had to have been for my friend next to me Sirenity and that would have been the playing of "Quit Hollerin' At Me) and of course for her to have shared the moment of all it's true glory with me a little bit more than she did (if you're reading this you know what I mean!) Lets see. uhh. then I pulled away, but as I was driving off I noticed a black limousine with "paradise connections" (or something to that extent) written on the back and I wondered as I drove away. Sorry about the poor grammar, I'm more of a fan than I am a writer.

Susan in Tulsa
Little Rock was the best (by far) concert I have ever been to. Pacucah was great and it was a thrill to see John's brother. I'm hoping the Tulsa concert will top Little Rock as I'm sure it will just because it's in my hometown. And on top of it all I get to see Iris Dement. Keep it up John....Love Ya Okie Sister


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