Review – Steve Earle at the Burton Cummings Theatre, Jan 29 2010

here’s what i know

Steve Earle walked on stage
it was 8:20

his
stance

was Powerful
and
it was Mighty
and
Proud

Powerful
Mighty
Proud

he began to play
and he rocked
and he danced
(Yes he did)
and then
when
every one
of
the mighty songs
ended

he spoke

of His Friend
no,
His Blood Brother

The Mightiest
of songwriters

a Blues,
Singer

Townes Van Zandt

the truth
the meeting
the songs
the love

their brotherhood

and it only took a few songs
to feel
it

The Power
of
The Love

these are not my words
these are The Now
feelings
of the wondrous
why and when
we unfold and unfurl
our souls

and we pray
united
in the church
of mighty music

This is wonder,
full May
this is Spring
in January
minus 30.

truth is,

Oh My Winnipeg
the ugliest
ten lousy drunks
destroyed it

Your
catcalls and stupidity
brought down
and shattered
what was for 14 songs

Beauty

in this holy church
and
The Show of the month
of January.

i had already
given it to
Monotonix
what could possibly?

Steve Earle
singing
playing
feeling
channeling
The Mighty

Townes Van Zandt

that’s The What.

a few weeks ago
there was a fool
with his bird calls
at the Tegan and Sara
show
and last night

if only
there was one fool
and his bird calls
but last night
there were 10?
20?

stupid
rude
Fucks

united
in their determination
to make us all suffer

and who destroyed
and got under his skin.

there’s irony here

for every Johnny Cash
middle finger salute
to the Fucks
who ruined
a wonderful night
that Steve defiantly
fingered
out

with malice
with menace

he acknowledged
these assholes
were “his People.”

clean and sober
no heroin
no assorted junk
no alcohol
for 15 years

Steve Earle was one of those
Fuck/heads
for too many years

track marks
and homeless and
thrown
behind bars

that is shame
and that is low

that is who
Townes van Zandt
would accept into his home
and the homes of friends
and fans
when he too
was That People
homeless
drunk
angry
bitter

Steve Earle’s been there
done that
been that

and he’s returned
from the dead
world
of ugliness
and bitterness
and emptiness

“Are you retarded
or something?”
he asked.

but last night
His People got real
deep
under his skin

“Shut the fuck up!”
he was done.

(there was a woman beside
me
head down,
she prayed)

Steve Earle was ready to walk
off.

the stories left behind.

he gave up as he was about
to tell us about the deli
on the end of his street
in New York City.

in the City Of Immigrants.

a night meant
for
celebrating Townes
Van Zandt’s
songs
lost to
the 2nd worst audience
he’s ever played before.

there’s so much
bitterness and irony,

alcoholism
drowned
Townes
and nearly Steve.

Shame.
Embarrassed.
words i heard
during
and afterward.

Oh My Winnipeg.

breathe…
man, breathe.

Now,
there were more than 1,600
music lovers
there, though.
much more than
his last and previous
Burton Cummings Theatre
show.

14 songs
in a row
that
sleighed
me.

every one gold
every one
rocky spine tingles
a Soul WoW
and
unparalleled
ecstasy

every
one
The Blues
no zippety dooooo
daaaaaa
yeah, Townes is right

there are only
two kinds of music
The Blues
and zippety
dooooooooo
daaaaaah.

Lightnin’ Hopkins.

real.
hard.
spiritual.

that’s, The Blues.

21 songs
one hour
45 minutes

some of the 21,

Where I Lead Me
Colorado Girl
Pancho and Lefty
Brand New Companion
Tom Ames
My Old Friend
Someday
Goodbye
Mud and Gold
Marie
Billy and Bonnie
City Of Immigrants
Dixieland
Galway Girl

encore,

Guitar Town
Copperhead Road

the last 5 songs before the encore,
beginning with City Of Immigrants,
Steve was completely lost
(angry
and stewing)
for the shaming of the memory
of his friend.

he vowed
Not
to play Guitar Town
because of one of those ten
lousy drunks
who kept calling for it.
and he launched The Fuck,head
The Finger!

and when the last song
finished

the 1,600
(praying)
music lovers
leaped
to their feet
and
gave Steve
and
Townes,

pure,
Love.

ps.

the encore,
was a triumph
a return to the prayer
and the focus.

The Promise,

Guitar Town was played
so that the guy
wouldn’t get his head
handed to him
by The Mob.

we weren’t.
we were angry,
yes/
we were lost
in this sadness
of why…
why all this pain?

so, in the end
the lousy drunks
(yes)
They
won a pitched
battle

but the war against
the lousy
bitter
ugly
drunks

Steve Earle
won.

He

won the war.

15 years.
clean
sober.

Steve Earle
Burton Cummings Theatre
January 29.

About Eugene Osudar

“born, august 16, 1963. i’m 45, and yes, i’m getting too old for this. bring out the rocking chair. my first concert, november 1978, elvis costello and the attractions. i was 15. their blisteringly brilliant 65 minute set only served somebody to affirm my new direction in the musical parallel universes, new wave punk alternative, oh sanctity oh celebration (!Freedom!) college radio! i’m old, i’m used up and i’m free. i see 50something Full sets of music every month and dance most of them. and when i dance, i mean to say, I Dance and Celebrate, 2/3/4 hours a night. The Gaslight Anthem. The Boss. The Weber Brothers. The Wind Ups. i’ll dance with Los Campesinos. i’ll move to The Long Winters. The Replacements. Husker Du. The Pogues. oh elvis costello, oh Clash! i could go/go/go Gogol Bordello forever. L(eonard) Cohen. come, Dance With Me (Old 97s) wherever you may be, sincerely, eugene
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