Despite my busy day yesterday -- cleaning up my short sale listings, doing a presentation to Lyon agents, attending a short sale closing -- I mustered up the energy to go to the Steve Earle concert at the Crest Theatre last night. The stage was bare, except for a table holding 2 bottles of water, a microphone, couple of speakers and 2 instruments. Most shows start on time at the Crest, but this one began about 15 minutes late.
Steve Earle walked on stage, dressed in faded blue jeans, a red and brown plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, and he had a long graying beard, neatly trimmed. His hair is thinning in the front, but still long. He sported glasses without frames, so from a distance it may appear as though he wasn't wearing glasses when he was, which I suppose was on purpose. Although, I've never considered him to be a person who cared much about appearance, I suspect those glasses say he does.
On the way to the Crest, as we drove past the California State Capitol, I noticed a creature by the sidewalk. At first I thought it was a cat, but upon closer inspection, it was definitely a raccoon. Just sitting there, washing its little masked face. He reminded me of Steve Earle.
The bottles of water on stage were in stark contrast to the concerts of old when bottles of beer used to be prevalent. Ah, the good old days. The days of artists puking on stage and dying at a young age. I wondered if Earle was in rehab, and it turns out he is 15 years sober -- a recovering heroin addict.
Earlier this year, Earle released, Townes, a tribute album of songs that were written by his hero and friend, the late Townes Van Zandt, and he performed a number of songs from that record. He opened with Rex's Blues and talked some of the way through it. Explaining how this guy used to hop on his horse Amigo and ride 58 miles from Aspen, Colorado, to Crested Butte. Earle said he was 17 then and thought it was the coolest thing ever. Then he paused and said, "I'm 54 now, and I still think it's the coolest thing ever."
He followed that tune with "Colorado Girl" -- which I've always liked, especially since I used to live in the mountains in Colorado -- and launched into a long-time favorite "Pancho and Lefty." All in all, he played for a little over 2 hours and, despite the late hour, I didn't fall asleep as I thought I might. But then we were sitting in the second row, and that does tend to keep me up past my bedtime as compared to the nose-bleed section.
My only regret about the show was he didn't sing "Wabash Cannonball." I suppose he never will.
Photos: Elizabeth Weintraub