Topic: Orpheum Theatre - Omaha, NE 8/7/18
The Orpheum Theatre is a great old school venue in the heart of downtown Omaha, Joe's usual type of venue...
The seats were amazing, front row center, proving yet again that tickets from litho and package purchases are the way to fly. My date had to cancel at the last minute, but everything worked out great because I was able to give my dear friend and No. 1 Joe Fan pattyluvsjoe a seat up front where she belongs!
I also got to touch base with Phil and Natasha for the first time in ages, which was fun. And of course there was a meeting with the mayor of Nerdville...
The show itself was historic, in that it did NOT start on the dot at 8:00 PM. The Orpheum's poky security staff had difficulty processing people through, so they held the start until around 8:03, and even at that there were still people who missed the first 2-3 songs. Joe was NOT pleased, and joked about the problem during the show...
With regard to the whole kerfuffle about the country material, I am firmly in the camp that would have LOVED to hear it. Whatever disappointment I was feeling melted away when Joe broke out the slide on the opening number...
It might have been the inefficient security system, or it might have been lingering frustration over the country material being nixed, but Joe seemed to be playing with a chip on his shoulder much of the night. That added some extra bite to his performance...
Speaking of the show itself...
The Guitars (in order of appearance, songs played on shown in parentheses - remember, I'm not the expert some here are):
Tobacco sunburst Stratocaster, probably the '63 (1)
Les Paul I have never seen before, chocolate brown burst finish (2, 3, end of 8)
1960 Cherry sunburst Les Paul, aka The Runt (4, 6, 7, beginning of 8, 11, 12, 14)
1962 Cherry red ES 335 (5, 10)
1955 Fender Telecaster, the “Terry Reid” I think (9, 13)
The Set List (songs from Redemption in boldface):
King Bee Shakedown
Just 'Cos You Can Don't Mean You Should
Don't You Lie To Me
No Good Place For the Lonely
How Deep This River Runs
Breaking Up Somebody's Home (Joe broke a string on The Runt and had to switch out mid-song)
Nobody Loves Me But My Mother
Boogie With Stu
How Many More Times
The current line-up is the same as the one I saw in Lincoln in 2017 and Omaha in 2016, except this time Juanita wasn't singing backup. It has become my favorite iteration of Joe, and I don't mind saying so here even though that puts me in the minority camp. The overall sound mix was excellent, and the longer this line-up plays together the hotter they get. Lee and Paulie add something very special to the mix, and Paulie even sang this time around. Everyone got showcased, and in addition to the new material there were new wrinkles in the arrangements of older songs. The beginning of Slow Train in particular was something I've never seen him do before, and it was amazing. Anton, Michael, and Reese crushed it all night long.
As I mentioned earlier, Joe's playing had a bit of a pissed off edge to it. Not that that negatively affected his performance, of course. Fiery Joe is always good Joe, and his solos ranged from OMG (Joe whipped my ****) to OMFG (Joe whipped the llama's ****) to OMMFG (Joe whipped all the llamas' asses).
I don't know what the folks at the Ryman shows are going to get, but this show left me completely satisfied and I'm already looking forward to the fall tour (planning on catching the St. Louis gig)...
And if someone could mention to Jade that I'm still available, that would be swell...
Kansas City, MO