Kris Kristofferson & the Strangers 18 & 19 April 2019
Kris Kristofferson & the Strangers continue their tour. This is from Thursday & Friday last week.
Our own Emily Gmitter was at both of these gigs. Emily is a long time Kristofferson fan, currently Group Admin for the Kris Kristofferson Appreciation Group. Her review of the current tour and line-up is of particular interest because she has a great personal love for the Kristofferson / Borderlords era.
Emily talks about her experience at the concerts at the
Capital Center for the Arts, Concord NH and at the Chevalier Theater, Medford MA.
When I left Thursday morning for the Kris Kristofferson show in Concord NH, this weeping cherry had barely opened its eyes. When I got home Friday early afternoon, it was wide awake–and feeling (IM)mortal. What a beautiful sight to come home to.
This review won’t be….can’t be….like my previous ones written over the years. As Dylan said, the times they are a-changin’. What has not changed–not one little bit–is the magic that is Kris.
The joy he brings the audience. And the love they give him right back. Kris wrote The Final Attraction to honor Willie, and all us Kris/country fans would agree with that, but I think we also feel that for us Kris fans, the final attraction is the epitome of Kris.
When he stuck in that little line (“and maybe one time for me”)….he hit us in our collective heart, right? I’d have loved to hear that song again live; although I didn’t, there isn’t a Kris song in the current setlist that I would have taken out to fit in any other.
Backing of a Band
This man’s discography (I’m blanking on the word I really wanted to use, lol) is nothing to sneeze at….how does he choose which to sing? I think there were a couple of songs we heard Thursday and Friday that he has not done live (at shows I’ve been to anyway) since he went solo, specifically “I’d Rather Be Sorry” and I think also “Just the Other Side of Nowhere“–there are some songs that just need the backing of a band to be their best. Both concerts were fantastic!
What else can I say? Both started right on time, lasted two hours exactly, including the 15-min intermission. Kris looked and sounded great at both, although it seemed to me that his voice was stronger Friday night as compared to the Thursday night.
Open & Close
He opened and closed the show as he has for a while now, with Shipwrecked and Please Don’t Tell Me, respectively. In between, we heard all the great (and more “commercial”) songs, such as FTGT, LHWETAIEDA, HMMITTN, and of course WM…..Thursday night’s crowd was more into singing along, most loudly on LHWE and WM, but I could hear pockets of singing softly going on all around me all night…and that made me feel more comfortable to do more than just mouth the words. Weren’t we all just discussing this subject?
Best of All
The crowd rocked out to Best of All Possible Worlds and Jesus Was A Capricorn (both of which have lyrics that never go “out of style”….). Here Comes That Rainbow and Jody and the Kid were crowd pleasers, of course!
SO many more.
And then we have The Strangers. What a treat! Honestly, I was anxious about seeing Kris with a band that was not The Borderlords.
I was basically prepared to maybe “pooh pooh” (NOT boo-boo) them as just another band, and I was now used to seeing Kris solo. But I was wrong.
The Stangers complement Kris in so many ways…they have their own magic and sprinkled it liberally on the crowds both nights.
They were all wonderful!
Okie from Muskogee, The Fighting Side of Me, Daddy Frank….and two or three others, whose names I don’t know (sorry about that!). And Scott’s vocals–omg…spot on! Loved every song they did, but I’d have to say Scott’s performance of “That’s the Way Love Goes” is my favorite–right now.
His playing is superb….he makes music such that I heard every word he played! I have new respect for the fiddle and no words for how talented I think Scott is.
All in all, two great nights, lots of magical moments. So glad I got to go!
Judy & Friends
Oh, I have to add that I met Scott’s pretty wife, Judy, Thursday night, as she was setting up the merch table. What a sweetheart!! Also, on Thursday, this red-headed, familiar looking woman came up to me and said my name a bit tentatively.
Told her I knew her face but could not recall her name. Turned out to be Joyce (and her husband Roger) who I used to see a lot at concerts during the 80s)…can’t believe she remembered me. She certainly made me feel special.
Friday night, Carol Roshkind helped Judy at the tables…she left work early and drove 5-6 hours in horrific traffic to help out with the merch tables. Another sweetheart! So good to see you again, Carol!
Another thing I love is that people were very respectful. I mean, there were chuckles and “whooping it up” going on during funny lines in songs like To Beat the Devil (did that one Friday, but not Thursday), Best of All Possible Worlds, and Rocket to Stardom. But for the most part, Kris audiences are rowdy after every song but quietly and intently listening during the actual song.
Kris and the Borderlords and Kris and the Prophet, and Kris “Solo” was always so punctual. I really appreciated that…Friday night the woman to my left and I got talking in the 40-minute wait we had ’til the magic moment of 8 PM. She said something had come up and she was going to have to leave early even though it killed her to do so, but she figured half a show was better than no show (and she was so right..it was easy to see she was thrilled to be there!). She asked if he had started on time Thursday and I said yes and that every other time I’d seen him, he did so too. Kris walked out at 8 PM sharp.
Thank you, Lisa and Kris, and thanks to Mike and Scott (Joss) who I know are key to keeping everything running on time. No airs about any of them!
I have to add one thing….praise for Ben Haggard’s performance of Sing Me Back Home (Before I Die)….beyond soulful. Great song and very well sung, just loved it!©https://kriskristoffersonfan.com/ - unless otherwise stated