Saturday, November 22, 2014

November 21, 2014 John Hiatt at Fitzgerald's (Concert #45)

 When I first saw John Hiatt was going to play at Fitzgerald's, I couldn't believe it. I bought tickets as soon as they went on sale. Since this was a fundraiser for a local food pantry, these were the most expensive concert tickets I have ever bought. No problem, I love John Hiatt and I have donated to the Chicago Food Depository for years now. A good cause and great music, count me in.

I think John Hiatt is one of the best singer/songwriters around today. He seems to be more of a cult favorite than known in the mainstream but that is the mainstream's loss. Due to work and Chicago's annoying traffic issues, we showed up to catch the opening act's last couple of songs. Andrew Ripp sounded good but the crowd seemed mostly disinterested. I laughed when he thanked everyone for coming out then jokingly muttered something about not paying attention. Unfortunately this was a problem that would continue throughout the night.

Christy & I stood behind the soundboard so she could see the stage. This lead to several interesting things. First we got to see the setlist, then we learned how performers with so many songs remember the lyrics. The sound guy had a tablet with all the songs listed alphabetically. When John started a song he pulled it up and the lyrics scrolled on the screen which was transferred to a screen on stage. This allowed us to sing along with ever song too. That was an interesting way to watch a show.
As usual John was amazing. This was a solo acoustic performance in a small club. Since it was a charity event, the drinks were included with the ticket price. John deviated from the set list early and often. He took requests from the crowd throughout the night. I loved watching one of my favorite musicians singing so many songs I that I know by heart. 

He did not play this one but I think it is one of his best songs so I am posting here.

My only issue with the show were the large number of people who attended and decided ignore the man on stage with the guitar. This doesn't happen in good music cities like New Orleans. These people were talking so loudly that it was hard to hear the quieter moments of the show. Someone told me that is what happens at charity shows. I don't get it. You can donate to a charity whenever you feel like it. Why buy a ticket to the show if you have no interest in it. Oh wait I think I know why, so you can show up and seem self important. When John Hiatt started playing "Have A Little Faith In Me", the real music fans started shushing the douchebags in the crowd. It worked and it was a perfect way to end the show....with a great song and this guitar version sent chills down my spine. I have played this wonderful song at just about every wedding I have DJ'd so far.

After the show, Christy told the guy running the sound board that I was going to 50 shows to celebrate my 50th birthday and he gave her the set list as a gift for me. 

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