I paid a pretty penny to get my parentals front row tickets to see Bonnie Raitt at the Tower Theatre, so I was hoping that she wouldn't let me or them down and give us hell with a scintillating performance. Scinitillating, it was, but perhaps for more sentimental reasons than purely musical ones.
For starters, Marc Broussard was the opening act. I've had the pleasure of talking to this guy on the phone for an interview in 2003 and if you want me to be perfectly honest--at that time, fourteen guys with guitars were lighting up MTV and the charts and the radio who were all much more slick than Marc Broussard's 8 song demo was telling me. John Mayer, Jason Mraz and their equivalents were ahead of Marc Broussard in line for MTV fame.
BUT! He had something those guys didn't have--A VOICE THAT WOULD MOVE MOUNTAINS if possible. Therein lies my quibble with Marc Broussard. Last night, his live efforts were mindblowing. He has a deep, strong voice that sounded at home right alongside blazing guitar and pounding drums. His album fell completely flat. Slick production killed that wonderful old-fashioned sound that emanated from some alien place deep inside of his young self last night on stage at the Tower. His passion for the blues and ol' Louisiana was coming through loud and clear with every belted "take me home!" But on the album--there was nothing. His voice is smoothed over like polished stone. The creaking live missteps, the yelling and the guttural ooo's were gone. I just wish someone could tell that boy that he could really go places with a voice like that. If he could just put that voice into some REAL music instead of a drum machine and synthesizer violins, he could be huge. Not huge like MTV-huge, but huge like, respect among the people who have an ear for this sort of thing.
Anyway, Marc Broussard was just the warm-up for Bonnie. Now, there on the stage was one of the greats. She is a legend. There can only be one Bonnie and it's her. Of course, the main reason I enjoyed the show so much is because my parents had so much fun being so close to one of their favorite musical artists. Parentals never truly grasp the young 'un's music, so we don't really agree on anything remotely modern besides Ms. Bonnie Raitt. Plus, I can't separate whether I like Bonnie because she has put out some fantastic songs over the years ("Guilty", "Love Me Like A Man" , "The Road's My Middle Name", "Too Soon To Tell", "Nick of Time" ... to name a few) or if I just get nostalgic about listening to those songs with my dad while driving any place. (Because chances are that's the cassette he'd spin on any given day. Either Bonnie or Crosby, Stills & Nash) And I've realized it is a little of both. There is no mistaking her talent or her presence. Bonnie Raitt has been the tour de force of women singing the blues since 1971. She has to be pushing 60, and her voice was still flawless last night. Amazing. Truly!!!!!!!
Ahhhh. I am a loser!