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Taylor does Marksville…

24 Jul

taylor-clapping.jpg 

Taylor Hicks – “Heart & Soul”

Well, I am back from my handicapped trek to Louisiana for our “Girls’ Weekend”. While it wasn’t easy, it sure was fun. We thoroughly enjoyed the getaway including: food, a little gambling, great company, some bodacious and very affordable pina coladas, and of course, the Taylor Hicks concert Saturday night.

First, let me say that the Paragon Casino in Marksville, LA is certainly “off the beaten path”. Fortunately, one of my D-i-Ls is from around those parts and got us there promptly and safely, mid-day on Saturday. We lounged around the pool and spent about an hour pouring money down a rat hole….uh, I mean gambling. After a very nice dinner where we saw Loren Gold and Brian Gallagher having their supper, my party wheeled me through the crowded casino and to the Mari Showroom, where the concert was being held.

Our seats were very good. We were about 15 rows back on the left of the stage with a big aisle in front. As it happens, even though the tickets were purchased way before my accident, we happened to be sitting on the handicapped aisle….fate, no? They were a little late getting started, but at about 9:10 p.m., Soul Finger, started and the band (all dressed in black shirts) took the stage. The stage was completed with “Little Ray” at the bottom of the drum platform, right next to the harp case and mic.

lil-ray.jpg felix.jpg

Then, Loren Gold announces….Ladies and Gentlemen, Taaaayyyyyllllorrrr Hhhhhiiiiiccckkks.

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Taylor came out in a black button down, jeans and tennis shoes. He looked great and seemed very relaxed. He talked quite a bit to the crowd and was happy about being back in the South, even though it was hot. He talked about loving Louisiana, which immediately endeared him to the crowd.

I was very pleased to see that Taylor played quite a few songs from my suggested Set List. He started out with Soul Thing, followed by Heart and Soul. I captured some pretty good pictures with my zoom lens but the back lighting wasn’t as good as the House of Blues, so I did a little editing. Here’s one I captured during Heart and Soul.

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He followed up with Just to Feel That Way and then pleased me greatly by introducing My Friend, with a sweet little soprano sax solo by Mr. Brian Gallagher. Awesome.

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It was great. I hadn’t heard that one live yet, so I was thrilled. He was definitely having fun and looked very fit and comfortable. While he was really good at the Mobile and New Orleans concerts I attended this Spring, this was strikingly different. There was a certain air about the performance. Like a cloud was lifted and his spirit was a bit “free”-er. Whether it’s because of his AI “reign” being officially over; increased confidence from playing a successful, full tour in the Spring; his new girlfriend; or the fact that he had a week off from performing and was back in the South from a prolonged stretch up North; he looked like he was really happy to be there and was having a great time. His vocals were spot on and his trademark “passion” in the performance was certainly there, with a vengeance.

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The set list included the following, with many “tags” embedded:

Wherever I Lay My Hat
Don’t Let Me Down
The Deal
Hold On To Your Love
Heaven Knows
The Maze (with a long tag of Do You Believe in Magic?)
Gonna Move (with a special nod to Louisiana of Gov. JimmieDavis’ You Are My Sunshine as well as Smoke of a Distant Fire)
The Right Place
The Runaround

The harp was ultra-hot on the last number and the crowd LOVED it. Me too, as I love me some harp.

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Then…..the Encore. The stool came out, then Taylor. Then a guitar was brought out to him and then his harp brace and finally, the harp. What followed was simply remarkable. Taylor, by himself, playing guitar, playing harp AND singing Randy Newman’s Louisiana 1927. If you’ve never experienced this gem, here is Taylor’s version from the Open Door Sessions back in 2004.

For expediency’s sake, here is a YouTube of Taylor’s Louisiana 1927 as the backdrop to a Hurricane Katrina video.

Here are a few pictures I took during that performance, as well.

taylor-la1927.jpg

Someone captured video that can be viewed at the TMO Server – Taylor Hicks Marksville LA1927

He ended with one of my favorites, Take Me to the Pilot. A really great performance. My girls all agreed that the stage is where Taylor shines. To really appreciate Taylor, his talent and energy, you have to see him “live”.

I was very glad that I went, even though the going wasn’t the easiest. For those of you who have asked about my recovery….it’s going ok. I still have pain in the leg that I’m hoping starts to subside. Two or so more weeks on crutches and then a walking boot for a few weeks. This was certainly a great “pick me up”.

To conclude, I leave you with a couple of favorite pictures that I captured of, as one of my girls says, “The Silver Fox”.

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Shhhhhh……

 

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Share that smile….

 

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22 Comments

Posted by on July 24, 2007 in Concerts, Reviews, Taylor

 

22 responses to “Taylor does Marksville…

  1. morewines

    July 24, 2007 at 10:53 am

    Hey Mave,
    You are very lucky. Looks like those of us
    on the West Coast won’t get an opportunity
    to see him live. Don’t know why there is such
    a difference in West Coast and the East Coast
    when it comes to Taylor Hicks. Not enough
    support out here for some reason.

     
  2. wompuss

    July 24, 2007 at 11:08 am

    I am SO glad you got to experience the “handicapped section” and Taylor again, DD! Your recap is flawless. Is it you or Shrewbie who has the crush on Brian?

     
  3. shrewspeaks

    July 24, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    *jumping up and down* It was me Womp! He is dead dreamy! “sigh” Thanks for that photo MM!!!!

    Okay…I have to ask…was THIS the Taylor we wanted/expected post confetti?

     
  4. YoursSoully

    July 24, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    dd,

    Love the blog. Thank you for this photo recap. I was at the Paragon as well and after getting past some initial misgivings about the vibe of that particular venue (too ‘open’? too spread out?), Taylor kicked in and the concert exceeded my every expectation.

    I’ve been to several concerts but his vocals and the acoustics in that particular room were outstanding. A real treat.

    And when you wrote:
    “What followed was simply remarkable. Taylor, by himself, playing guitar, playing harp AND singing Randy Newman’s Louisiana 1927.”
    you said it all. He did a gorgeous rendition. I rank it up there among the top 5 moments/songs I’ve ever seen him do live.

     
  5. music maven

    July 24, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    Glad you asked, Shrew…

    YES! THIS is the Taylor that I anticipated. I suspect that someday we will know the extent to which AI had the proverbial “hairs”, but it seems pretty clear to me that Taylor has had a huge weight lifted.

    In Mobile, in particular, he didn’t seem very comfortable in his skin on stage (though he was reported to be very ill). In New Orleans, he had a great time on stage but afterwards seemed troubled when we all saw him go through the crowd at the buses.

    I really prefer the “casual” dress (sans coat) and the playful banter with the crowd, etc. There was just a totally different vibe from him. I may be totally off base, but I suspect Taylor is like me — when I am not comfortable and in control, it’s plainly evident…us Libra Dragons are not good at hiding our emotions — whether that be joy or frustration.

    All I can say is that it was great to see. Everyone that I talked to agreed that his love of what he’s doing is evident in THAT performance and this was the first time that I saw him really kun-NECK with the audience the way we all saw him do through his AI stint.

    He’s still got a huge uphill climb against a mountain of crap, but I think that his mind is in the right place (pardon the pun) and he’s making money to support himself and others while doing what he loves. The crowds clearly adore him and appreciate his performances.

    Book’s doing well, band is great and he’s got about a couple of loose months touring until he finishes up this tour and should be able to take 3-4 months off and possibly come up with a new album to tour next year.

    I think he’s just in a really good place right now.

     
  6. brc

    July 24, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    MM.. It makes me so happy that you didn’t let your “handicap” prevent you from attending the concert. Even though it was difficult it sounds like it was well worth it. Thanks for the recap.

    Shrew… didn’t know about your little crush 😉

     
  7. jenfera

    July 24, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    Great review, MM! Glad it all worked out for you. FWIW, I think this new, improved Taylor has been in action since the beginning of the summer tour. The Hyannis show I saw in June was worlds apart from the Foxwoods show in early April.

    I am still jealous though that you got the stool, guitar, harp brace, etc.
    🙂

     
  8. wompuss

    July 24, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    well, ahem…I reckon I’d bettah now evah show shrewbie that pic of me givin Brian some sugah then, huh? ~duck…run~

     
  9. robin

    July 24, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    It’s wonderful to read your take on this summer’s version of Taylor Hicks. Based on my own observations at his recent 6 Flags/GA show and his relaxed vibe at the book reading in Bham, I agree that he seems to be in a really good, happy place right now, and that his performances are the better for it. Nice series of close-up shots you captured on Louisiana 1927. What I wouldn’t give to have heard him sing that one! Hoping for a repeat in NOLA (hint, hint).

     
  10. music maven

    July 24, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    robin — he’s likely to do it again in New Orleans along with Pocky Way/Big Chief, just as I’m sure that The Wharf will get Where I’m From and/or My Home’s in Alabama.

    The crowd absolutely adored Louisiana 1927 and speaking as a Louisianan, the only thing that he could have done to endure himself anymore to the Louisiana crowd would have been to sing “Hold that Tiger”. 😉

     
  11. shrewspeaks

    July 24, 2007 at 4:21 pm

    Womp…how could I ever be angry at you?

    Besides…I just like to look at him. Don’t know if he is a great conversationalist or not.

     
  12. robin

    July 24, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    MM, we were having such a nice meeting of the minds. Don’t be starting that “Hold that Tiger” stuff. 😉

    Lots to anticipate. Hope to cross paths with you in NOLA or at The Wharf. Cheers.

     
  13. wompuss

    July 24, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    Aw, shrewbies…I heart ya muchly.

     
  14. nolagirl

    July 24, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    Glad you lived to tell about this, DD! 🙂

    It was hard to get a feeling of “remarkable” from the video clip as there was lots of talking and stuff. I would have loved to see him do that song live!

    I wasn’t planning on going to the NOLA show, but now realize that I couldn’t anyway, as I’ll be in the lap of luxury on the Redneck Riviera that weekend!

    P.S. Come to NOLA as SOON as you are non-handicapped. 😀

     
  15. Laurita

    July 25, 2007 at 2:53 am

    wow, DD.. so great to read this recap..

    my greatest jealous moment just now was realizing you got to witness the harp brace COMBINED with LA 1927 COMBINED with the red guitar – jeeezus!

    (any way i could get one of those photos just to gaze at in the privacy of my own home?!? if so, pls email me and help out a poor fan here in TH-impoverished California!)

    You know, I was at his feet at the edge of the Warfield stage just a mere 10 weeks ago, and that was unreal… but where he’s come since then, manifested at this show.. so hot.. damn!

    (prayin’ for ‘fall acoustic tour’ here in the bay area.. come on, taylor, throw us left-coasters a bone, will ya?!)

     
  16. leejolem

    July 25, 2007 at 11:23 am

    DD, it sounds like you had the same kind of experience we had in Goshen,IN monday evening. I’ve never heard his voice sound better. It was strong, powerful, totally on pitch at all times. JTFTW was unbelievable, as was The Right Place. He was relaxed, and talked a lot with the audience. By far a better concert than Columbus, OH.

    Shrew, you’re not the only one with a Brian G. crush! HC4S is in love with him. We stayed after the concert and got pics of him. We talked with him for about 20 minutes. He is such a sweetheart. I told him we didn’t have the monkbot this time, and he said “that’s ok. that think kind of freaked me out”. It was so funny! He is so soft-spoken and sweet. Plus he was sweaty and played the hell out of his sax, flute, etc…during the show which was very sexy!!!! Loren
    Gold is a big flirt and was smiling and flirting w/HC4S from the stage.

    I actually got to say a few words to Taylor as he was signing my ticket after the concert. I told him I would have shown up for putt-putt with him (if you’ve read the book you’ll know that in 5th grade a girl stood him up). I actually got a smile out of him. He’s very intense and shy, so a smile is really thrilling. I have to say though this time I couldn’t have asked for more than the performance he gave up on stage. He gave it his all!

     
  17. leejolem

    July 25, 2007 at 4:21 pm

    Forgot to say:
    Hi to nolagirl and wompuss!
    DD, can’t believe you braved the concert wheelchair and all–hope your leg is healing up nicely–I’m sure the Medicated Goo helped a leetle!

     
  18. juliegr

    July 30, 2007 at 5:40 am

    Wonderful recap MM — what a joy that you and your friends were able to attend the concert despite your injuries. I’m happy you’re on the road to recovery and hope you will be able to stand and dance at the next concert!

    Please add your recap or some comments to the Taylor Hicks Marksville concert on the concertfan.com site. As usual, some poopheads are doing all they can to detract from the good reviews Taylor is receiving.

    Cheers
    julie

     
  19. janibeth

    July 30, 2007 at 7:13 am

    Thanks so much for this excellent recap and pictures. There have not been many pictures and videos to surface from this show….at least not that I’ve found.

    I was there…sorry I didn’t meet more Soul Patrolers. Here’s a link to an mp3 of Louisiana 1927 that I captured during the Paragon Casino show. http://www.sendspace.com/file/wkf8jh

    You can find the rest of my mp3’s from the show at the Boogie Board http://excoboard.com/exco/thread.php?forumid=102648&threadid=1377681

     
  20. janibeth

    July 30, 2007 at 7:21 am

    Love your recap….typed and submitted a comment but it’s not appeared…never posted here before…do I need to register?

     
  21. music maven

    July 31, 2007 at 6:37 am

    janibeth — thanks for that mp3. It’s a great memory. Those of us from Louisiana understand the power of that song. I first heard it on Aaron Neville’s CD about 10 years ago and immediately loved it. My grandmother was 26 at the time of “the flood” and vividly recounted the aftermath…she lived to 100.

     
  22. janibeth

    July 31, 2007 at 6:55 am

    Music Maven,

    My husband and all his family are also from Louisiana. His dad is 99, so he’d have been about 19 at the time of the flood. I haven’t heard Aaron Neville’s version of LA 1927. I think I’ll have to check that out. Actually Taylor’s version is the only one I’ve heard, and I was hoping to hear him sing it live some day. Lucky us!

     

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