Jackson Browne is an affair of the heart

Jackson Browne
NYCB Theatre at Westbury
May 20, 2018

Review and photo by Carol Anne Szel

It’s an affair of the heart between Jackson Browne and the majority of his fans who have been with him for decades. Browne is an artist who practices what he preaches, and as he humbly entered the round at the iconic NYCB Theatre at Westbury, (aka the musically historic Westbury Music Fair) he was greeted with cheers and applause and then a standing ovation.

In his unassuming manner, he sat at his piano for the first set and offered up the song “Before the Deluge,” perhaps his most poignant endeavor from 1974’s Late for The Sky album. He shortly after slid into “You Love the Thunder” from Browne’s 1977 hit album Running On Empty, a definite breakout release which brought him into the forefront of rock over 40 years ago.

Taking us on a musical journey spanning the decades of his music, we heard 1986’s “Lives in the Balance” followed by “Sky Blue and Black” off his I’m Alive record and into the standing ovation given after the raucous anthem “Doctor My Eyes” off his 1972 release Jackson Browne, or what it’s often lovingly called Saturate Before Using.

With a voice as crisp and clear and heartfelt as it was when I first saw him in concert 40 years ago, Jackson Browne barreled his way into his second set with a couple of ’80s pop favorites “In The Shape of a Heart” off his Lives In The Balance release and the single “Somebody’s Baby” from the Fast Times At Ridgemont High soundtrack, to the enjoyment of even the relative newbie Browne lovers in the crowd.

Heading then into “Redneck Friend” from ‘73s For Everyman, Jackson hit his stride with those in attendance as they yelled out song requests between each tune, and he casually bantered with this wonderful sold out crowd of fans. Eventually taking a sip from his shiny, silver reusable water bottle, something he advocates for one of his many philanthropic environmental causes, he then launches into the Little Steven cover of “I Am a Patriot” to the delight of the crowd which was now permanently on their feet. Heading into the Warren Zevon cover “Lawyers Guns and Money,” Browne continues in his humility by time and again praising the true musicians in his band and his beautiful backup singers. Finally ending the set with 1976’s fan favorite “The Pretender” and 77’s mega-hit “Running On Empty,” Jackson Browne takes an encore onstage with the Eagles hit, which Browne co-wrote, “Take It Easy” which oh-so-smoothly transitioned into “Our Lady of the Well.”

Leaving no stone unturned in winning over the hearts of newer fans as well as soothing the souls of longtime diehard Jackson Browne fans like myself, the evening with this California rock crooner was as meaningful and musically delightful as one could have asked for. And following his two nights at the Beacon in NYC, this evening on Long Island was as special as any music fan could ask for.

Well done.

 

SET 1

  1. Before the Deluge
  2. Some Bridges
  3. You Love the Thunder
  4. The Long Way Around
  5. The Dreamer
  6. Lives in the Balance
  7. Sky Blue and Black
  8. Doctor My Eyes
  9. Yeah Yeah
  10. For a Dancer

SET 2

  1. Looking East
  2. Your Bright Baby Blues
  3. In the Shape of A Heart
  4. Somebody’s Baby
  5. Redneck Friend
  6. Boulevard
  7. Never Stop
  8. Call It a Loan
  9. I Am a Patriot (Little Steven cover)
  10. Lawyers Guns and Money (Warren Zevon cover)
  11. The Pretender
  12. Running on Empty

ENCORE

  1. Take It Easy (Eagles cover)
  2. Our Lady of the Well

For Jackson Browne’s tour schedule, go to www.jacksonbrowne.com/tour

One thought on “Jackson Browne is an affair of the heart

  1. Saw The Man here in Orlando back in February…sort-of solo acoustic. I yelled out for “Walking Slow” and needless to say it was quite a moment!

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