Last night I had the good fortune to be in the audience for the Steve Earle concert in Vancouver at the Red Robinson Show Theatre. Performing solo with guitar, mandolin, harmonica, and bouzouki, Steve’s charisma, musicianship, and spectacular catalogue of songs kept the lively audience entertained as well as any band could.
Steve announced that when this tour is complete he’s going to be recording his “24th album.” He said that it’s going to be with the band this time. This should add an exciting dynamic to the new record, as his last few albums have been sans official band. Paired with the announcement was a new song that is going to be on the record. It was a cool song about a small town being ruined by big corporations with the narrator thinking about burning the “Wal-Mart” down.
Among the many highlights, Steve’s stage banter was terrific: speaking about the greek instrument he’s been performing with since his last record, he explained: “this is called a bouzouki… unless you’re going through airport security, and unless you’re me.”
“Little Emperor” was fantastic. Played on the mandolin, (and I can assure you it is not easy to sound good accompanying yourself with this little instrument with no sustain) the song’s groove is so infectious that the whole crowd was clapping and stomping their feet along with it. Furthermore, “Copperhead Road” brought pretty much every younger person in the crowd up to the front of the stage dancing. It’s awesome to see a bunch of people dancing to one acoustic guitar.
After an encore, Steve announced he would be at the merch table afterwards to sign autographs, etc. This is totally awesome of him. Obviously Steve Earle doesn’t need to be out mingling with the fans after the show as he already has 20+ years of success in music under his belt, but it’s just a great gesture from a class act to still take the time out for the fans.
Of course I waited in line and got to meet him. Steve Earle is one of my great musical inspirations and influences—and I’m also a fan, influence aside—so I definitely had a big adrenaline rush when I went up there. Smooth talker I ain’t—I can’t even remember what I said to him—but it was a very special moment in my life getting to shake the hand of someone who’s work I have admired and looked up to for so long.
So thanks to Good Guy Steve Earle for putting on a great show and then taking the time out to mingle with the fans afterwards. You should all hear his newest record “I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive” because it’s awesome!