I love Arlo. There's nothing to not love about the guy. He's never disappointed me, not even close so I'd been eagerly anticipating this show since October. I had very high expectations! Turns out the show was even better than that! Arlo with a FULL BAND!! Oh baby, it was awesome! and louder than I would have expected!
The band was Arlo (on a 12 string, it was a delight!! or a couple of regular acoustics or a grand piano!! WOW), a drummer, a bass player, a guitar/fiddle player, son Abe on keys and the Burns Sisters on backing vocals. I'm not usually a fan of female vocals, but I dug the Burns Sisters, they were tasteful and blended well. If I had a complaint, it would probably be Abe, his keys were borderline cheese...I don't think the music would have suffered if it was gone.
The venue was Kanbar Hall at the Jewish Community Center. Big thumbs up for this place! It's not much to look at but it sounds great and the seats are comfy! I also helps that I left the house at 7:56 and was in my seat, ready to go when the lights went down at 8:05! I was home again by 10:25. They played two sets, about an hour each, with a short break and an encore.
As you would expect, Arlo's banter and storytelling were a highlight of the night. Every song had a story, usually about a young Arlo spending time with his father and his friends. He joked about songwriting, said it was a lot like fishing, mostly just sitting there. They could only get through one verse of this land is your land because Arlo kept interjecting little thoughts. Clearly, a move the band was used too and the audience too...it was well received. Imagine if Ryan Adams stopped a song between each verse to rattle on...luckily, Arlo won this crowd over long before they entered the auditorium and there was nothing but love for him all night.
Here's the setlist, which I promise to be neither complete or fully accurate. Got some old favs, some unknowns and some newly penned tunes. Near the end of the second set, while Arlo sat a the piano, they did a new song, so new that a sheet of lyrics sat on top the piano, just in case. It's pretty amazing that with such a vast collection of songs, Arlo keeps writing. Old habits die hard.
Chilling of the Evening
In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree
St. James Infirmary
Motorcycle (Significance of the Pickle) Song
Cornbread, Peas and Black Molassas
Coming Into Los Angeles
Ballad of Pretty Boy Floyd
Set 2: (obvioiusly, there's some stuff missing here...)
When a Soldier Makes it Home
This Land is Your Land
E: My Peace
Thanks for the review!
Arlo is soooo cool, only seen him once and would love too again
I bought an Arlo poster in 86, I think, got him to sign it in 96. He said he'd sold 4 of those posters and had met the other 3, and had always wondered who bought that 4th poster...lol
met arlo at a bus repair facility in Westfield,mass in berkshires...nice normal dude. seemed very cool.