The Riverside Theatre, Milwaukee, WI
27, 2004 - support: Leon Redbone
By: Reeda Buresh - webmistress of the Prine Shrine
Madison & Milwaukee WI - March 26 & 27, 2004
Madison WI - The trip there--- March 26, 2004 I love these towns and made
all sorts of semi plans to do stuff while visiting, but, as always, the
best laid plans tend to wrinkle up. We just really wanted to get away - to
the other side of town as it were and hadn't even made it to the first
stoplight when I snapped my coffee cup lid shut and spattered brown spots
on my new white Prine tee shirt.... there really is a review along with a
long winded ramble here
I'll be preaching to the choir here, but here goes: I go to see JP every time he comes to Milwaukee, and this was one of his best shows. The new stuff was fantastic; can't wait to hear the new CD. BUT - every show seems to produce worse audience behavior. The large majority of us come for the music, but there is a growing minority that seem to think that we came to see THEM. The play list is set in advance - yelling out requests repeatedly won't change it. Also, while I love to sing along at home (or during Illegal Smile), I'd much prefer to hear John and Shorty do the songs when they happen to be there in front of me = not the folks sitting around me. Anyways, I'm not really all that upset with them (even the drunks); every time we get to see the group is a blessing. Keep on rocking John!
John Prine is without a doubt the Greatest song writer of all time!! He has a way of painting pictures with words that those who use oils and canvas would envy. Saturday night at the Riverside was my 40th Prine concert!! John is sooo talented that even after hearing most of his songs for the umteenth time he has a way of making them fresh and new, and always worth listening to. John played a few new songs from an
upcoming album (I can't wait) that are still stuck in my head. They as always were great!! I took up
guitar 25 years ago because of this man---I play his songs whenever and where ever possible---Thanks John---you are
truly an American National Treasure-------"Life is a blessin....."
Great show again! Had a fantastic time in Milwaukee. My only complaints were the many stragglers. Leon Redbone came on at about 8:10 (for an 8:00
show), yet there were MANY people in the outer lobby partying and raising quite a bit of noise. It wasn't like we were at a Grateful
Dead, Rush, Blue Oyster Cult...etc. type of show. I can understand not wanting to see the opening
act, but at least show some respect. That being said, John's own beloved wouldn't vacate the beer stands well into the second or third song of his set. Little wonder that my wife and I saw no less than five people "asked to leave" the main floor. Too bad... they missed a great show.
John and his band were better than the last time I saw them many years ago in Davenport, A. The
acoustics were great and did not disappoint by pouring their hearts out with a show that finally ended
at around 11:35PM. Heard all of my favorites-Illegal Smile, Sam Stone, Angel From
Montgomery, and many more. The one that I would have love to have heard is "It's A Big Ole Goofy World".
All in all though...a Great Show!
My wife has never been before, but will surely be going back (her words not mine).
What a wonderful performance you and your company put on! We traveled from Minnesota to
Milwaukee and it was worth every mile and cent.
You certainly seemed to be having a good time up there; as was the audience. At one point during the show I
looked around and saw everyone glowing with smiles and be-bopping in their seats. There was only one time I was annoyed. Some chick a couple of rows back kept yelling about "Sam Stone". I'm sure things like that can't be pleasant for you either.
I thought your mix of new and old songs was superb. I enjoyed hearing your new songs and hope to find them on a CD sometime in the future.
Your tribute to Howie Epstein was a kind gesture. I'm sorry for your loss of a friend.
You showed a lot of integrity mentioning Mom and Brother.
Thank you so much for a wonderful evening out for my husband and me. We will be keeping an eye out for future shows in the area and next time we plan to bring the family!
Mike B. La Crosse, Wisc.
This was my 2nd John Prine concert and wished that I'd of discovered him 30 years ago. I saw him last year and even though he was very good, last Saturday night in Milwaukee he seemed to really put it on the line. The band was tight and especially Jason who put down some piercing leads. John looked like he really was enjoying himself and especially during that middle period when he took his time & told several interesting stories. His solo period on stage was the best; his unique voice and great guitar command was all those classic songs needed! It's amazing how rough his voice is when talking but then singing seems to clear it. He played maybe 4-5 new songs and his new upcoming CD will be a classic. This man has been on the road most of 35 years and still puts on a great show and has new material that may be as clever and solid as his older classics. ------Leon Redbone was a unique act and a great guitarist.--------- I hope that John Prine can keep touring and recording for many more years.........
Really good show on Saturday night. As some of the other reviews say, I was really distracted by the extra noise made by the venue's crew and people walking in and out. It was really hard to get into the show (especially when they let people come in off the street before the encores). Either way, John sounded great and I can't wait for the new album.
Laura- Chicago, IL
John Prine does not disappoint! This was my second show and I cannot say enough about his electric performance. He is a lyrical genius. The energy on stage was great and the encore was an added bonus!! I am looking forward to more!! The new songs were great - I can't wait to get a copy of Prine's new material. Riverside Theater was an intimate venue however the crowd was a bit rowdy and security had to escort a few to the door. Even John Prine was distracted by security having to remove three people from the second and third rows main floor. Prine's comment "the bar is across the street". He didn't miss a beat, literally!!
Mel Stark Marshall, WI
Good show. We sat on 2nd floor. View was obstructed by late comers who would mill around in front of us. Security stood nearby and chatted the whole time. They did a dang poor job of keeping the area open. They had lots of hangers on especially late in the show.
Having an encore surprised me. Show ran very long. Whole lot of hard work! We four first timers really enjoyed the show.
Acoustics of the large hall and aforementioned gab-fest made it hard to understand all the words. Guess it's time to start buying some of John's CD's.
Again, very good show.
Hi! This is Carol from Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Well, Milwaukee did not run out of beer! Security had to take a few partier's out of the audience so others could enjoy the show. John, Jason and Dave were fantastic! I can't think of any adjectives that are powerful enough. It was great to hear some new songs (and the old
ones, too) and to see John smiling and playing and singing his heart out. Boy, can they jam! I had a few first-timers with me - two that were only sixteen and it was great to share the experience with them. Now for my woe is me tale -
Sadly, my niece and I missed the first two songs while hitting the ladies line for the bathroom and grabbing a soda for my sister. I didn't realize the show had started-thought there would be a more noticeable dim of the lights and being on the lower level, didn't hear the noise right away. I really wanted to be in my seat at the start, especially for Flag Decal. I'm really a huge fan and had to really talk myself into not being too bummed about that. Hopefully there will be another show nearby in a year or two. It was great seeing Reeda and Crusher and saying hello to them. Next time we're at the same show Reeda, I'd love to have more time to visit-maybe prior to a show? I hope John Prine has many, many more years of performing. He is the greatest and sometimes I'm kind of glad when people say "John who?" because it gives us fans the chance to see him in these more intimate venues and to always get a "good seat." All for now fellow Priners! Carol
Absolutely unbelievable! My first Prine concert and definitely not my last! I bought tickets and surprised my husband for his birthday because he's such a big fan. And to top it off, Leon Redbone opened the show with great music! We loved it!
Madison Civic Center Madison, WI
004 - support: Leon Redbone
By: Reeda Buresh - webmistress of the Prine Shrine
Madison WI - The trip there--- March 26, 2004 I love these towns and made
all sorts of semi plans to do stuff while visiting, but, as always, the best
laid plans tend to wrinkle up. We just really wanted to get away - to the other
side of town as it were and hadn't even made it to the first stoplight when
I snapped my coffee cup lid shut and spattered brown spots on my new white Prine
tee shirt.... there really is a review along with a long winded ramble here
By: Dawn E.
My husband and I have been being entertained by John Prine for over 30 years. We started going to outdoor concerts in IL when we were teen-agers. I cannot believe the energy this man has. The money we paid for this concert was worth every cent. I hope he'll be returning to Madison next year.
Prine, Redbone Both Entrance In Fine Show
The Capital Times
Saturday, March 27, 2004
By Michael Muckian Special to The Capital Times
Singer John Prine spins tales of ordinary people in extraordinary ways.
His keen and often caustic observations drill deep below the surface, giving way to an often tender sympathy for the characters in his songs.
Prine's unique talent drew a capacity crowd to the Oscar Mayer Theatre Friday, with the audience seeming to hang on his every raspy-throated phrase. After spending three hours with Prine and opening act Leon Redbone, we all gained a little greater appreciation for the more fragile side of the human comedy.
Prine's playlist spanned the gamut of a long career for the former postman from Mayville, Ill. From the anti-war sentiments of "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore" to the humor of "Dear Abby," the singer painted vivid snapshots of humanity that brought both laughter and warmth from the audience. Backed by talented sidemen Dave Jenks on acoustic and electric bass and Jason Wilbur on electric guitar and mandolin, the now-burley Prine sang songs about friends, family and former loves, describing scenarios that seemed all too familiar.
In between, he shared stories and personal anecdotes, including one about his hip replacement that left an appreciative audience in stitches, so to speak.
Several songs, including "Whistle and Fish," were dedicated to various friends and relatives of audience members. Others, such as "I Wish You All the Best," were autobiographical in nature. The emotional portrait Prine painted throughout all of them seemed genuine and personal to the singer.
One of the evening's most effective moments came when Jenks and Wilbur left Prine to his own devices. The lengthy solo set, with the singer accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, provided some of the evening's finest moments.
Redbone, who opened the show with an all-too-brief 45-minute set, was highly entertaining in his delightfully anachronistic way. The resemblance to pizza panderer Rocky Rococo was noted by more than one audience member.
Redbone plays old-time tunes in a style so laid back that at times it almost seems to doze off. Within those moments, however, the singer proves just how accomplished a showman he really is.
Redbone, with his neat suit and trademark fedora and shades, had the audience in the palm of his hand the moment he finished his initial number, "I Ain't Got Nobody," and raised a point-and-shoot camera to his eye.
"Mind if I get a memento of the evening?" he said slowly, snapping several flash shots of the audience in quick succession. "I'll have several prints made and you'll all have to sign mine."
Redbone and his highly talented sidemen played a series of old-time numbers, from "Ain't Misbehavin'" to "I've Been Working on the Railroad." Redbone's well-picked acoustic guitar, accompanied by trumpet and piano, created a sturdy little trio that demonstrated some true musical talent.
What Prine was to lyrical storytelling, Redbone was to instrumentation, albeit somewhat quirky. The two performers, occupying different ends of the spectrum, complemented each other wonderfully.
The biggest drawback during Redbone's set was the nearly steady stream of late arrivals being shown to their seats, including a pair who arrived just as his set was ending. They rose in standing ovation with the rest of the audience, not knowing why they were applauding. In this case, the loss clearly was theirs.
John Prine with Leon Redbone
Madison Civic Center
Great show John . Nice that you dedicated
the songs to Lonnie Hubbard. The new stuff sounded very good . Nice rendition of "Your flag decal " - and yes please pass that along to George when you are in DC later this week.
Great slide guitar work by Jason .. and Dave thanks for holding down the grove - especially on the song your dedicated to Howie .
Come back soon .
This was my 5th Time to see John, Dave
and Jason play, I took three new Prine fans with me. They all were blown away with the show and really impressed. John kicked it off with Spanish Pipedream and ended with lake
Marie, and everything else in the middle. THE NEW SONGS SOUNDED GREAT! john is after all the greatest song writer EVER!!!
I would have to say that the show Friday night was awesome. My brother bought tickets for my dad and I and we all went together. John Prine is such an awesome entertainer! It was great to hear his funny stories and listen to his music. I look forward to the next time that he comes to town! Thanks John Prine!
for my33 wedding anniversary my husband bought tickets for the John Prine concert. He saved my favorite song for last at the encore.
I Knew he would sing Paradise and he gave it a different spin. After so many years of listening to him and enjoying his stories and humor it was a wonderful treat to see him
perform. His energy and relationship with the audience ( of a packed civic center) was high. He sang Angel from
Montgomery, and Dear Abby, Dear Abby, Sam Stone and many more . He loves what he does and feels what he sings. The audience loves him too and we feel those songs deeply. Thanks John for a wonderful time.
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