The Kristofferson Ireland Tour 2008 was part of a larger UK & European. The Irish tour dates were.
Millennium Forum, Derry – March 16
Royal Theatre, Castlebar – March 17
Waterfront Hall, Belfast – March 18
INEC, Killarney – March 23
Olympia, Dublin – March 20, 21, and 22
Peter Walsh was one of many fans who turned up to see Kris at a number of gigs on the same tour. He shares his experiences with us, & explores what keeps Kris (& his fans) on the road.
Castlebar, Mayo, Ireland 2008
The tour (for me) started with a duffle bag, a couple of T-shirts, two pairs of jeans and a beautiful Green Eyed Angel to keep me company. This was on the first leg of my own personal little crusade to finally meet THE man.
Man – it seems too small a word to describe, the Legend that is, Kris Kristofferson. Himself
On the advice of my Facebook friends one and all I have decided to get a book of poetry/songs published as my ego has grown to the size of a grapefruit with all the kind words and reviews I received for both my additions to the Kris Discussion page and my attempt at compiling a less than professional CD of songs that welled from the inspiration of Kris himself, other factors that have had an everlasting effect on my own personal, life journey.
On the advice of a dear friend Kine Fjeldheim, I decided to send the draft of the book to Kris Venue in Castlebar Mayo.
We arrived the day before to relax and prepare to enjoy the concert the following night. Coincidentally, while searching out the cheapest of hotels (recession in mind) I unwittingly chose the hotel that the venue was being held in. Imagine my delight when the brain started thinking “Oh God, maybe he’s staying here…LOL” So as any good stalker would do I started hanging around the top floor where the “Class” hang out, away from the great unwashed that includes myself. It became obvious, after a couple of hours, that the great man wasn’t staying there at all. The receptionist wasn’t just taking the proverbial after all.
With great relief to my long-suffering sweetheart, we retired for the night.
The following day was full of excitement, on (my part at least) about the upcoming concert. The time to get going to the venue couldn’t come about quick enough. That night we settled in at the bar waiting and watching for the oddest or strangest of Kris fans – other than myself.
I spied a bunch of kids, a group of four, 20 to 30 years of age, at the most and this intrigued me. So sidling up next to them, with Lindy, so I didn’t look too pervy. I asked, “which one is the Kris fan?”
Turns out both brothers, local lads, were fans. A fact they blamed squarely on their mom – A lifelong Kris fan fans with seats much closer to the stage than ours. They good-naturedly chatted about how they were subjected to Sunday Morning Comin’ Down – Not only on Sundays but at least twice daily, every of the week, right through their childhood and adolescence. This routine nurtured and created the new breed of genetically designed Kristofferson fan that stood before me – in their T shirted Kris tour of 2008 grandeur. I was impressed cos as they said themselves,
“He’s not bad ta listen ta when there’s nothin’ else playin’ here.”
The concert started with a holler of appreciation. The man himself arrived on time looking fit (as always) and with that spring in his step as he rushed out to take in the high of an appreciative audience.
Personally, I think it’s this fix that keeps a performer of Kris’ quality on the road. That he can’t let go of it, so he’ll go on playing to til he can play no more. In Kris’ resolve and commitment to pass over or live his days out doing what he loves the most, he (unconsciously?) becomes the character he typically commends in his own songwriting. It easy to imagine Kris writing a song about a performer just like himself.
The comprehensive concert setlist covered most of his familiar standards, greats like Sunday Mornin’ Me & Bobby McGee, Duvaliers Dream and my own personal favourite, To Beat the Devil. There were surprises, too, like the rarely performed Junkie the Juicehead Minus Me and some songs from his To The Bone album. Kris’ songs range from truthful, melancholy and soul-searchingly beautiful pieces of literature to those damn good undeniable, “I got something to say, so Listen” passion pieces.
A fans point of view? Perhaps.
Tho’ I had the farthest back of seats South wall, I thoroughly enjoyed the show. I surprised myself by realising I knew all the lyrics to each song sung. A revelation indeed for me – I couldn’t tell you what I had for dinner yesterday.
We had a blast. The lads I met earlier were two seats in front of us. They checked out the available talent in front of them – ladies in high heels, cowboy boots and concert T-shirts – while their own lady friends were oblivious as they busily reapplied their make up. None of this “show within the show” stopped them singing along to Me and Bobby Mc Gee when the time came.
The concert was fabulous. Kris delivered in Spades. He sang three or so songs at the end of the scheduled event. But I left wondering if the great man had gotten the draft of my book.
Was the post slow? Did he arrive too late? Did he think nothing of it?
Dublin, Ireland, 2008
Kris Kristofferson. The second show
The second leg of the tour a week later was a little less spellbinding. I was disappointed. There was no evidence Kris had gotten my manuscript – the draft of my poetry book. Until the last hour before the Olympia concert….
On entering the Olympia, I had seen vendors (two teenage kids) selling Kris CDs and bought a copy of the newest, To The Bone Album. After thanking the kids, I made my way to the bar for a Cider and Ice Whila, keeping an eye out Elisabeth Ogg. We hadn’t met in person, but she had
made my day with the front-row ticket she’d sent.
I’d made a fool of myself with a few different ladies who weren’t Elisabeth and decided to wait and see who she was when I sat later, in the seats next to her friends. Hiding behind my new CD , a Kris pic and a third …or fourth cold beer I had myself an idea. How good it would be to have the pic autographed. It would certainly add a little colour and sentimentality to my
coveted new CD.
Sauntering down to my front row seat I got talking to two people seated either side of me, Elisabeth’s friends. Shortly afterward I did meet Elisabeth herself ( a lovely soft spoken lady) and her friend, Mary Lou.
Mary Lou knew so much about Kris and his family that it was almost as if she herself was a family member! (Forgive me, Mary Lou?) Just prior to the show, while chatting to the lady on my right, I had the great fortune to have a really sweet conversation with a Lady named Angel …with
as sweet a temperament as her name.
She had mentioned in the humblest of ways that she and her husband Jim were big fans and had followed Kris around the world. She confirmed to me what everyone who had met or corresponded with the guy had stated time after time that Kris was a thorough gentleman.
On Kris arrival on stage to a cacophony of whistles cheers and clapping, it seemed to me anyways that Kris was gazing down in my direction with that accusatory, hooded eye
stare of his that would unsettle a saint.
That was me thinking Right he’s definitely looking at me …I know …he knows where I am sitting as mentioned in the letter accompanying my manuscript…and hell he’s gonna mention it to the whole audience. How good he thought my “stuff” was…There is a God…Any minute now.
Wrong! On reflection now, I’ve come to the conclusion that he partially recognised Angel on my right and was wondering how much better looking her husband Jim had gotten since the last time he had seen him. This was confirmed to me when on finally spotting Jim in the audience he asked him “did Angel make it to the show tonight, Jim” The delighted Angel who turned instantly beetroot.
That night another was an absolute blast. Far better than the Mayo venue due to a variety of factors.
- I met up with a host of my Facebook friends.
- The show had at least 5 additional songs to the prior concert
- Kris was obviously basking in the warmth of the Olympia crowd who adored him (and it showed)
- Cold beers from Maureen’s
During the break, I had a beer with Reimer a nuclear physicist who split the atom sometime between creating the written word and writing his own personal 16,000-word thesis on the inherent problematic seemingly obvious solutions to Quantum Physics…(Only kidding Reimer)
I enjoyed the beer.
The concert ended with Kris coming back on stage and performing an additional couple songs more than he did at the Mayo gig.
All in all a great show I was really impressed.
Afterward, while waiting outside with Elisabeth, Mary Lou and Reimer (in the hopes of getting my Kris pic signed) I learned that the two lads selling the CD’s were none other than Kris own sons Blake and Johnny.
Kris had left immediately after the show and we were waiting to no purpose. We got closer as a group of friends. Kris has joined a lot of his fans together that way …something I have realised again thru Facebook . He is like a garden of
Goodness and great intention, that attracts only the sweetest of people inside its walls
Ten years on – Kristofferson Olympia 2018
Killarney, Ireland, 2008
The INEC Chapter The Killarney tour started with a 2-hour drive to the INEC centre.
Travel companions on this journey were my younger sister Sandy, her friend (and neighbour) Antoinette and the Essential Kris Kristofferson CD.
Two devout fans a lifetime apiece. Sandy sister blames me for getting her addicted.
We arrived in plenty of time, enjoyed a beer or two in the bar and proceeded to the venue. The seating arrangement was excellent. Six rows back from the stage he could hear us as well as we hear him. My sisters first concert ever and her enthusiasm showed.
A volley of Kris favourites later and the break snuck up on us in no time at all. “Break” found me at the stall where Blake and Johnny were again peddling the Kris memorabilia. The stock was depleted – A lot less was on offer than at the previous concerts I had been to –
Proof that the tour had been a great success
I had the notion to get the lads to sign/autograph my now well-traveled souvenier tour photograph. I had it on me, it was from the then-new To the Bone album, and besides, they were great lads and quite used to me by that stage. Why not? It would be different, and a great keepsake.
They both signed – After Johnny complained that his writing was … shit. (Hope Mom ain’t reading.)
I asked Blake if he would try to get an autograph off his Dad if at all possible. I would wait up after the concert for the pic, signed or not. Like the obliging Kid that he was (a family trait) Blake said he’d see what he could do.
Imagine it…Three Kristofferson’s – Johnny Blake and Kris – All on the same photograph. Too much to ask for?
The second half of the concert was as inspiring and personal as the first. What a performer…nothing lacking in his delivery. If I am like that at 74 – Hell if I make 74! – Wouldn’t I be the happy one?
The Performance ended with the now familiar additional encore and a few extra songs leaving the audience wanting for nothing!
But hey … I knew the end of the show so making a beeline front and centre I happened to make the stage at his finish
Apparently pleased with himself Kris leaned over and shook hands with a number of fans – me being one, my sister another. What a first concert ever! He looked happy to have met me – After his failed 3 previous efforts.
What a night! Manna from Heaven
I exited quickly, trying to get to the CD booth that the lads were selling from. No one there, I settled in for a wait.
Half an hour passed … still no show. The Kristofferson boys had lots to do that night. They were no slackers, hell they were Kristofferson’s.
Three-quarters of an hour passed … My two traveling companions having mopped the drink spillage from the carpet (only kidding guys) – I told myself, “just – a – few – more – minutes.”
A young lady approached me and said, “You are the guy that Blake was talking to earlier” – it wasn’t a question. She handed me my picture, it was folded over. I held my breath, then rapidly opened it. It had been signed by the Man himself. WOW.
Three Kristofferson’s – Dad and the two boys
I felt ten feet tall. What a catch! Worth the wait, worth the 4 concerts, worth any and all effort it took to see Kris – the man and the legend – the best feeling ever. Paydirt. It was all I could have imagined. I was walking on air singing all the Kris faves all the way home.
Shattered but Ecstatic. Roll on next year
Editorial is © Peter Walsh
More of his work here