REVIEWS OF JOHN PRINE CONCERTS & ALBUMS 2005
CONCERT REVIEWS BY YEAR
2006 | 2005 | 2004
2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000
JOHN PRINE ALBUM REVIEWS
2005 John Prine Other Links of interest:
2005 Set Lists
2005 Prine fan concert photos gallery
Now don't you know that all he saw was all there was to see?
Boston Symphony Hall, Boston, MA
April 23, 2005
By: James Parker | Globe Correspondent | April 25, 2005
full article: http://www.boston.com/ae/music/articles/2005/04/25/prines_lyricism_takes_hold_and_doesnt_let_go/
Prine's lyricism takes hold and doesn't let go
From a song about a patriotic motorist so blinded by all the Stars and Stripes decals on his windshield that he crashes and dies (''Your Flag Decal") to a song about an overweight small town girl ''who hides her thoughts like a cat/ Behind her small eyes, and sunk deep in her fat" (''Donald and Lydia"), John Prine has always had an edge, an X factor of poetic ability that has set him apart from the country/rock mainstream for the nearly 40 years of his career. Couched in the simplicity of his short, even lines and humble melodies are images of bristling strangeness -- ''ice cubes with hair" and lightning that ''burns the sky like alcohol" -- and characters who behave with a random, zigzag humanity.
Saturday night at Symphony Hall, Prine performed a two-hour-plus set that mixed classics from his catalog such as ''Angel From Montgomery" and ''Sam Stone" (''There's a hole in Daddy's arm/ Where all the money goes . . ."), with songs from ''Fair and Square," his upcoming album on Oh Boy Records and his first new material in nine years. In 1998 Prine underwent surgery for cancer in his neck, and his trademark rasp got even raspier. A little shaky in the opening numbers, his voice warmed and stretched as the set developed. Immaculately backed by Jason Wilber on guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, and David Jacques on stand-up and electric bass, Prine was in total command; his between-song patter had the comforting sheen of a well-polished bar rail (''We were up in Canada trying to save our marriage or catch some fish -- whichever came first. . .").
Now and again his simplicity betrays him, especially in the newer material: ''The Glory Of True Love", a song off ''Fair and Square" that he cowrote with Roger Cook, is a number so trite and undemanding that one wonders how it could possibly have taken two people to compose it. But Prine's big, unwieldy heart is his greatest asset. Many of the characters in his songs are struggling with an almost supernatural endowment of love, a goodness that life has not given them the room to express. We are fortunate that he has found a way to express his.
I'm an old john Prine fan who's not to technologically advanced, so when I visited the site last week, it was like kid in the candy store, a slow but happy kid. the show, was very strong and steady. we had last seen JP just after 9-11, the first night of fall in Northampton, very healing to be amongst that fam-ah-lee. Saturday night I encountered a new one, sitting right smack dab in front of me the guy who booed, cussed, and flipped off JP on two occasions. first after flag decal, I thought too bad...but knew there would be more to come, I zoned him out for the next hour gave him a couple of rebel yells or as we like call em up here - Celtic, bruin, and sox screams, and you'll know we're patriots...but out came the brandy new ''some humans ain't human'', my lovely wife of twenty-five years grabbed my leg to see if my blood was boilin' sure enough it was, she leaned into me and all five foot two of her said don't do anything but then he said ''no politics asshole !'' I whacked him on the shoulder and prepared myself for a premature exit, hell I'm over fifty, sitting pretty in the seventh row center at symphony hall and the show has another half hour. luckily the pecka head locked up and shut up until the encore when he stood up and walked...ahhhh.....back to paradise. keep the drive alive.
Fantastic John Prine concert at Boston Symphony Hall tonight...one of the best I've ever been to and I've been to a lot. Man can that guy pick a guitar. Just John, an acoustic bass player, and an electric guitarist who pulled additional duties on the mandolin and harmonica. The sound was fantastic, really rich. John's voice cracked a little through the first couple of songs but smoothed out fine after that. Played a LONG time--2.5 hours! He played a lot of the old favorites (Souvenirs, Sam Stone, Fish and Whistle, Donald and Lydia, Hello in There, etc.) and a bunch of songs from the new album which sounded great--so great we ended up buying it in the lobby after the show. Opened with Spanish Pipedream. Closed with an awesome rendition of a song I never heard before called "Lake Marie" (I think) that seriously brought the house down. For an encore they did "Muhlenberg County." Did a solo acoustic set midway through and later an electric set that really rocked (and I do mean "really"). It included a cover of an old Carter family song that's on the new album called "Bear Creek Blues" that seriously jammed. As usual, the songs were woven through with lots of great stories. Like how the first time he played Boston Symphony Hall 30 years ago he was nervous as hell because Lowell George and the rest of Little Feat were sitting in the front row. And how another song he wrote when he and an ex-wife were on vacation in Canada "trying to save our marriage and catch a few fish--whatever came first." He also did an expanded version of the story he tells about the happy enchilada in the middle of live versions of "That's the Way that the World Goes Round" that included filing cabinets, Jimmy Buffet, and "grumbly beans." Funny as hell. He also got off a couple well-aimed shots at George Bush. Before playing "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Any More" he said he'd retired this song awhile back but was unretiring it "by presidential request...well, it wasn't a formal request." And in a new song--"Some Humans Ain't Human"--he had a line about "Just when you got the world off your back, some hot-shot from Texas starts a war in Iraq". This got the guy sitting behind us angry enough that he actually pulled his wife out of her seat and said "That's it we're leaving." Anyway, great show. I'm a pretty tough critic of live shows so when I say one was good I really mean it (usually there's something that f--ks it up...the performer doesn't seem like he's trying or the sound is crappy or the venue sucks or the audience is annoying, etc.) Not this time. This was a great show. If you like John Prine and have a chance to catch this tour, it's a good 'un.
By: Donna from Toranna
Just flew from Toronto to see John in Boston. He sounded tired and his voice was raw compared with his concert in Toronto in the fall. We love John in Toronto more than you love him in Boston. The entire audience sang every word to every old standard in Toronto. The Boston crowd was dead quiet! It was a thrill to sing along with John.....we couldn't contain ourselves. It is always a special honour to see John live but you real fans oughtta come to Toronto the next time John plays. Thanks for your effort John, maybe you should take a little rest.
Got a great John Prine photo? Upload it here and some will be added to the pages. Please add your John Prine concert experience, link to a current 2005 review, preview, announcement, or set list. Click to add it here
Yeah Little Buddy gonna get your chance, make the pubescents all wet their pants!"