Friday, November 18, 2011

once in a lifetime . . . Jackson Browne

Last weekend I experienced one of those rare, but oh so pure, mesmerizing, "if you breathe you'll break the spell" moments.  A moment that I want to remember for the rest of my life, because it was so fleeting, so real, so beautiful that I really don't expect it to ever happen again.

I know, you're probably thinking my ramblings will continue down the familiar path destined to arrive at a moment when nature spoke to me.  Not so this time, I'll spare you another "Julie loves nature" post for now (that will be included in the upcoming "Yosemite is the most spiritual place on earth" post - just a warning ;-).

I'm talking about spending two magical evenings in nostalgic, tiny, lost in time California towns sitting in small theaters with unbelievable acoustics listening to Jackson Browne work his magic.  It was like we were invited into his own living room for a private, intimate concert.  It's a wonderful sight to see a small stage laden only with a row of guitars, a chair and table, and a piano.

In my eyes, Jackson Browne's music and lyrics transcend the human condition.  It's not just his rich, full, emotionally charged voice that touches my soul, but his sublime understanding of humanity, of love and longing, happiness, laughter, sorrow, peace, and the troubled heart.  I was moved to tears more than once, especially during Saturday evening's concert in Hanford, CA when Jackson became emotional himself and struggled for a moment to compose himself during a few songs ("Late for the Sky," "The Pretender," and "Enough of the Night" - the song written about his sister, who incidentally had passed away last year).

The highlight during the 3 hours happened as we were yelling out our favorite songs and someone asked to hear HIS favorite song . . . .  Jackson then treated us to a beautiful song written by Leonard Cohen, "A Thousand Kisses Deep," which he sang with such raw emotion the audience was spellbound - to be granted entrance to a personal moment like that of someone you've admired for years, was captivating.   To me, this concert almost felt like a "swan song" of sorts, and I'm not sure if I really want to see him perform again because nothing will compare with the beauty of this night.

Chris was just as taken in, if not more, than I was.  I think the best part of the experience for him was having a conversation with Jackson after Friday evening's show about how great it was to hear one of his more obscure songs, "Linda Paloma" from The Pretender (1976), and how amazed we were that he could just pull it out of his hat and play/sing it so beautifully.  During Saturday's performance, Jackson shared with the audience his conversation with Chris and then proceeded to play the song once again for the Hanford crowd.

yep, once in a lifetime.

 It doesn't get any better than this
 Turlock Community Theater (yes, it was that small)
 Chatting with Jackson after the show 
 My new friend Catherine asking to get an autograph on her albums - 
I love how you can see his picture from "Late For the Sky"
Yes, I got emotional
 Saturday night's concert
Thanks Jackson for two unbelievable nights 

After the show inside the Hanford Fox (est. 1934) - we loved the vintage/nostalgic lobby and theater
 My first attempt - the flash didn't go off - had to try again . . .
Chris and his hero

It's such a clever innocence with which you do your sorcery
As if somehow the years just bow and let that young girl go free
I thought I was a child until you turned and smiled
I thought I knew where I was going until I heard your laughter flowing
And came upon the wisdom in your eyes . . .

("I Thought I was a Child" - J. Browne)


Kelly said...

I seriously have a contact high from this post! You guys are living right!

Kevin C. said...

Great Post Julie!! Wow, sounds like a great trip!