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News and Reviews of John Prine's concert tour 2002  AK·CA·CT·FL·GA·HI·IL·ME·MI·MN·NJ·ND·NY·PA·TN·TX·UT·VA·WI 
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2003 |2001 | write your own review



Tennessee Theater, Knoxville, TN

By: Patti, JohnPrineShriner AT Aol.com
    Take an Iowa Prine fan, sick of snow, and fly her to Tennessee to see John in concert. Throw in a historic theater, drinks with a new found fellow Prine fan, and a good opening act. What do you get? The happiest woman in the world! Todd and I flew in to Knoxville on Friday, I left a pile of snow on my lawn, and stepped off the plane to 78 degree weather! We rented a brand new Mustang convertible and headed out. We met Pougles at a bar called Spicey's in the heart of Old City Knoxville. Had arranged this with Pougles via the concert board here at the Shrine, had never met him and enjoyed drinks with him. Got to the Tennessee Theater...AWESOME...old and ornate and as much history and personality you can imagine. Keith Sykes, a former Coral Reefer (Jimmy Buffet's band) opened with "Gold inside of You" I will have to look it up, Reeda, but he must have wrote that and John recorded it? (Patti - John and Keith wrote it together!) He was funny and nice and talented. He made us all cry with his song about coming from a broken home, then made us laugh uncontrollably with his rendition of Bob Dylan singing Buffett's Margaritaville! Then THE MAN John stepped up with Spanish Pipedream, and didn't quit until he had sang all of my favorites. John sounded good and looked good, and seemed to be enjoying us enjoying him. FABULOUS! I am scanning a couple of pictures if you want to put them on the Shrine, Reeda. WISH YOU WERE THERE, it was FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!! Patti (go ahead, rub it in, I love to read the excitement! You know Patti, Rockford or Green Bay is not really all that far to drive, especially if you can just hop a plane to Knoxville on a whim... I promise, I have not to repeat the Ames incident, ever, ever, again....but I do seem to recall, that you and your whole damn family had a part in my "adrenaline" level! ~ Reeda)
By: pougles
    12 Thumbs Up Every time I go to see JP, I go with the feeling that he can't top his last performance. And every time I go I am surprised that he always seems to do so. Each performance is unique and stands out in its own regard; I have seen him with Arlo, difficult to top. I have seen him with Iris, difficult to top. I have seen him alone, difficult to top. I have seen him with Mr. Squeeze, difficult to top. And yet, every show seems to top the last, or at least be so unique that it is great into itself. The show at the Tennessee Theater on March 09, 2002, was as good or better than any I have ever attended. It was full of energy, the playlist was more than great. My son-in-law, who had attended two previous shows with me including the one in Nashville with Iris made mention that there were six of us who attended the show and he said, "I think it was 12 thumbs up." Says it all as far as I'm concerned. One other positive thing about the show; my daughter's former classmate from college who attended the Cincinnati show with my daughter and I a year or so ago and came to Tennessee to see this show said as John came out for the encore, "I wish he would sing 'Please Don't Bury Me.' And that was the first encore song. Made my day and her's. Thanks, John, for a great performance, a great show, and a great time. Hope there are many more for all of us.

Surprise appearance by Prine at the Grand Ole Opry House
Aug 18, 2002


    Lovett's big band, Raitt's famous voice delight Opry House crowd.
    Hair bands are so yesterday, but between Lyle Lovett's tall mop and Bonnie Raitt's fiery red tresses there was hair to spare last night in a high-caliber double bill at the Grand Ole Opry House.
    Of course the music was the center of attention, and in Lovett's case it was spectacular. Raitt turned in a more workwoman-like set that nevertheless delighted a devoted crowd. And it did include some moments that poked through the celebrity façade to reveal the artist underneath.
    Touring with his Large Band for the first time since a run-in with a bull left his right leg badly broken, Lovett joined his already swinging orchestra and assumed an uncharacteristically seated posture with his acoustic guitars. Over almost an hour and a half, he proved how deftly he melds country, big-band swing and classic soul with the sharp - and sometimes tart - pen of great Texas songsmith.
    The Large Band is nearly unique in today's economical music scene, with 16 players and singers on stage at once - all of them masters of their craft. Nashvillian Viktor Krauss on acoustic bass was especially prominent in the mix, and deservedly so. His deft, funky lines rooted the group and were a breathtaking highlight of the quirky Penguins.
    The band lent a tricky jazz vibe to the classic I've Been To Memphis and swung with extra zest on That's Right (You're Not From Texas). Lovett, who gushed gratitude to Nashville and the many players and people here who had helped his career, fielded a request for the lovely Nobody Knows Me and turned in perhaps the most moving and patient performance of the night.
    Four stellar vocalists, including longtime partner Francine Reed, decorated the ironic gospel number Church. As an encore, Lovett invited Nashville keyboard giant Matt Rollings out of the audience to play the part he'd concocted for the haunting North Dakota, producing a mesmerizing and electric atmosphere.
    She recovered from that, but the artist felt in a box most of the night, doing her gritty, naughty thing or her funky loving thing, but rarely getting down to true grit or profundity.
    Material from her last album Silver Lining was eclectic and interesting, especially the Far East swirl of that album's title cut and the Afro-pop gospel number Help Me Lord. Also nice was a guest spot by Nashville songwriter Tommy Sims who co-wrote two other Silver Lining numbers.
    But her more familiar, R&B-inflected hits from her commercial breakthrough Nick of Time felt awfully safe and sanitized. Nor did she dig very deep into her formidable slide guitar technique, taking relatively short and tentative solos.
    After a mostly up-tempo set, Raitt's encore finally broke through an emotional barrier with a poignant and measured take on her standard I Can't Make You Love Me, followed by a surprise duet with John Prine on his blue ribbon song Angel From Montgomery. Here her silk and sandpaper voice was at its best and most meaningful.
    Finally, Lovett came back on stage for a loose-sounding Do RightWoman, Do Right Man and a rousing Thing Called Love, marking the end to a generously long night from two of roots music's stars.