17. September 2005 · Comments Off on Loggins and Messina, Qwest Center Omaha, 16 Sep 05 · Categories: That's Entertainment!

Loggins and Messina, Sittin’ In Again.

Okay, let’s get the obvious taken care of first. If you want Kenny Loggins’ solo stuff, if you demand Kenny Loggins’ solo stuff, do NOT go to this show. No “I’m Alright,” no “Danger Zone,” no “Heartlight,” no “Celebrate me Home.” You’ll have to trust me on this though, after you walk out of the three hours with Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina with one of the tightest bands I’ve ever heard backing them up, you won’t care. Not a lick.

The first set opened with “Watching the River Run” and “House at Pooh Corner.” This satisfied the casual fans in the audience and also let everyone know that they weren’t just going to play the songs the same way they were done 30 years ago, they’d reworked them, tweaked them here, moved parts around there. All still very recognizable, but what we witnessed tonight was not a concert of old songs done by a couple of old guys, it was a band jamming together still working on songs that were written 30 years ago.

Watching these two perform together again was joyous. When they sing and play together, the sum is so much more than the total of their parts. Kenny Loggins can sing, but when he sings with Jimmy Messina, angels weep. Jimmy Messina is an awesome guitarist, but when he jams off Kenny Loggins his fingers fly and dance and tickle your ears so that you’re left with a stupid grin on your face while he’s playing from the sheer wonder.

The end of the first set ended with a gospel rendition of “Peace of Mind” that had hints of the Staple Singers and the keyboardist brought in a taste of Ray Charles and the audience was on their feet singing as if we were all in rapture on Sunday morning. That went into a killer version of “Your Momma Don’t Dance” that took it back from Motley Crue, and aren’t we glad that finally happened?

The second set opened with the rest of the band a bit more forward and with Kenny and Jim amoung them more. The songs here were primarily acoustic and still they improved on old standards. Oddly enough, they played a song from Messina’s Buffalo Springfield days and an ol’ Poco standard. As the set progressed the jams became a bit harder, the arrangements a bit harder rock. One song I didn’t recognize but have sense realised I own, divided the audience pretty quickly. It was clear, “Same ol’ Wine,”is an anti-war song. It was a pretty good rythm and blues number musically but this is the heartland and once it became clear how much of an anti-war song it was, some people chose to leave. I admire their convictions, but they also gave us more room to dance. See, I have no problems with old hippies being anti-war, I sort of expect it and it doesn’t bother me all that much. It was one song, shake it off, move on.

And with the second set closing out with an amazing rendition of “Vahevala” and encores of “Angry Eyes” and “Danny’s Song” we just had to get up and dance and sing and just plain enjoy.

Three hours of exceptionally good music played and sang well by two guys with a killer band who know how to do it better than most of the “stars” of today. We paid about 50 bucks a pop for main floor seating and I feel like I got my money’s worth and then some.

If they’re coming your way, go if you can, you won’t be disappointed.

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