by Paul Cashmere, Noise11
A Jackson Browne show is never about the greatest hits because every Jackson Browne song is a stand-alone statement.
With his latest album, Standing In The Breach, Browne communicates messages about society, politics and the environment to his fans. He always has. While many fans come for the songs they know, it is the stories of the ones they don’t that resonate strongest at a Jackson Browne show.
In a show with its fair share of memories Browne also articulated his concern for the environment and the damage done by Tony Abbott’s disastrous government. Abbott set up the potential destruction of the human race by killing off large sections of ocean, in particular Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, all for his mates in big business. For what its worth, his replacement, Malcolm Turnbull, turned out to be a puppet of the right-winged establishment and is powerless to reverse Abbott’s decision so Abbott’s time bomb remains for future generations.
Every Browne fan should investigate Standing In The Breach. It will speak to you.
The Jackson Browne band featured CSN guitarist and Graham Nash producer Shane Fontayne whose presence rejuvenated the classic songs with a powerful electric style missing from the last few tours. The result was probably Browne’s best live show in Australia in a decade.
Jackson himself was loose. He enjoyed interacting with the audience who would often yell requests. Browne cleverly managed to play some of the requests just as they were coming around on the setlist anyway. It was win:win for him and the audience. The most genuine of the requests was Somebody’s Baby, Jackson Browne’s bona-fide 1982 hit single. It was the only time he played it on the Australian tour.
There is a lot of history in a Jackson Browne setlist. Many of the songs were recorded by others like Doctor My Eyes (Jackson Five), Rock Me On The Water (Linda Ronstadt), These Days (Nico) and of course, his best known song Take It Easy (Eagles) so it was somewhat pleasing to hear Jackson give one back with his cover of Warren Zevon’s Carmelita.
The other (kind of) tribute was You Know The Night from Standing In The Breach featuring words by Woody Guthrie written in a letter to his wife with new music from Browne.
Jackson Browne, Melbourne, Palais Theatre, April 1, 2016:
- The Barricades of Heaven (from Looking East, 1996)
- Just Say Yeah (from Time The Conqueror, 2008)
- The Long Way Around (from Standing In The Breach, 2014)
- For Everyman (from For Everyman, 1973)
- These Days (from For Everyman, 1973)
- Somebody’s Baby (from Fast Times A Ridgemont High soundtrack, 1982)
- Leaving Winslow (from Standing In The Breach, 2014)
- Rock Me On The Water (from Saturate Before Using, 1972)
- Fountain of Sorrow (from Late For The Sky, 1974)
- Your Bright Baby Blues (from The Pretender, 1976)
- I’m Alive (from I’m Alive, 1993)
- Carmelita (Warren Zevon cover)
- You Know The Night (from Standing In The Breach, 2014)
- Which Side (from Standing In The Breach, 2014)
- If I Could Be Anywhere (from Standing In The Breach, 2014)
- Standing In The Breach (from Standing In The Breach, 2014)
- Sky Blue and Black (from I’m Alive, 1993)
- The Pretender (from The Pretender, 1976)
- Doctor My Eyes (from Saturate Before Using, 1972)
- Running On Empty (from Running On Empty, 1977)
- Take It Easy (from For Everyman, 1973)
- Our Lady of the Well (from For Everyman, 1973)