Glen Campbell & three songs from Jackson Browne.
The opening act was a little more country then rock and roll, but for my ears they sounded solid. It was their first time playing at the Hollywood Bowl, very poetic being that this was Glen Campbell’s last performance in Los Angless. Kind of a show business circle of life. The third song they covered was Glen’s first song “Everyday Housewife”, a version which fell a little flat for me.
Courtney Taylor Taylor came out for the fourth song of the night covering The Monkees tune “Daydream Believer”, which Glen played lead guitar on. This song was met with much applause untill Taylor Taylor hit the chorus, then it sounded just awful. He sang like a frog with a sore throat. When Taylor Taylor spoke after the first song, it was clear he was not of sound mind, either drunk or high or something worse. That was not so unexpected for a rock and roller, but he also happened to suck, which was an issue. He also forgot the lines in “Last Train to Clarksville”, which was met with shaking heads and derisive laughter from the crowd. When he announced he was singing his final number, they applauded and laughed out loud. I can’t stress enough how bad this guy was.
Lucinda Williams could not come soon enough, we all held out hope she could salvage the train reck left by Taylor Taylor. She was better but also clearly a little out of it.
Next up Mr. Kris Kristofferson sounded great (and I think he was the only performer that acted in a vampire movie with Whesley Snipes, which I see as a bonus).
Jenny Lewis played next, she knocked the cover off of the ball by hitting every note and even though I am not particularly a fan of country music, it was not bad. She told us that in the 1970s her family opened for Glen, Joking that there she was forty years later opening for him.
And then to some big cheers came Mr. Jackson Browne, who began with a duet with Jenny. For his second song he told us that last week he was here watching the beach boys perform so it was a pleasure for him to perform his next song. He followed that cover up with a rendition of one of his own songs, “These Days”. This is what I came for. He sounded just as good as in the days I use to listen to him driving in mom and dad’s ’66 Mustang. This was my first chance to hear him live, and I am so happy it hit the mark!! He was rocking the place as the sun went down at the bowl, and followed up with a surprising treat as he covered Elvis’ “Viva Las Vegas”.
Glen looked at the teleprompter a lot, but sounded great. After the first song he stated. ” I am so glad to be here tonight…well, these days I am glad to be anywhere” the crowd burst out laughing, more laughs from the over sixty set. By the time they got to “Phoenix”, he tried to wander from the prompter, feeling more confident, but still snuck glances. His hands, however, never missed a beat on the guitar.
During “Try a little kindness” he was the most confident, and even played around on stage a bit, which was great to see. He had a guitar solo in this one, and he rocked it. It seemed that the band was instructed to start playing the music right after each song ended, because every time he started talking between songs they started up and he caught on about two beats later. For “True Grit” he made some comments about John Wayne, but was cut off by efforts from the band to push him into the song.
It really got fun when he brought his stunning daughter Ashley out and they battled, her on the banjo and he on the guitar. Then a very confused Glen exit the stage and his son and daughter performed two original songs. Glen was brought back on stage, and remarked “it is realy cold out here” followed by asking “what am I doing?” to his daughter. Poor Glen told us he was cold again, then told the same joke about being happy to be anywhere at his age. Then at least twice during “Rhinestone Cowboy” he told us how cold he was, and I thought to myself, someone needs to get this guy a blanket. Despite the instances of dementia in between songs, Glen put on a great show. It was amazing to see that in spite of his mind, his body didn’t miss a beat. During this fond farewell, Glen could still play like it was back in the day.
On a personal note, my own grandfather was taken by this disease (dementia). It is just a awful way to go and very hard to watch from a family standpoint. However ,I am sure it is made better for Glen being able to watch his children take over the family business and I can only pray that as he fades into the night he can still remember all the decades that he made America smile with his talent.
This is from the Hollywood Bowl site.
Legendary singer/guitarist Glen Campbell, a true American musical icon, will give his final Los Angeles concert at the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday, June 24 as part of his Goodbye Tour – a celebration of his extraordinary five-decade-plus career and release of his acclaimed final studio album Ghost on the Canvas. Shortly after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease last June, Campbell decided to forge ahead with both the tour and the album, in the spirit of sharing both his music and the truth about his condition. Campbell just received the Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award and joined The Band Perry and Blake Shelton for a special performance on the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards® this past Sunday, February 12, 2012. The first half of the concert will begin with California-based roots rock band Dawes, joined by special guest Jackson Browne and additional special guests (to be announced) performing original songs as well as selections from Campbell’s repertoire that have been of special influence. The concert will close with Campbell performing his most memorable hits as well as selections from Ghost On The Canvas, which has been greeted with unprecedented critical acclaim from all corners.