Thursday, December 22, 2005

2005 Happenings

Dave talks about the best concerts he saw in 2005 in his blog. I didn't get out to many concerts this past year as Weena and I were preparing for Benjamin's arrival, but here is one I went to compliments of XM Satellite Radio

I got this in my e-mail in early February 2005.

CONGRATULATIONS!

YOU have been selected for the audience at XM Satellite Radio's Performance Theater in Washington, DC for a special performance from NILS LOFGREN Thursday, February 24th at the XM Satellite Radio Performance Theater, Washington, DC

So here is my recap of that afternoon:

28 years ago in the spring of 1977 I saw Nils Lofgren perform for the first time. I was in ninth grade, age fifteen and the show was at Georgetown University’s McDonough Gym. A bunch of us from the Wood Acres neighborhood in Bethesda MD either hitch hiked or took a bus to the show. Now I don’t remember a whole lot about that show as one, it was 28 years ago and two, well I won’t go into what else I was enjoying that night. I do remember Nils’s energy that night and how awesome it was being at my first concert.

Over the years as I grew up, I would catch Nils whenever I could. I’ve seen him at various clubs in the DC metro area. Places that no longer exist like the Psyche Delly in Bethesda, the Bayou in Georgetown. Current venues like The Birchmere. Outside venues like a park in Frederick MD whose name escapes me and on G Street near MCI Center. Of course I’ve seen him numerous times over the years with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

To this day, I still get pumped up whenever Nils is in concert. Perhaps it is because his music has always gotten me through good and bad, happy and sad times in my life. Maybe it is his energy and devotion while he is on stage. Or it could be that he is one of the most fan friendly people out there, always graciously signing autographs and chatting with fans after his shows.

I thought I’ve seen it all until yesterday.

Thirty Nils Lofgren fans were invited to XM Satellite Radio’s Performance Theater for a recording session that will be broadcast later on XM. After a long wait, while the technicians got the theater ready, XM Radio’s Mike Marrone greeted us. Mike is Program Director of XM’s acoustic music channel, The Loft.

A little over a year ago, Nils sat down with Mike and discussed his career and played in studio. This was one of the best interview sessions with Nils I’ve had the pleasure of hearing. Mike gave us a little tour of the XM studios, telling us that Bob Dylan's two favorite stations were Hank's Place, a station that plays a lot of country music and Bluesville. Someone asked Mike if The Loft was one of Dylan's favorites and he joked and said not really because Mike played a lot of Dylan.

He also told us this wouldn’t be like a club setting, that sometimes in the middle of the song, Nils could stop and make adjustments and start the song over. The session would be a lot like the "Authorized Bootleg" album we listened to growing up.

We were seated and Nils arrived to a warm applause and settled down. While warming up we were treated to a few riffs of "Rusty Gun", a great song from his days as a member of Grin.

Then the show started. I’ll post the set list after this note. Nils played a lot of the old classic tunes we know and love. He played a couple Bruce Springsteen songs, including “If I Should Fall Behind”, a personal favorite of mine. He also gave us a new song called “In Your Hands” who he wrote for his wife Amy when, according to Nils, he forgot to get Amy a Christmas present so he wrote a song for her. During the show we also got a treat in his brother Tom Lofgren and Buck Brown joined in.

All in all, it was a fantastic experience and we got to see a lot of behind the scenes technical work that went on to produce this show. To be fifteen feet away and see a musical icon like Nils work his guitar is indescribable.

After the show Nils came out and chatted with us, posed for pictures and yours truly was able to get a set list signed by Nils. While he was signing, I told him that his version of “All I Have To Do Is Dream” off Breakaway Angel was outstanding and that my wife and I used this song for our first dance at our wedding. Nils was appreciative of that and he was very gracious to us all, thanking us for coming out and supporting him.

A month went by and I was able to make a trade for this CD. It's outstanding. If you would like a copy, please post a note in the comments section and I'll get one out to you.

The set list:
Gun and Run
Damaged Goods
You
If I Should Fall Behind
Wonderland
In Your Hands
Like Rain
Keith Don’t Go
Goin’ Back
Irish Angel
The Sun Hasn’t Set On This Boy Yet
Moon Tears
First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
Because The Night
No Mercy
I Came To Dance
Shine Silently

1 comment:

Chris said...

Hi,

I am a German fan and a Nils´ List reader, I don´t write something to this group, I´m just a quiet reader. ;-)

So "In Your Hands" is definitely a new song? Did he say that?
I´m really lookin´ forward for his new record.

I hope my English was not to bad,

Chris