Prine show diary:
Madison WI - The trip there--- March 27, 2004
More Prine friends more fun. Each time we went through the hotel lobby there was another familiar face. We met up with that crazy couple that crashed Crushfest in the middle of the rainstorm Esther and Kyle and their friends whats-her-name and Elliot, then KathyO and Jon shortly thereafter. By 4:00 the women folk were almost out the door and the men folk napped/watched movies or whatever they do when say, "Oh no honey, go out and have a good time" - I think my man was going to get his sleep in BEFORE the concert. We talked all about John Prine, the shrine, shopping and fish net stockings. As we headed down the thick as pea soup foggy streets of Milwaukee we were accosted by a group of cheerleaders who rushed up to me (why me?) I looked them square in the eye and tried to run, before they could ask anything, I shrugged my hands up and answered "I don't know, I'm not from here" - little cheerleader giggles all around and all they wanted was a group shot of themselves in front of a building... several shots. That was the highlight, since the 7 floor antique shop was closed - we headed back to the hotel which was connected to this huge mall that was several floors high and spread in many directions.
With idle threats in place - Terry was wide awake. Milwaukee is usually a wild show, and there is always lots of Prine's family and friends in the audience.
It was all so convenient, We just walked out of the hotel to the Irish Pub across the street and then to the Riverside Theatre across from it. So far so good... and I am fettered for this concert, pen, paper, camera, binoculars and another threat to the Terry to stay awake.
The Riverside was still a beautiful venue, traffic patterns to the bathrooms, bars and Oh Boy table were a little rough... everyone was knocking everyone else around... but that wasn't so bad. Once inside it was beautiful, ornate, and just the perfect place for a Prine concert until one stepped off of the carpet and onto the thick with sticky stuff floor.... (like it was cleaned with beer)... seats were very close, so if you were seated anywhere else but the aisle seat - you had to fully stand up and push your seat back for someone to pass by. I'm only 5 feet tall, and even I had leg room problems. I'm pretty sure that is why everyone complained about all the milling about - it wasn't just one person leaving or returning to their seat. It was the fact that 8-10 people had to get up so the one person could do their thing. So you get 10 people in the front rows from different areas needing to move and you have a hundred people on their feet.The Riverside Theatre has seen some concerts...It was probably the most uncomfortable seating around. I am only 5 feet tall, and still had a little problem with leg room, thank goodness the floor was so sticky and kept me in place. Entire rows would have to literally get up so someone could get back to their center seat. I think because the place was so cramped is a major reason for the constant mingling, moving, and madness. It was a nice cozy place to have a Prine concert, so don't think I'm whining (which I was) - there really wasn't a bad seat in the house - I think were in row G over on the right....and a family of Prine's were right in front of us in F.
Leon Redbone came out like he did the night before, but, not to the quiet hum
of an anxious crowd. It was a loud garbled buzz, and although Redbone was just
as darling and adorable as he was the night before, many in the crowd found this
a great time to make their last minute phone calls, run back and forth, or just
chat loudly. Sad, because Redbone was just as fabulous and funny and the standing ovation that he received was mostly people
trying to get
to the lobby for another beer, cigarette, or pee break. (deep sigh this was a
legend and deserved respect)
People are still milling about when Prine, Wilber, and Jacques enter the stage with Spanish Pipedream to an appreciative applause - he's grinning to beat the band and we're hoping that everyone would get settled in. "Thank you, Glad to be here" and into "Flag Decal" at the end Prine stated that he thought he had buried the song, but the President asked him to sing it"
Six O'clock News
Fish and Whistle
Grandpa Was a Carpenter
Glory of True Love
Taking A Walk
All The Best
During these songs there is constant up and down by the drinkers and weak bladders... people in the balcony are having a shouting match for songs with some strong lunged lushes in the front row.
During Angel From Montgomery a buff security guard helps a guy up and escorts him out, he's thoroughly pissed in all senses of the word and there's commotion in the front rows. John lets him know that "the pub is right across the street" mid-tune. There's applause, and more bantering from the front rows and the balcony.
Long Monday - the crowd does quiet down a bit, and I'm able to catch some more lyrics to this great new Prine tune. It's about radios, headlights and silver moons, making love, fading time, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and a long Monday, a river with no end, and an unwound clock... of course my favorite line is still "Give me a kiss that will last all week" Mind you that was just the first verses. Mid song 5 muscle bound Security guards escort 4 or 5 stumbling guys up the aisle. John and his boys have the best seat to this show and like the pros that they are - play on, you can tell that it has become an interesting show for them too. Such excitement for a Prine concert - maybe for the next small venue John will request cocktail waitresses and Depends. The last verses include the weekend and a long Monday, the sea and objects in the mirror. Man, I can't wait for this next album. He just can't write a bad song.
Donald and Lydia
"This new one I'm going to play is for Reeda Buresh" - "Crazy as a Loon" (hmmmm, is there a connection - I want this one on a tee shirt) I'm doing that illegal smile thing - feeling like Bonnie Raitt. So far this next album will be right up there with all the rest of John's classics. All about shattered dreams, with a humorous twist and then BAM - it lodges a lump in my throat. I'm getting a lump now, just thinking about feelings and melody of this song that the words are almost secondary. Thank you John - I am honored, and amazed at how many great songs you can write over and over and over again and never make one bored.
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