In Living Color: Jonathan Wilson at the Troubadour
Filed under: In Living Color | Posted by: Bryan
You should have been there. And by “there” we mean the celebrated Troubadour club in West Hollywood, CA, on Wednesday May, 9th, where Jonathan Wilson and his band played an impressive set that lasted nearly two and a half hours. Wilson — in a threadbare blue plaid shirt that made us think he probably has piles of laundry waiting for him back home in nearby Laurel Canyon — was in truly fine form, looking a little like Neil Young circa 1971 whilst offering up selections from last year’s vaunted When You Awake fave Gentle Spirit, along with a handful of new songs we can’t wait to hear again. Read more after the jump.
It was wonderful to hear live versions of our favorites like “Desert Raven” and “Natural Rhapsody,” which began with certifiably Pink Floydian sonicry before veering into jazz rock fusion and then back again to delicately plucked guitars, but the admitted highlight of the evening had to be the late-set special guest appearances by Jackson Browne and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ keyboardist Benmont Tench, not to mention being joined on one tune by the wonderful Jenny O, who had opened for Wilson at the Troubadour last December. After first joining Wilson (who introduced Browne as “his best friend”) on the album’s opening gem, “Gentle Spirit,” which Browne also told the crowd was probably his favorite song ever (!), Browne then led Wilson’s expanded band into a memorably spirited version of that early ‘70s nugget “Take It Easy,” which certainly brought out the smiles while heads bobbed in recognition that Browne has probably played this song in this very venue many, many times before (let’s not forget that the tune, which he wrote with the Eagles’ Glenn Frey, was the first track on his second album, For Everyman, back in 1973). It was definitely one of the best shows we’ve been to in many a supermoon. Hopefully some of you faithful WYA readers can catch Wilson on a European tour this summer (including two sold-out shows at the Royal Albert Hall in June), opening for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, but last night in his hometown Wilson gave us all a night to remember. You should have been there. (Photo by Ted Wulfers).
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