Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Robert Earl Keen @ The Belcourt Theater

On November 9th Robert Earl Keen played two shows in Nashville's the historic Belcourt Theater. We were able to attend the second show along with a couple hundred other enthusiastic fans. The Belcourt Theater alternates as a music venue and movie theater and was once home to the Grand Ole Opry in the mid 1930's. As you can image with a small venue - there is not a bad seat - particularly those who wait in line before the doors open to grab the first row. We were forced to the rear - but had a great view of the stage. REK showed with his full band augmented with a Banjo and played for almost two hours. This was slightly disappointing considering I have seen him play for almost an hour longer - but I guess with the double shows and no encore....

But those two hours made the trip to Nashville worthwhile. Rich Brotherton was simply amazing on guitar - both acoustic and electric - the man could front his own band. With Rich, Marty Muse on steel guitar, Tom Van Schaik on drums, and Bill Whitbeck on bass; the band is a great supporting cast to REK. And Robert Earl Keen was at his best - in a jovial mood - telling stories - and playing mostly old favorites. Among others they played Paint the Town Beige, Amarillo Highway, and Blow you Away from A Bigger Piece of Sky; Sonora's Death Row and The Five Pound Bass from West Textures; A Border Tragedy from What I Really Mean; and from Gringo Honeymoon: Merry Christmas from the Family and for a final, my favorite, I'm Coming Home.

What made the show particularly exciting is the enthusiasm of the crowd. From the oldest fan to the youngest, it seemed that everyone knew the words to every song. Some sang, some sang and danced - but everyone was cordial and polite - even to those blocking their view. Interesting we were lucky enough to meet two different friendly groups who recently graduated from Auburn University. The Tigers must be doing something right.

No comments: