Bonnie's Pride and Joy

Fansite with ALL the news about Bonnie !

James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt make a pretty good pair at PPG Paints Arena

on July 16, 2017 No comments


Scott Mervis / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

James Taylor gives a thumbs up to the crowd as he walks on stage.Saturday, July 15, 2017 at PPG Paints Arena in Uptown. Bonnie Raitt performed before Taylor. © Rebecca Droke /Post-Gazette

“You’re still sexy!”

It was just a lone voice from the crowd, directed not at New Kids on the Block — that was two weeks ago — but James Taylor, who brought a churning urn of burning funk to the PPG Paints Arena on Saturday night.

The set-up for that come-on was Taylor backing the song “Sunny Skies” with a video of him frolicking around with lovable pug.

“Shameless footage of a dog,” he said in his wry manner. “When you give up on sexy, you gotta go cute.”

Apparently, he doesn’t have to give up on sexy completely. James Taylor, at 69, can still woo fans with those tender folk/pop songs, just sitting on a stool in the middle of an arena picking an acoustic guitar.

Those were just a few parts of the show, although that’s the image most people have of his concerts. When I told someone I was going to see James Taylor, he said, “Why, are you not sleeping well lately?”

JT and his crack 10-piece band do plenty to keep us awake. In fact, by the end, he had his crowd (of about 7,000) up and dancing like it was a wedding.

The first thing Taylor did to keep people alert was to bring along Bonnie Raitt, whom he stepped out to introduce as “my favorite singer in the world.”

Bonnie Raitt performes … Saturday, July 15, 2017 at PPG Paints Arena in Uptown. © Rebecca Droke /Post-Gazette

If you just saw Bonnie Raitt walking down the street, you’d probably think she looks pretty cool. Accessorize her with a beat-up Strat and she enters an almost untouchable realm of cool. With her red hair and that shock of white, she stands on stage like a queen — upright and poised — and plays slide guitar like a devil. Over her 45-year Rock and Roll Hall of Fame career, she’s demonstrated time again that she can trade licks with anybody. She continues to do it now with another skilled player in George Marinelli, from blazing solos to slow burners.

She packed a lot of greatness into her hour with staples like “Something to Talk About” and her stunning cover of John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery,” which she dedicated to the millions of women in the world who don’t enjoy the freedoms and choices that American women do.

After the lovely “Take My Love With You,” she said “Nothing like a sweet one…followed by a sour one,” leading her into a fiery “Spit of Love” with one of her meanest jams.

She has swagger to burn. In her cover of INXS’s “Need You Tonight,” she sang, “There’s something about you, baby …. that makes me sweat,” at which point she stopped for a second to glare at the audience. You had to be there to feel it.

At the piano, she took “Nick of Time” to church with gospel singer Arnold McCuller from JT’s band. “It’s a song I wrote when it was 39 and worried about turning 40,” she said. “It’s funny to think about that now.” The 67-year-old guitarist said that when she was carousing with the old blues guys all those years ago, “I never thought I’d still be here now.” We’re lucky to have her.

She ended her set with Taylor back for a rousing duet on John Hiatt’s “Thing Called Love” with three guitars flaring.

Taylor was re-introduced with a retrospective video not unlike the ones you see for boy bands like NKOTB. It mixed the young, sexy James Taylor with moments that poked fun at himself, like his comic turn on “The Simpsons”

“I don’t present a character,” he said on screen. “I don’t present a version of myself. I present myself.”

He had the biggest stage production we’ve seen from him with lots of colorful graphics and dangling video screens, but the focus was his moving array of hits, his ageless honeyed voice and an all-star band with the likes of drum legend Steve Gadd, guitarist Michael Landau, horn player Lou Marini and fiddler Andrea Zonn. They created smooth, shimmering backdrops for songs like “Carolina in My Mind,” “Jump Up Behind Me” and “Something In The Way She Moves,” while kickin’ out lively Latin rhythms on “Mexico” and “First of May.”

The latter came with a hilariously f-word-laced intro from Taylor, quoting his father about what comes with spring. More Taylor-like was his explanation of “Sweet Baby James” as a “cowboy lullaby” written for his nephew that would be a “go to sleep, you little buckaroo kind of thing.”

You could see that the beauty of playing with these musicians is that even if were a bit tired of trotting out songs like “Sweet Baby James,” “Fire and Rain” and “Steamroller,” he’s inspired by the subtle tweaks to the arrangements. “Country Road” was the runway for Gadd’s impressive flight.

Taylor and the soulful McCuller turned “Shed a Little Light,” a tribute to MLK, and “Shower the People” into rousing gospel hymns. It was with the joyful set-closers of “Your Smiling Face” and “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)” that it felt like a wedding party, at least where I was standing.

You don’t expect a Chuck Berry cover from James Taylor, but with the passing of the rock ‘n’ roll pioneer and Bonnie on board, we got a pretty smokin’ version of “Johnny B. Goode.”

Some artists would end it on a Chuck Berry note. JT settled back down for an easy “You’ve Got a Friend,” before the legends sat together to harmonize on “You Can Close Your Eyes,” a closing lullaby.

After that, it was time to go to sleep.

© Stephanie Wayman

James Taylor Set List

Carolina in My Mind

Country Road

Sunny Skies

Never Die Young

First of May

Montana

Mexico

Steamroller

Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight

Jump Up Behind Me

Something In The Way She Moves

Sweet Baby James

Fire and Rain

Shed a Little Light

Shower The People

Your Smiling Face

How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)

(Marvin Gaye cover)

Encore:

Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry cover) (with Bonnie Raitt)

You’ve Got a Friend (Carole King cover)

You Can Close Your Eyes (with Bonnie Raitt)

 

Bonnie Raitt Set List

Unintended Consequence of Love

Need You Tonight (INXS cover)

Take My Love With You

Spit of Love

Love Me Like a Man (Chris Smither cover)

Have a Heart

Something to Talk About

Nick of Time

Angel From Montgomery (John Prine cover)

Thing Called Love (John Hiatt cover)

Source: © Copyright Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

0 0 vote
Article Rating

Related Posts

Take a look at these posts
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

On this Memorial Day, I'd like to share the lyrics to my song "A SOLDIER AT WAR", dedicated to all the soldiers from all the wars who DIDN'T die, all those who have been living with the internal scars of their war experience. My heart goes out to you all, and I certainly do appreciate your service to our country. Is this an "anti-war song"...YES! And I dedicate these lyrics to the great Ron Kovic, author of "Born On The Fourth Of July".

A SOLDIER AT WAR

VERSE 1:
I’m a soldier at war.
I know you’ve seen my face before.
I am Red, White, and Blue.
I am black and brown and yellow too.
I have killed and I have died,
All alone and damaged deep inside.
And the child I used to be,
Was sacrificed for some insanity.

VERSE 2:
Left a boy, now half a man,
My innocence was lost in a foreign land.
I fought so hard and I fought so long,
I fought for my country, right or wrong.
In the eye of the slaughter,
No Star Spangled Banner did I see.
There is blood on the water,
It’s flowing like the blood inside of me.

VERSE 3:
In smoke-fill rooms, the Men Of Might
Will send your son somewhere to fight.
And I am one of many more,
Just pawns in a Holy War.

BRIDGE:
In a field where the food used to grow,
There’s a murder of crows.

VERSE 4
Now the war is dead and gone,
But the battle goes on and on.
And the dream that used to be
Is buried so deep inside of me.
I believed what I was told,
But all that glitters is not gold.
I still see my brother’s hand…..
Why he died, I’ll never understand.

VERSE 5….REPRISE:
I’m a soldier at war.
I know you’ve seen my face before.
Just a name and a loaded gun,
One more lost, forsaken son.
I’m a soldier at war.
I’m a soldier at war….
Just a soldier at war.
... See MoreSee Less

1 day ago

From BRHQ -- Today is release day for a brand-new 2-CD set featuring Four Classic John Raitt Albums plus Bonus Tracks on Stage Door Records! More information below and to order, please visit:
bit.ly/3aGxsVt (Domestic shipping within the U.S.)
amzn.to/2UUJZ0O (Imported from the UK)
#johnraitt #bonnieraitt #stagedoorrecords #broadway
... See MoreSee Less

2 weeks ago

So sad to mark the passing of Sweet Pea Atkinson, whose backup vocals on all my GRAMMY-winning albums and so many others' added so much grit and soul. He was a real character--as delightful as he was sweet under that gruff exterior, and truly and one of the greatest soul singers I've ever heard. We will miss him dearly and send our condolences to his family. #ripsweetpea ... See MoreSee Less

2 weeks ago

Video image

David Crosby: Remember My Name | Official Trailer HD (2019) ... See MoreSee Less

2 weeks ago

Comment on Facebook From producer ...

Load more

Recommended Reading

Chris Stapleton, Bonnie Raitt Helm B.B. King Grammy Tribute

February 16, 2016

Jerry Garcia Band with Bonnie Raitt, Berkeley Greek 8.30.1987

September 1, 1987

CMT Crossroads Bonnie Raitt and Lyle Lovett – The Factory – Franklin – TN

December 15, 2005

Bonnie Raitt’s Blues

November 9, 2015

Stephen Bruton one of Austin’s best guitar players passes away

May 9, 2009

Bonnie Raitt attends the 25th Anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert at MSG – NY

October 30, 2009

Review: James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt deliver summer night delight at DTE

August 9, 2017

Norton Buffalo Dies

November 1, 2009
Will McFarlane

Talking with Guitarist Songwriter Will McFarlane

November 2, 2009