Thursday, June 11, 2009

Levon Helm in Concert

Levon Helm stopped by St. Paul to play at the historic Fitzgerald Theater, which is famous for hosing The Prairie Home Companion. Levon, almost 70 years old, played drums like he was still a young man, playing 2 and half hours with no breaks. After most songs, he gave a thumbs up to members of the band and played with a huge grin on his face. His enthusiasm spread to the band and to the audience.

Levon, along with his band featuring Jim Weider, Larry Campbell, Amy Helm, Teresa Williams, and other whose names escape me at the moment, played a mix of Americana bluegrass, gospel, country, along with a few songs he made famous with The Band.

His band is top notch, and were enjoying every minute on the stage, including a rousing Mardis Gras song, which had the brass section marchin around the stage.

The audience was made up of mostly baby boomers, who are of the age where they probably saw The Band in concert. The crowd was very vocal, and in this small, intimate setting, led to Levon interacting quite a bit, including signing an autograph for a woman as they were getting ready for the next song. Levon shook many a hand of the folks sitting in the front, and gave at least three sets of his drum sticks to people who had made there way to stand by his drumset. Class act all the way.

The music was fantastic, as was expected of musicians of this caliber. Levon is a true legend, who deserves every bit of the respect that is given him. I am so glad he stopped by here, as we thought we would never get to see him in concert.

I have to add that Larry Campbell can play anything with strings, and Jim Weider had the perfect Telecaster tone, although he played mostly an acoustic for the show. Check out Larry's website. He has played on many a CD and has toured with Bob Dylan and many others.

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