Jubilee Auditorium, Edmonton, AB
Nov 24, 2002
It was a case of an audience being presented with the master and his student Sunday night as John Prine, one of the great American songwriters of the past 50 years, shared the Jube stage with Todd Snider, one of his more talented understudies.
That audience, which bordered on a sellout, loved it all and must have left the venue knowing that the singer-songwriter art form is going to be in good hands with acts like Snider being encouraged and nurtured by Prine, just as Kris Kristofferson and others boosted Prine's profile so many years ago.
It's a given that any set list the Chicago native decides to put together on any given night is going to be just fine when considering the depth, volume and timeless nature of Prine's catalogue. It's unfortunate but part of such a blessing is the realization that the gruff-voiced performer won't be able to get to everyone's favourites that now stretch a span of more than 30 years.
Looking more and more like the legendary film star Edward G. Robinson with every passing year, Prine did some great cherry picking with the aid of two fine sidemen while making room for a few new tunes along the way. Seeming genuinely happy to be here and making a remark about his last visit being to our Folk Festival, Prine started gracing the proceedings with longtime fan favorites like Grandpa Was A Carpenter and Six
O'clock News early on in the set.
Whether it's a fly on the wall observation or a first hand experience, each Prine song is chiseled into that rock-solid form that perfectly balances art and craft.
Brilliantly simple rhyming schemes meld with perceptive story lines. It all combines to bring his characters to life in the space of couple of lines of verse. His set-up of All The Best continues to draw howls of laughter.
"We try and write songs for all occasions. This is about, well, what if you were asked to come to your ex-wife's wedding ... and sing," grinned the man who has been down the aisle a few times himself.
Then there's the real show-stoppers like Angel From Montgomery that someone will be singing century from now.
As for Snider, he's a combination of Loudon Wainwright and Woody Guthrie.
Framing a set between I Can't Complain and the encore of Double Wide Blues, Snider is an extremely clever and humorous tunesmith who takes his shots at and snapshots of contemporary American society.
In the space of four months he's been introduced to thousands of roots music fans via the Folk Fest and this show, and it won't be long before he's back headlining his own dates.
John Prine rules!!! An awesome performance. He walked onto the stage at about 9:25 p.m. and stayed and played and sang for us for 2 solid hours. What a show!! Good new material there too, John.
By: Bill Baerg, Ta Ta Creek, BC
Another great performance John, Thank you! This time the sound was almost perfect, well, OK PERFECT. Brought along an old friend who still had never heard of John and he was blown away.
This night with John and my old buddy Jim was well worth the 950 mile round trip.
Jack Singer Hall, Calgary, AB
November 23, 2002
By: Now that we've found love what are we going to do with it?
This was without a doubt the greatest night of my life to date. Right from the start before myself and my date - a first date -even got to the hall there was magic in the air. Todd Snyder set the intimate tone for the evening singing from the heart so that I felt as if I were sitting around a campfire with an old friend. Then John Prine came on and stoked the fire and drew me in closer to the warmth. My date wrapped his arms around me, kissed my forehead, nuzzled his nose into my hair and breathed in deeply as John started the first few notes to "Angel from Montgomry" and I knew this was no ordinary concert, no ordinary date. I won't tell you about the rest of the evening for it was John Prine you came to read about. Suffice it to say, if you are not ready for love to hit you like a ton of bricks or sweep you into a tidal wave of exstasy as you lay naked with your date in the first hotel you can find, this is not the concert date for you. Thank you John for singing with your whole heart and opening wide the hearts around you and thank you to my date. I will never forget you, Adonis.
Awesome! Right from the start Todd Snider opened with energy and
enthusiasm. Being a relatively young John Prine fan (I'm only 32)
I never got the opportunity to hear John live in his "younger"
years. I can only imagine that Todd Snider represented him well.
I was extremely impressed with the length of the concert - way to go John, you gave us our money's worth.
I'm a true fan of live music and John did not let me down. I really could have
sat and listened for another two hours - if John could have continued to play....
Thanks for a great concert!
Orpheum, Vancouver, British Columbia
Prime Prine time hit Vancouver's premier old Concert Hall, and the stately old facility, the regular home of the Vancouver Symphony may take some time to recover. It's 2800 seats were nearly all filled by Prine Phanatics out to have a good time. And a good time was had. Just like last years Bellingham show, Todd Snider was the opening act. Despite the rudeness of late arriving patrons he put in another all too short set of entertaining songs. His set included Can't Complain, Forty Five Miles, Long Year, DB Cooper, Statistician Blues and My Generation Part II. His energy and between song banter won over the audience and he was called back for an encore of Vinyl Records. I'm sure new fans were gained this evening. After a short break John and his sidemen strolled onto the stage and were accorded a standing ovation even before he launched into Spanish Pipedream. The mood was set and the fun began. I have been to between 10-15 Prine shows in nearly 30 years and not even in the early years have I been part of a raucous crowd that could match the intensity of feelings generated on this night. John's shit eating grin/smirk never wavered and he clearly enjoyed himself throughout the show. He seemed to toy with us at ease and we experienced a full range of emotions. He rendered sublime readings of Six
O'clock News and Souvenirs. The latter elicited a remembrance of playing the song with Steve
Goodman during all of their Vancouver shows in the Seventies and early Eighties. Songs such as Sam Stone and Flag Decal all of a sudden seemed much more relevant due to the sabre rattling that has us all on edge. Of course the fact that my son just turned 22 provides an even further sense of unease. That's the way the World goes round included a variation of the Happy Enchilada story. We laughed at the set up for All the Best, imagining what it would be like to write a song to perform at your ex wife's wedding. No matter how
many times we've heard Dear Abby, Fish and Whistle, or in Spite of Ourselves these songs never fail to garner smiles or laughter. As we age, surely we are all better able to relate to songs such as Angel from Montgomery or Hello in There. I was thrilled to hear that John, Jason, and David had recently been in the Studio to try and record a new disk, after all it's been some eight years since Lost Dogs, the last collection of original songs. New songs performed included Glory of Love, I'm just getting by, and Other Side of Town, although that one was performed as well in last years show, as was The Carter Family's song Bear Creek. After more than two hours of amazing music it was time to be called back for the encore. It was kicked off by a high energy version of Daddy's Little
Pumpkin, followed by the audience participation in Illegal Smile and finally Todd joined John on stage for a
fabulous version of Paradise. After John's promise to not stay away too long he left the stage again and the audience reluctantly acknowledged the shows end. Unlike many of his contemporaries in the singer-songwriter genre, Prine's popularity seems to have not waned in fact appears to be increasing. Not to be forgotten as a vital element of John's live shows is the playing of David Jacques and Jason Wilbur. Their
accompaniment creates a richness of sound that makes the experience even more complete. While most of the audience were of the aging boomer/hippie age, it was interesting to see a number of young faces scattered throughout the audience.
In the end it must be acknowledged that while John is getting older, he is also getting better and his fans could not be more delighted. As best as I can recall in no particular order the following songs were played:
Six O'clock News
Angel from Montgomery
Sins of Memphisto
All the Best
Jesus the Missing Years
Ain't Hurtin' Nobody Solo:
Hello in There
Fish and Whistle
That's the way that the World goes 'round
In Spite of Ourselves ( Male and Female Lead )
Glory of Love
I'm just getting by
Other Side of Town
Daddy's Little Pumpkin
Paradise ( with Todd Snider )
OMG, words can't even describe how John touched my heart and soul. Being in my thirty's, just introduced to John Prine this
year (Thank you Nancy and Dave), I wonder how it is that I've never come across this musical Genius before. There was 30 or so of us, from the Comox Valley that planned for this concert for months.
Thank you Dawn for taking the time and effort in planning this event for us all. Most of our group are long time Prine fans, a few that just came for the party,, (Don!!!). During the concert I was amazed by John's insightful songs and performance. I've never felt so many different emotions in a 2 1/2 hour span in my life before. From crying to joy and cheshire smiles.....illegal ones to but that was after the show......well okay before the show also.......
I'd like to thank Horton for insisting that I go to the concert. He was
scheduled for surgery in Victoria on the 22nd, therefore could not attend the concert. You were in our thoughts and many of loving prayers being sent your way. I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to John for his Phenomenal performance and his kind words to Horton.....
I'm a fan for life!!!! Darlene :o)
P.S. Thank you Giddy Anne for arranging us to meet John. What a wonderful man.....
Thank you God for giving us John Prine!!!!!!!!!!!!
John, I can't even begin to express how awesome you are!! This is the fourth time I have seen you and I love you more every time. Although the venue was beautiful I found people a little too sedate
i.e. I wanted to hoot and holler alot more. Let's try for the Commodore next time. My buddy brought his three children ( 12, 16 and 19) and I saw him sitting there with his arms around them and tears rolling down his cheeks. It was his first Prine show and he was in heaven the four of them singing their hearts out. What a great night out!! I wish Todd had played a little longer of a set though but John and him together at the end was a great treat. Come back soon John!!
My friend looks at me just before stepping on the Skytrain and says, "You didn't do something stupid like FORGET THE TICKETS or anything did you Cache"
OMG, they're in the truck, RUN!!! Hold on there little dawgie, there's another issue. The cowboy boots I'd been limping around in all day had been sitting in the boot box for about three years awaiting new soles. I remember why I stopped wearing them. Let's just say, it was a good thing it wasn't raining. As I watched my pal run for the tickets, I looked up at the sky and smiled.
I have to admit. I'd been bummed out the last year or so. Crawled under a rock so to speak. I found myself NOT listening to John Prine and even put my guitar down. Strange as it may sound, I didn't want to relate his awesome music and fine memories with my temporary hard times. However, overlooking this, my buddy and I are a couple of JP's biggest fans. I once had a single mixed Prine tape that went round and round in my truck deck for two years, nonstop. I had to replace the deck and the tape! When not listening to his music I played it.
Now, for the concert. It was an honor to witness Mr. Prine perform dozens of his finest masterpieces. "Storm Windows" brought on the
goosebumps, "Lake Marie" the chills, "Hello in There" was captivating, and "Sam Stone" a reality check. I loved his solo interlude. I found myself grinning uncontrollably. Yes, there were many beauties he didn't choose and I missed Bonnie and Iris. I was crossing my fingers for a surprise.
Topping it off with "Paradise" left us humming and singing it all the way home. I left that concert with a smile on my face and happiness in my soul. Todd was
freaking fantastic. Thank you John Prine for once again inspiring and tickling my inner soul.
PS. The reason I forgot the tickets on the seat was because I was too busy stuffing my guitar strap and Sharpie felt into my coat pocket in hopes for a signature. Unfortunately, the opportunity never presented itself. Maybe next time eh John ;-)
Last night I saw John Prine for the first time although
I have been a fan of his ever since the late 70s. Already a fan of Steve Goodman and others from the Mariposa folk festival, I fell in love with Prine's songs, gruff storytelling and wry wit. I have to say, however, that
I never quite expected the HUGELY exuberant, emotionally engaging and gripping show that he and his musicians put on last night. After a really funny and delightful set by Todd Snider, Prine, his bassist and a fabulous guitar/mandolin/whatever player came on and took us all away for two and a half hours. They played old songs that had people roaring and laughing and singing and crying. They played new songs and people listened so hard that you could hear every word and every breath. In the middle John Prine came out and played by himself for a while - so we had the best of both worlds: the bard by himself and the dynamics of the group.
Vancouver audiences, especially at the Orpheum, are typically polite, appreciative, and somewhat restrained -but last night they were over the top - with delight, and involvement, and discovery. They shouted and laughed and sang and cried from the beginning. I have to say this is one of the best shows
I've ever seen. My only regret - and I hope I get to see him again to redress it - is that he didn't play Big Old Goofy World.
I've been waiting to see John Prine since I first heard "Far From Me" in 1983. Last night I got my opportunity and it was worth the wait.
I found Todd Snider to be a very pleasant surprise - a man of my own generation who can write about things I can relate to. I made a point of buying his CD from the lobby kiosk during the intermission and I would definitely recommend his music to anyone between the age of 30 and 40.
After the intermission the lights dimmed, and John Prine casually strolled out onto the stage to roaring applause. He played for two full hours and then came back out for one encore.
The man has so many songs and if it was up to me, I would have kept him there all night playing 'em all, but he did balance an excellent mix of old and new - with a promise of a new album not too far off.
I left the concert with a lighter heart and the sense that perhaps I still have a few shreds of youth left in me after all these years of being a grown-up.
Never really heard much of his stuff before last night. Very impressed.
Asking for his cd's for x-mas now.