May 29, 2016
Reviewed by Joseph Hett
Jackson Browne Is Just What The Doctor Ordered In Columbia
The long-awaited Jackson Browne show at the Township Auditorium in Columbia, SC finally happened Sunday night. The show was originally scheduled in January, but Browne postponed it until he recovered from an illness. This solo acoustic show was just what the doctor ordered for Browne and all of the fans.
The stage just had a piano and a rack lined with around 20 guitars. Browne later explained, while struggling to find the right guitar, that each guitar was uniquely tuned for specific songs.
Browne came out with an acoustic guitar to a standing ovation and played “The Barricades Of Heaven.” After he finished the somber tune, Browne thanked everyone for welcoming him back after he got well. Then the floodgates opened from the audience – they started shouting requests. One struck Browne’s attention, and he decided to play “Cocaine,” from 1977’s “Running On Empty” album. Browne jokingly said, “You will have to hear the rehab version, is that alright?”
Next up was 2014’s “The Long Way Around,” followed by the requested classic “Tender Is The Night.”
A lady on the right side of the auditorium kept yelling, “I love you Jackson Browne.” Browne would just chuckle and shake his head. It was cute the first couple of times, but then it kind of got annoying after that. Finally, it ceased towards the end of the show.
Browne sat down at his piano for the first time of the evening for “The Pretender,” and continued with “Somebody’s Baby.”
During “Just Say Yeah,” Browne inserted the line “Hey baby, have you ever been to Columbia?” He closed the first set out with “Something Fine,” from his 1972 self-titled album.
Back from intermission, Browne came back out and played “For Everyman” – off of 1973’s “For Everyman” album.
He told a story about being on a fact finding mission in Cuba with songwriter Carlos Varela. He then played a song written by Varela called “Paredes Y Puertas,” which is translated into “Walls And Doors.”
Browne finally played a song that was called out all night long by audience members – “Redneck Friend.” He added, “I bet you think you’ve got some rednecks in South Carolina. Rednecks are a global phenomena.”
Some people, who were obviously not paying attention, called out songs that Browne already had performed. Browne made sure that he pointed out that absurdity. “I’m Alive” and “I’ll Do Anything” were up next.
No introduction was needed when Browne started up “Running On Empty.” The whole auditorium started clapping their hands and singing along. Brown inserted “In ’17 I’ll be 68” into the latter part of the song, referencing his would be age.
Browne thanked the audience and walked off stage. He quickly returned and jumped on the piano for the encore. He hit the opening notes and everyone knew that it was “Doctor My Eyes.” Browne’s guitar tech came out and played the electric guitar solo.
Browne closed the show out with “Take It Easy,” a tune he co-wrote with the late Glenn Frey. Browne mentioned that he didn’t play it over the years because people would think he was covering an Eagles song. He said, to end his speech, “Let’s face it, it is an Eagles song.”
Browne’s voice was pristine and flawless. He played his hits and deep cuts spanning his entire career. The only obvious omission was the classic “Load Out / Stay.” It was just as entertaining to see a solo acoustic show versus a full band show. He was able to interact with the crowd and tell stories in an intimate setting. It was well worth the long wait for this two-hour show.