Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Steve Earle, in Concert

I went to an anti-Bush rally last night and a rock concert broke out. Steve Earle and the Dukes, with Allison Moorer opening, rolled into San Francisco's Great American Music Hall last night for the first night of a two-night stand of country-tinged-ball-busting-rock-and-roll.

The night featured more than two hours of Steve Earle originals, drawing heavily from 2002's Jerusalem and 2004's "The Revolution Starts Now." There were a handful of covers thrown into the mix, including a rousing and appropriate run through the Beatles' "Revolution." Earle's lyrics draw heavily on a life fully-lived, including the required misspent youth and bouts with drugs and alcohol, and reflect a self-described "borderline Marxist" who has spent years thinking about and trying to find and apply solutions to the troubles and injustices of this country. His political views come through in most of his songs, usually passionately, such as in "Jerusalem," "Rich Man's War," and "Amerika," and, well, virtually everything he sang. His wry sense of humor comes through, too; notably in "Condi, Condi," his "love song" to you know who, which he prefaced with a reference to the SofS's recent ass-kicking at the hands of our own Barbara Boxer.

The show ended at nearly 11:30 with a well-chosen cover of the Chambers Brothers' classic "Time Has Come Today." Tonight's show at GAMH is sold out, but you got to see the man when you get the chance. I can't speak for others, but I walked into the street at the end of the night revitalized and recommitted to finding a way to running George Bush's band of thieves out of office.

Ms. Moorer is an uncommonly lovely woman and, if they were her own songs she was performing, a powerful song-writer. I thought her solo performance to open the show suffered from a lack of variety, however, and I didn't find her voice particularly pleasing.

Oh...happily belated birthday to Generik, who I ran into at the concert, not, for some reason, to my surprise.
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