JOHN PRINE IN MONTANA 2004 CONCERT REVIEWS
Willson Theater, Bozeman, MT
November 17, 2004
The show in Bozeman tonight was more of the same as other people have said
- in other words, terrific! A few songs of the new album coming out next
spring, all the old classics, a great band, and an encore with Shawn Camp.
Couldn't ask for more - 2 1/2 hours of great music.
Theater at the University of Montana, Missoula, MT
Nov 16, 2004
By: Joseph Friedrichs - Montana Kaimin - Missoula,MT,USA
The Kaimin's guide to next week's concert highlights - http://www.kaimin.org/viewarticle.php?id=3709
Tuesday: John Prine
The University of Montana campus will be entertained next Tuesday
by a former mailman turned blues/folk singer named John Prine.
Since the early `70s Prine has been playing and recording music all
over the world. A Midwestern boy from Chicago, Prine is known for his
ability to tell simple stories in his songs, but with the ability to
convey a deeper message.
Throughout his career, Prine has recorded with greats such as
Emmylou Harris, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty. In the late `80s he even
made a movie with John Mellencamp. Prine also won a Grammy in 1991 for
best contemporary folk album with "The Missing Years."
Prine's humble nature comes through in both his performances as
well as his lyrics, "Beauty and silence both run deep," he has
Over his career, he has released more than 20 albums spanning three
There are a good number of reasons to attend the John Prine show,
but here are the top five:
5. He is the kind of singer who has the ability to make sitting in
the University Theater feel like sitting along the banks of a creek
whistling and fishing.
4. At his concerts he has been announcing his plans to release a new
record in March 2005. Imagine the joy you will feel when hearing those
sweet, sweet words from Prine himself.
3. The sound of Prine's guitar plucking is better than sitting at
home and listening to your significant other complain about his or her
2. Prine's song about the missing years of Jesus is one of the
greatest songs written about the man from Nazareth in the history of
1. He's John Prine, are you kidding me!? There is no reason on earth
why not to attend. (Except perhaps a nasty case of I.B.S., Irritable
The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday the 16th. Along with Prine with be
special guest Shawn Camp, another talented musician. Tickets are $38 and
can be purchased at Worden's Market or any of the ticket offices on
This was such a fun show. Shawn Camp was the opener and was very
enjoyable. Prine opened with the classic Spanish Pipedream. He really
sounded great, but the levels of the music sounded off at times and made
it hard to hear his voice during the more rocking songs. He did some Bush
bashing which I found very amusing including dusting off Your Flag
Decal..." in his honor saying it was a request from the president
then he said "well he didn't so much request it..... but he sure has
been asking for it". Also did a couple of great new ones... Just
Getting By: sad but very good and one about cold hearted people that
referred to the "asshole from Texas". Highlights for me were the
6 or 7 song encore, Peaceful Waters, great banter about the Happy
Enchilada bit. I have heard a lot a versions of this story, but this was
the best yet. He did a set alone and did quite a few rocking electric
numbers. All in all it was a wonderful time and my only complaint was the
sound mixing (and that was very minor). Prine had me laughing and crying,
The REAL John. No BS. Played 'em all.
Nearly 3 hours of just HIM! Wow.
By: Joseph Friedrichs
John Prine satisfies with soothing UM performance
The great singer/songwriter John Prine explained how the
world goes round to a packed house at the University of Montana Tuesday
night. "One day you're up, the next you're down," as Prine puts it
in his classic song "That's the Way the World Goes 'Round."
Performing in front of approximately 800 people at the
University Theater, Prine's performance was sensational.
The Chicago native, who has been performing since the late
'60s, owned the stage last night. Playing a majority of his songs with
fellow musicians Jason Wilber (mandolin, electric guitar) and Dave Jacques
(bass), it was Prine and his acoustic guitar that ran the show.
With a stage presence that rivals others of his era,
including Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell or Neil Young, it is perhaps Prine's
voice that makes his talent so distinct. When listening to Prine, it
sounds as though at any second his voice may crack or simply give out. But
it never does. His tone is raspy yet pleasant, his message clear and
Prine entered the stage dressed in an all-black suit. His
first song, "Spanish Pipedream," set the mood for the entire evening.
Wilber gracefully played the electric guitar in the background of Prine's
acoustic. Jacques' arms flailed freely on the stand-up bass. The
audience looked like a collection of Bobblehead Dolls as their necks moved
the melons they supported.
Prine, who arrived in Missoula a day before the show, said he was
glad to get into town early because, "There's always something to do
in Missoula," he said.
During the performance that lasted just over two hours, Prine
played a good number of his hit songs but also a few songs off his album
scheduled to be released in March 2005. "I'm Just Getting By," a
featured song on the new album, drew great praise from the crowd.
But it was the classics from Prine that drew the loudest
cheers: "Sins of Memphisto," "Dear Abby" and "Sam Stone" to
name a few.
When Prine sang his legendary "Illegal Smile," a song
about the benefits of unnamed substances, he insisted the stagehands turn
on all the lights in the theater so everyone could sing along with him.
"Ah but fortunately I have the key to escape reality / And you may see
me tonight with an illegal smile / It don't cost very much, but it lasts
a long while / Won't you please tell the man I didn't kill anyone / No
I'm just tryin' to have me some fun."
Hearing a large percentage of the audience bellow these
lyrics into the night was simply satisfying to the soul.
One Prine fan in attendance last night repeatedly requested
he play "Sabu Visits the Twin Cities Alone." The fan went about
requesting for the song by yelling "Abu Sabu," in some kind of
gibberish-type tone. When he finally played the tune, the fan yelled the
name again, prompting Prine to stop in the middle of the song and say with
a laugh "And you try to be a nice guy."
Overall, the show was everything a long-time Prine fan could
have expected. He told interesting little stories in and between many of
his songs and seemed to be happy to be performing on stage. The former
mailman turned famous musician worked his magic last night, and those in
attendance will certainly not soon forget it.
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