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Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne at the Beacon Theater, New York, NY, October 7th, 2014

Oct 08, 2014 Jackson Browne Photography by Robert Altman Bookmark and Share

Some people age well—“successful agers” as they say. After 66 years and over 18 million albums sold, a bit of wear and tear is to be expected. And a “bit” is all that Jackson Browne shows. Looking youthful—and sounding equally so—he has lost very little over the years. Of course time is not always kind to music. Yet here too the term “successful aging” is an apt description for the way time has treated the 42 year span of Browne’s musical output. You can’t run on empty, and Jackson Browne doesn’t have to worry about his fuel gauge.

From “Doctor My Eyes” (1972) to songs from his latest album, Standing in the Breach (2014) –on its’ official release day—the audience followed the various twists and turns of a truly iconic career. It is easy to forget how many classic hits were created by the man standing on the Beacon Theater stage. Just a man, a smooth voice, and a guitar as the foundation. Recently Browne has been touring solo, with a backdrop of over 20 guitars as his only stage accessory. Last night he was joined by a full band, which added richness to the sound. Not to say that Jackson Browne didn’t still switch guitars frequently. Like any expert craftsman, one requires the proper tools.

For over two hours Browne kept a packed Beacon Theater thrilled to relive a history of rock and roll. Unlike his solo shows (which have no pre-determined songs) there was a setlist taped to the floor, suggesting that bringing along other musicians does inhibit some freedom and spontaneity. In fact the set list seemed to be a rough outline, with Jackson responding to audience requests and changing course mid-set. Some scurrying around to go over a few details with his fellow players and an occasional guitar swap seemed to be the only hiccup these mid-course corrections caused. Each song was accompanied by an interesting fact or anecdote, involving and engaging the audience throughout. His fellow musicians were all more than up to the task of keeping up with the twists and turns of a musical legend.

Most of the (older) concert-goers are probably unaware how truly unique the spontaneity and flexibility they were witnessing is in today’s overly scripted and planned music world. It made the show more like a conversation than a lecture- though certainly dominated by the man in the spotlight! Only a musician as completely in control of his oeuvre and instruments can be so casually free on stage. It was an artist who seemed to just now be reaching his performance prime. Whatever small amount his voice may have lost was more than made up for by the depth of his catalogue and ease in performing that can only come with a “few” years. From heartbreak to triumph, loves lost—found—rediscovered Browne’s songs cover the gamut. A little politics gets thrown into the mix. Heavy on ballads, with some up-tempo tossed in. The product of a life lived—no shortcuts to that.

It was an evening that few will forget. Getting re-acquainted with a musical genius-and having it feel like spending time with a long-lost friend. Not as some throwback or reminiscence, but rather as a rediscovery of musician and music that define an era.


1. The Barricades of Heaven

2. Looking Into You

3. The Long Way Around

4. Leaving Winslow

5. Shaky Town

6. Doctor My Eyes

7. I’m Alive

8. For a Dancer

9. You Know the Night

10. Fountain of Sorrow


11. Rock Me on the Water

12. Which Side

13. Standing in the Breach

14. Looking East

15. If I Could Be Anywhere

16. The Birds of St. Marks

17. These Days (Nico cover)

18. The Pretender

19. Running on Empty


20. Take It Easy (Eagles cover)

21. Our Lady of the Well

22. I Am a Patriot (Little Steven cover)



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Phil Melton
October 9th 2014

The songs “These Days” and “Take it Easy” are not (respectively) Nico and Eagles covers. Browne was the sole composer of the first song and co-writer of the second. The fact that other recorded versions may have preceded his own does not make Browne’s performances of his own songs “covers.”

October 9th 2014

Nico cover???  Eagles cover???  Author should check the writer credits on these tunes….

terry wilson
October 9th 2014

The most visionary in story telling ability in his songs about varied emotional states, including loss. I especially like his music when he plays the piano.

Bill Deen
October 9th 2014

I love his music from day one. I live in Florida and wish he would come down.  I saw him a few years ago in Melbourne. He was doing a solo tour then. It was great. Please tell him I want to see him again here in Florida.

October 9th 2014

I’ve seen him at least a dozen times in concert and he never disappoints.  But big mistake by this reviewer - the Eagles more correctly do a “cover” of Take It Easy since JB wrote the song with Glenn Frey contributing “Winslow, Arizona” to get co-writing credit.  And he wrote one of the most iconic songs of its time These Days.

October 9th 2014

I am curious why you consider Take it Easy an Eagles cover.  He co-wrote it and recorded it on one of his LPs.  Did you miss some research?

October 9th 2014

ok good other people wrote about those “cover” notes next to These Days and Take It Easy.  I was gonna say…wth those are his songs.

Daryle W. Bookout
October 9th 2014

Saw Jackson at the Orpheum theater last year. Was one of the best concerts I’d ever been too.

October 10th 2014

I would like to comment that several websites have listed ‘These Days’ as a Nico cover, but the song was written by Jackson Browne

Gaute Øien
October 11th 2014

Nashville,  Short Cuts Robert Altman?
Can’t be. Disappointing (take it easy, these days)

terry wilson
October 11th 2014

Great show at the academy of music last night. Growing weary of people yelling out song requests all night long though. Just let the man give his show, clap and go home.

Viktoria Grover
October 12th 2014

In full agreement with this article. Having enjoyed both solo and band shows, in and out of doors over the past few months I am driven to keep coming back. Tracking down excellent seats for every show and passing some on at a great discount to others I have had the time of my life hearing Jackson in concert on the east coast. These shows mark my first ever east cost shows. Beacon Theatre is an excellent venue. I really appreciate the time Jackson took to sign my pass and speak with me. All I want is more. He seems to pace himself well. Playing live a lot along with his new release seems to suit him just fine. I wish health for him. I want him to take care. I feel an abundance of gratitude. I hope he relays my regards to David Lindley who I haven’t seen for far to long.

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