Sunday, January 28, 2007



It is hard to decide where to begin when discussing Jonny Lang. The incredible voice; One part Joe South, one part Dave Mason, two parts Stevie Wonder, heavily spiced with Essence of Whiskey and Tobacco.

Or the guitar work; The precision of Clapton, the power of Knoffler, the heart of B. B. King. And at the tender age of 26, already the equal of any of them. And I have seen them all to know.

Saturday night I found myself, at the behest of a friend, traveling
2 1/2 hours to Kalamazoo's historic State theatre to hear Lang's electric blues/rock/soul. I had heard him on the radio a few times, and thought him to be pretty good. Let me tell you, his recordings don't even begin to do him justice. This was the best concert I have ever attended.

Not only is Lang a virtuoso performer, but he has a band every bit worthy of him. Guitarist /singer Reeve Carney is another underage phenom, and also served as Lang's opening act. Keyboardist Charles Jones was fabulous, and played one of the best keyboard solos I have ever heard. Drummer Barry Alexander and Bassist Jim Anton were also phenomenal.

Besides Lang's incredible guitar work, the highlight of the night for me was the cover of Stevie Wonder's JUST ENOUGH FOR THE CITY, which fit Lang's voice and tempo so perfectly you would have sworn Stevie wrote it just for him. There are not enough superlatives to describe Lang's version of this song.

Like everything in life, there was a certain downside. Why is it every time I go to a concert, at some point I come close to getting into a fight? Immediately behind us sat a row of people, obviously over served, who thought it was okay to chat through the opening act. Especially obnoxious was the guy sitting at the end of the row, who seemed to think the whole audience would rather hear him do his comedy routine than listen to the concert. I finally stood up, looked at him, and told him to "shut the fuck up, I paid to listen to a concert, not you." His girlfriend looked at me and said, "you don't have to act like that, we're all adults here." to which I replied "no, obviously you aren't." After a few minute of staring, they turned away and I sat back down. A few minutes later, one of his friends sat down behind them and I heard the guy say, "the big man down there told me to shut the fuck up!" To which his friend replied, "and the operative word is big man."

After that they pretty much shut up and allowed everybody to enjoy the concert. Which is a good thing, because this was a concert worth fighting for!

I agree.. it was the best concert I have EVER attended..
Both his music and singing were so smooth and intense that it was really hard to believe that he is only 26..
Am really glad that I didn't have to get into a fight, that would have upset my positive mood for the night..
...that's quite the recommendation...I don't think I can tell you what the best concert I ever attended was....maybe it was Tom Waits at Massey Hall...or Bob Dylan at the same hall when he did that intense weird-assed gospel tour....or Ian Tyson at Hugh's Room, the one when Gord Lightfoot was sitting right behind us....geez there have been so many good ones....including some incredible blues performances....Buddy Guy and Junior Wells at Alberts Hall was up there...The James Cotton Band at the old Ontario Place Forum with the revolving stage....or at the same place, Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie.....
He-he. Sounds like a good time was had by all. I like Jonny Lang. One of my best friends in college is a really big fan of his.

Concerning a-holes at concerts ... nothing pisses me off more. I seem to be a magnet at any concert or sporting event for the 75 IQ drunk guy directly behind me.
"Go ahead and lie to me" and tell me that you didn't attend this concert to make me green with envy! ;)

We've been listening to Jonny Lang for 10 years and have all his albums! Did you know that he was "discovered" at the Bayfront Blues Fest in Duluth?
I love Johnny Lang. It's amazing that a scrawny white boy can sing like that...
tshs - I definately went just to make you jealous. One more advantage of life in the big city! And I didn't know he was discovered in Duluth, just taht he started playing professionally at age 14.

laura - even more amazing is that a scrawny white boy from FARGO ND can sing like that !
*dying of jealousy* Years ago I bought a Jonny Lang CD for my dad when I couldn't find any Stevie Ray Vaughn, so I know that once you hear him there's no going back.
Wow, sounds like a great artist. I must peruse the music selection of my local store and give him a listen. P.S. I also get annoyed with people talking during concerts and have said something too.
Thought you might like this if you haven't seen it!
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