Jackson Browne at the State Theatre, 10/28/12

Jackson Browne at the State Theatre, 10/28/12

Jackson Browne
with Sara Watkins
State Theatre, Minneapolis
Sunday, October 28, 2012

Jackson Browne took the stage at the State Theater last night with an easy, mellow smile -- a vibe he stuck with for his lengthy set, to no one's dismay.

Browne has a long-standing career as a singer-songwriter with a full catalog of well-known hits under his belt, and for majority of the nearly two hours he was on stage, he plucked from those and from his large bag of lesser-known tunes.

The audience at the State Theater for Jackson Browne was exactly the kind of audience you want at every show: a listening crowd, tame and well-mannered and interested, who only shouted out requests for their favorite Browne songs in between music.

"That's great you're calling for the obscure ones," smiled Browne a half-dozen songs into his 18-song set. "Well, not that obscure. Just obscure to me."

Browne welcomed talented opener Sara Watkins (formerly of Nickel Creek notoriety), who has been supporting him on tour since this summer, and the rest of her band to accompany him for large portions of his show. Watkins, who is a natural charmer and an accomplished fiddler, is one of Browne's newer music collaboration friends, and the pair seemed to revel in each other's company.

Even now, aged 64, with a musical career spanning well over three decades, Browne's voice is as clear and smooth as ever -- and, indeed, he doesn't even appear to have changed that much in looks over the years. Together with Watkins, Browne resurrected that distinctive Laurel Canyon sound on a few songs, in particular the haunting "A Child In These Hills."

Throughout the night, Browne kept things casual. Mid-set, he welcomed guitarist Val McCullum to perform a song called "Tokyo Girl," dedicated to McCullum's wife. Later, he waited barely sixty seconds before returning to the stage for a one-song encore of "Take It Easy," a song he co-wrote with the Eagles' Glenn Frey. It was enough to get the audience on its feet in celebration of a night well-spent.

Critic's Bias: Oh, what? Singer-songwriter? Folk? Me? Into that? Never.

The Crowd: Polite and well-behaved, with an excellent turnout, even for Sara Watkins. A nice Sunday night audience.

Overheard in the Crowd: "I love you Jackson Browne!" was followed by another shout of "I love you, too!" which was then followed by "I love you more!"

Set list:
Time Running Out
I'm Alive
Rock Me On The Water
Something Fine
Fountain Of Sorrow
The Road
Looking East
Call It A Loan
A Child In These Hills
Tokyo Girl (Val McCullum and Sara Watkins)
The Barricades Of Heaven
For A Dancer
Too Many Angels
The Pretender
Sleep's Dark The Silent Gate
The Late Show
I'll Do Anything
Running On Empty
Take It Easy 

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