Concert Reviews

Which three concerts/performances have you attended that moved you for the musical ability and skill of the artist/or band? What was it about the show that still stays with you?

Rigby Summer:

Gillian Welch/David Rawlings
Tower Theater, Oklahoma City
August 2018

I had heard them almost exactly a year-before-to-the-day when I had been suddenly and unexpectedly gifted tickets during a trip to Chicago. It was in the midst of a really difficult time for me personally. I was just starting to perform music again for the first time in five years, but I had to go through some really hard things that summer--August was the hardest but I survived and that concert was a tiny oasis.

Fast forward one year and I was about to leave on my first solo tour. I was once again gifted tickets, this time by Monica Taylor, one of the Oklahoma musician friends I had accumulated in that year. I played an early show in Norman with my friend John Keck and we high-tailed it to the Tower for the show. When Gillian sang Everything is Free the audience fell completely silent and my tears fell, reflecting on how far I’d come in the previous year. They commanded the room with just her voice, a guitar and that powerful song that has only deepened in meaning since she wrote it--if you’ve never read about the origins of that song, it’s worth a google. It was a beautiful moment to be standing there with sweet friends who had held me through a year in a full but silent auditorium listening to that song and realizing that I was exactly where I’m meant to be.

Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová (who eventually became The Swell Season)
Tivoli Theater, St Louis
May 2007

My friend Tim and I had both been fans of The Frames for years. Tim introduced me to the album “The Swell Season” sometime in 2006 and we started learning some of those songs. In early 2007 Tim called me and said “did you hear that Glen and Mar are in this new indie flim and a bunch of the Swell Season songs are in the film???” So when we heard that the pre-screening tour for “Once” was going to be in St. Louis (I was living in Kansas City at the time) we made plans to attend. When we got there, pretty much no one else in line with us had never heard of Glen Hansard or Markéta Irglová; they were just there for a free preview of some movie they saw in the paper. So Tim and I made our way down to the front row and were of course absolutely floored by the film.

Afterward there was a brief Q&A with John Carney and Glen and Markéta, after which they pulled out Glen’s battered old Takamine (the same one you see him play at all his shows and the same one he plays in the film) and serenaded us. They weren’t more than 10 feet from us. I actually have a rough old video from that evening as one of the earliest posts on my Facebook page and even with the crude quality of the video, their performance is just so hauntingly perfect. It was incredible then and is incredible to think of now, to have witnessed such an intimate and perfect performance just weeks before these two souls were catapulted into international stardom from the success of the film.

Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives
Tower Theater, Oklahoma City
January 2018

I didn’t know I was a Marty Stuart fan till this show. I was asked to take photos for Americana Media Gigspot, a local music blog, and was given full access to shoot photos that night. I was NOT expecting to enjoy one of the best performances I’d ever seen or heard. I am amazed by what a full sound those four musicians create on stage together. Everything about the performance was tight and Marty Stuart’s capacity to entertain so effortlessly in a way that is showy without being extra? Incredible. They for sure live up to their name...I ended up seeing them live two more times before the end of the following summer!

by G.M. Burns