Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Alejandro Escovedo Show

Last week Dave and I went to a concert at the Chautauqua Auditorium. The headliner was Rickie Lee Jones. The opening act was Alejandro Escovedo. In my opinion, this should have been reversed. Rickie Lee was a little weird and boring. No one could say that Alejandro was boring, let me tell you.

He played in a duet configuration with another guitarist named David Pulkingham. They rocked things off first thing with a song called, "Always Been a Friend," his song that he performed on stage with Bruce Springsteen. As soon as they did that song, I knew this was going to be good. They pretty much rocked the place to the rafters on every song.

Alejandro was entertaining and spoke relaxedly to the audience as though they were his friends (just the opposite of Lucinda Williams). He introduced one song that was about Sid Vicious and his partner Nancy Spungen from the Sex Pistols (back in the 70's Nancy ended up dead in the Chelsea Hotel in NY; Sid wandered the halls in a drunken daze). The song chorus echoed "It makes no sense" (sung by Alejandro) and "It makes perfect sense" (sung by David). I loved it.

At the end of their set, I turned to Dave, as we stood clapping along with the rest of the audience in a standing ovation, and exclaimed, "Now, that's entertainment."

I thought later about my statement. We see lots of good music around the Boulder and Denver area--really good music. Sometimes we see a show, though, that rises above the rest of what is already high quality music. This was one of those times. This is a show that will stay with me, joining Jake Shimabukuro on ukulele a couple of years ago and joining Oswald Lehnert, who was a conductor of the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra back in the 90's. Lehnert knew what it meant to entertain; I watched him jump off the stage one night during a show (on purpose!). Another time, when the orchestra performed the William Tell Overture, he had cannons set up outside that fired during the music. It was an unforgettable performance; after it was over I watched a man from the audience rush up to him and exclaim, "Ozzie, I can't wait to see what you're going to do to top this!"

Every couple of years, I feel that way about a show. This was one of them.

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