Tom and I attended John Prine’s performance at The Orpheum, Sioux City, Iowa, last night. Iris Dement shared much of the night, opening with about ten tunes solo on the piano and at various times with Prine, including the encore.
I came away with two immediate thoughts: Prine somehow reminded me of George Gobel, and I really should have caught on by now that Dement is and has been a resident of Iowa for some time now.
I’ve never been to a show at that venue, and maybe it’s customary there, but I thought the crowd was a little tame. Judging by the kind of surprised laughter much of his funny stuff evoked, I’m guessing there were a number of attendees who were not necessarily his “devout”.
That first album was 40 years ago; maybe his “devout” aren’t that mobile anymore (shudder).
I had a wonderful time, it’s a great venue, the sound was adequate (I would have tolerated louder), and all the performers turned in a solid night, albeit without “Illegal Smile”, or something maybe from Common Sense, and without the audience bursting into much sing-along, but I had several transcendental moments, notably during Angel From Montgomery, a song that has always “gotten me”, during which Jason Wilber’s guitar playing was positively sublime, throwing me into a brief Nils Lofgren moment from years ago……
Sioux City (known locally as SUX) is trying to cope with flooding and it’s hard to say for me whether that somehow impacted attendance, but the show wasn’t sold out, and that’s kind of surprising. Prine thanked the audience a couple of times for coming out on a Wednesday night and I wonder if that isn’t a nice way of saying gee, I notice there are rows of empty seats in the back…..
and maybe that has something to do with the part where tickets are sixty dollars. I wouldn’t begrudge the economics of that, but I also wouldn’t have been sitting in the seat if Tom hadn’t bankrolled the operation, so I need to express special appreciation for that.
It was a beautiful night for a drive, even through a couple of wrong Sioux City neighborhoods on the way out, and another successful event for the Rainy Day Music team of the 21st century.