Monday, April 7, 2008

Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson is an incredible performer. When Rob and I saw his Blaze of Glory tour in August 1989, he played all of the music from that sequential album without a pause between songs, piano and vocals, and then continued with a full concert set of other music. I’ve seen him several times since then, most recently this evening, and he’s never disappointed. For me, there is something magical about a musician singing while playing a real grand piano, and it puts Joe Jackson, Billy Joel, and Tori Amos in a common category despite their different styles. Tonight Joe was backed by Graham Maby and Dave Houghton from the original Joe Jackson Band, and the three of them did a wonderful hopscotch of new and old songs covering a span of more than 25 years. Joe happily uses both Latin and pop rhythms and adds occasional jazz riffs in performance, but the band has a consistent sound that makes it all work together. And as much fun as it’s always been to see Joe Jackson in concert with various friends over the years, when they wrapped up the encores tonight with A Slow Song as they often do, this time I was standing right in front of the stage with the woman I love. And that made this his best concert by far.

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