Jackson Browne

We took a different way to Bend by going over Highway 66 and connecting to 97.  Highway 66 is a funky highway in that it is cut into the hillside and the state is forever shoring up the road.  Lots of sunken grades and roads that look like waves, except, when you stop and think about it, those waves are where the roadbed is giving way.  Add the shear drops down the side of the mountain and it’s easy to understand why Robert’s parents only went that way once and, at his Mother’s decree, never again.  But, it’s a pleasant drive most of the way and we went a way we hadn’t been in a few years.

Tumalo State Park
Tumalo State Park

Tumalo Bird Bath

We checked into Tumalo State Park after picking up provisions in town.  This time we snagged a spot on the river (A89) with no one on one side and a fairly thick “privacy bush” on the other.  Unfortunately, we had a two-year old screaming child across from us and a large family gathering next to us.  Both were quiet by 10pm, but the times in between…

We were about the location of the red arrow.

The small pathway to the river was frequented by the various locals, i.e., birds.  It was a waterhole and a bath as well.  So, Tuesday morning we set up our camera and caught a few glimpses of bathing birdies.  The lighting wasn’t all that great and the little critters took very short baths (have to look out for cats and snakes!), so the video clips are short.

As usual, we went down to Mill Creek for lunch before going to the concert.  This time we had a pizza, but weren’t impressed, so we topped it off with ice cream from B&G (can’t go wrong there) and then, for the lack of anything better to do, wandered off to the amphitheater.  Again, we were first in line and through the gate.

The setup for Jackson Browne was different than Alabama Shakes and Ben Harper.  The entire area in front of the stage was setup in chairs (like in the photo from another performance) and there were, besides the ADA area, two other fairly large areas of VIP and some other seating, leaving a whole lot less room for SRO’s.  Like Alabama Shakes, Browne was sold out.  When Alabama Shakes was on stage, the audience never sat; for Browne they sat on their butts until the middle of the second set!  What is it about older audiences that have forgotten that artists respond better to an active audience?  And when they finally got off their feet, there was a noticeable change in the reaction of the band and the people who finally got off their butts!

Les Schwab Amphitheater Stage Hand, er, Head

And that’s why WE stand and dance at concerts; we enjoy interacting with the artists.  With that in mind, for this concert we stood in front of the light/sound booth as shown in the picture of Les Schwab Amphitheater.  There was room for about three rows of people in front of the booth and we were in the front row to the right (facing the stage) of the booth and even with the end (arrow in above photo).  We stood in the place we chose from the moment we got there until the end of the concert.  Some folks sat down behind us and asked if we planned on standing for the whole concert and we said yes, so they moved over slightly.  Some other folks just arriving overheard and sat behind us and THEY stood and danced along with us.  Remember now, we’re standing in front of the sound booth which blocks the view for a lot of the area.  Yet people still complained.  Complained about somebody enjoying the concert!  One crazy woman followed Peggy to the restroom and complained until the woman Peggy was talking to in line told her to shut up, she didn’t want to here her bitchin’, especially at a Jackson Browne concert.  We had more people come up and tell us to hang in there than told us to sit down.

People are finally on their feet!
People are finally on their feet!

Is it that once we reach a certain age, we lose our youthfulness?  Have we become so accustomed to our soft lives, that we can’t even stand up and dance at a concert?  We hope we NEVER feel like that!  If we are not physically capable of standing or dancing we’ll move to the ADA area, but until that day, we plan to keep on dancing at concerts.  If we want to just sit on our tails, we’ll stay home and turn on the stereo.  You can get the same effect sitting on your tush at home as you can sitting on your tush in a concert, so why bother to go?

Neither one of us (sounds like song lyrics) had seen Browne in concert before so the night was a real treat.  Browne’s voice is still the same, youthful voice of the seventies.  The wrinkles and gray hair were a giveaway, though.  The band had been tuning up while we were sitting at the gates and we heard almost the entire evening playlist by the time the concert started.  Cool.  Two for the price of one.  The night was a musical journey from the seventies to today.  It’s not hard to see why he is still around after forty years.

As with an artist of this caliber, there is always a great backup band.  This was no exception.  Longtime band members included: Val McCallum (guitar), Mauricio Lewak (Drums), Jeff Young (keyboards), Bob Glaub (bass), Alethea Mills (Vocals) and multi-instrumentalist Greg Leisz (guitar, lap steel, pedal steel).  Accomplished musicians all, they provided moments of awe with their individual virtuosity.

When the stodgy audience finally found their youth, the atmosphere changed.  We’re glad we had a hand in starting that change.

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